Google and Facebook Tackling Fake News in Wake of the US Election

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Google and Facebook are taking steps to prevent the monetisation of false news by barring sites that publish manipulated news stories from advertising.

In the wake of the US election, many are reflecting on the presence of manipulated news stories and hoaxes throughout the campaign season, including those at Facebook. An unofficial task force has even been formed to investigate the influence of such news across the platform.

In agreement with this was Teddy Goff, Hillary Clinton’s chief digital strategist.

"Everyone has the right to say what they want, have access to sites that they want, share what they want.

“But a publisher with a record of making stuff up is not likely to rank that highly on Google, and the equivalent ought to be the case on Facebook.”

This stance has been in contention with Mark Zuckerberg, however, who released a statement suggesting that less than 1% of what users see is unauthentic.

With around half of all Americans using Facebook as a source of news, many are becoming more aware of the influence it can have on users with regards to sharing content.

Google also found itself at the centre of the controversy on false news when a right-wing WordPress blog was being prominently displayed in the SERPs. The blog included claims that Trump won both the Electoral College and Popular Vote.

Google has since updated its policies to prohibit any sites that publish content against their guidelines from using Google Display Network.

Though the move will attempt to prevent sites that publish false news from generating revenue, there is no guarantee that this will stop false news from being reported. However, it has been speculated that the volume of false news being distributed will drop significantly post-election.

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