Google, Facebook take aim at 'fake' news (Update)

Google and Facebook cut off advertising revenue to bogus news sites
Google and Facebook cut off advertising revenue to bogus news sites
Google and Facebook moved Tuesday to cut off advertising revenue to fake news sites, after a wave of criticism over the role misinformation played in the US presidential election.

The move by the two tech giants aims to choke off funds to an industry fueled by bogus, often sensational "news" circulating online and seen as a potential influence on public opinion.

A Google statement to AFP said new policies "will start prohibiting Google ads from being placed on misrepresentative content, just as we disallow misrepresentation in our ads policies."

The shift will mean Google restricts ads "on pages that misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about the publisher, the publisher's content, or the primary purpose of the web property," the statement said.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said the company receives billions of queries daily and admitted errors had been made.

"There have been a couple of incidences where it has been pointed out and we didn't get it right.

"And so it is a learning moment for us and we will definitely work to fix it," he said in a BBC interview.

Pichai said there should be "no situation where fake news gets distributed" and committed to making improvements.

"I don't think we should debate it as much as work hard to make sure we drive news to its more trusted sources, have more fact checking and make our algorithms work better, absolutely," he said.

On Monday, internet users searching on Google were delivered a bogus report saying Republican Donald Trump had won the popular vote in addition to the electoral college.

The numbers on a blog called 70News—contradicting official results tallied so far by states—said Trump received 62.9 million votes to 62.2 million for Hillary Clinton.

The blog urged those petitioning for the electoral college to switch their votes to reflect popular will to scrap their effort.

Explicit ban

Facebook is implementing a similar policy, a spokesman said.

"In accordance with the Audience Network Policy, we do not integrate or display ads in apps or sites containing content that is illegal, misleading or deceptive, which includes fake news," a Facebook statement said.

"While implied, we have updated the policy to explicitly clarify that this applies to fake news."

One report said Facebook had developed a tool to weed out fake news but did not deploy it before the US election, fearing a backlash from conservatives after a controversy over its handling of "trending topics." Facebook denied the report.

Some critics have gone so far as to blame Facebook for enabling Trump's victory, saying it did not do enough to curb bogus news that appeared to help rally his supporters.

Stories that went viral in the run-up to the vote included such headlines as "Hillary Clinton Calling for Civil War If Trump Is Elected" and "Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President."

The prevalence of fake news has prompted calls for Facebook to consider itself a "media" company rather than a neutral platform, a move which would require it to make editorial judgments on articles.

Facebook executives have repeatedly rejected this idea, but since the election have pledged to work harder to filter out hoaxes and misinformation.

In a weekend post, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg dismissed the notion that fake news helped sway the election, and said that "more than 99 percent of what people see is authentic."

Still, he said that "we don't want any hoaxes on Facebook" and pledged to do more to curb fake news without censoring content.

"Identifying the 'truth' is complicated," he said.

"While some hoaxes can be completely debunked, a greater amount of content, including from mainstream sources, often gets the basic idea right but some details wrong or omitted."

Ken Paulson, a former USA Today editor who is dean at the media school of Middle Tennessee State University, said Facebook and other platforms should not be required to filter out news but that it would be good for business.

"My hunch is that most of Facebook's loyal customers would welcome a cleaning up of the town square," he said.


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Facebook had tool to weed out fake news: report (Update)

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Citation: Google, Facebook take aim at 'fake' news (Update) (2016, November 15) retrieved 17 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-11-google-facebook-ad-revenue-fake.html
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Nov 15, 2016
Well-intentioned but perhaps worrying large co.'s appointing themselves what amounts to a ministry of truth.

Further effort re. public education as to developing critical thinking faculties seems far less open to abuse.

Nov 15, 2016
Definitely a worrying trend

Nov 15, 2016
They call that politics correction, the same as China does...so its censure and pure dictatorship.

Nov 15, 2016
You are all dead wrong. Google does not control anything but its own web presence. Same with Facebook. No different than an editorial policy at a news paper. Choose not to promote lies.

Nov 15, 2016
@Zzzzzzzz
Google & Facebook increase access to news site. They act like a gateway to those site. If you live around 1996s you would remember that there's no such thing as Google & Facebook, but you have this book that list out all the mainstream news site... which mean there's no way you would stumble on a fake news like it is today.

Nov 15, 2016
Lazy Clinton, she's blamed everything for her dismal loss except herself. Obama blamed her yesterday and there is NO evidence "fake" news sites shifted any major level of public opinion.

Nov 16, 2016
Even before this, many white nationalists had already warmed to Trump because of his prominence in the Birther movement - what Trump's advisor Roger Stone described as "a brilliant base-building move."

The fact is Trump encourages lies and conspiracies to advance his own support and social media is the perfect place to do it.

Nov 16, 2016
Even before this, many white nationalists had already warmed to Trump because of his prominence in the Birther movement - what Trump's advisor Roger Stone described as "a brilliant base-building move."
Even before this the Clinton's took money from 3rd world countries which promote bigotry against non-believers, death to Israel, and the subjugation of women. The difference here is that the Clintons have not disavowed any of this while trump always has.
The fact is Trump encourages lies and conspiracies to advance his own support and social media is the perfect place to do it
The amount of noise you people make gives you the impression that you are not in fact a very tiny minority of the people in this country.

So squawk all you want.

Nov 16, 2016
I see more and more links to Wiki pages on Google news. The traditional news outlets have shown themselves to be hopelessly biased in this election, and perhaps because of this their days are numbered.

News is only info and a central clearing house like wiki can provide it without hidden agendas. AI will increasingly be used to ensure veracity.

The internet was created with the ultimate goal of supplying all of us with dependable info.

Nov 16, 2016
947,996. That is the number of votes Clinton is beating Trump in this election at the last count and that is the number that Trump claimed he could have made up if he wanted but in fact he does not have majority support.

Never in the history of American election has a winner of the Electoral vote lost by such a large number of popular votes, nearly 1 million votes.

http://www.pbs.or...results/

Nov 16, 2016
Google, Facebook take aim at 'fake' news (Update)

Well the people at CNN, NBC, FOX, CBS, ABC, especially the NYT, Reuters, and just about every other mainstream outlet arent going to be happy about that

Nov 16, 2016
Never in the history of American election has a winner of the Electoral vote lost by such a large number of popular votes, nearly 1 million votes./

Every candidate goes into each election, knowing they have to win the Electoral College vote. It is how our system works and it works well for its intended purpose, even today.
Clinton lost and will never be President, get over it and move on.You will feel better.

Nov 16, 2016
Did Facebook identify which of his daughters Trump agreed was a "piece of ass"?

A role model for our kids.

Nov 16, 2016
It takes 700,000 Californians to be represented by one Electoral vote (and one House representative) and yet only 200,000 Wyomians is sufficient for one Electoral vote. To those who think that Electoral Votes favors the Republicans by accident, think again, it happened when a new Republican congress usurped the Constitution in 1929 when they refused to reapportion the Electoral vote in the traditional manner, forcing an eventual unequal representation.

https://en.wikipe...vote.png
https://en.wikipe..._of_1929

Nov 16, 2016
Conservatives cannot win a clean and honest election. They rely on Diebold (look up Diebold and Rob Georgia), or on voter intimidation and gerrymandering for their power.

The FBI is now part of it. It is time for a REAL house-cleaning after we rid ourselves of Trump and Pence. This White Trash Tantrum has revealed real problems in our society.

Nov 16, 2016
Yeah this is more than a little scary. What I would argue is that an individual needs to know they have to look at multiple sources from BOTH sides of the political aisle to get any semblance of truth anymore and it should be up to them, not some "team" of a few individuals on Google and Facebook to do that. Facebook already has a bad rep since they were caught manipulating their "Trending" category to exclude conservative-leaning stories. I guess now individuals will need to realize they will have to look OUTSIDE of Google and Facebook. Even though this is technically focused on ads now, it's skirting very closely to our First Amendment rights.

Nov 16, 2016
And to all the people upset about the electoral college... where were you last year, or the year before, or the year before that? We all know quite well that the only reason you are petitioning to change it is because the system that has been in place for over two centuries didn't elect the person YOU wanted. I guarantee we wouldn't be hearing from 99% of you if Clinton had won the same way. If you're bent on changing it, do it on an off election year.

Nov 16, 2016
So, Google and Facebook have determined the general populace lacks the intelligence to determine the value of news sources they are exposed to...

I think their motives are clear.

Nov 16, 2016
In a weekend post, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg dismissed the notion that fake news helped sway the election, and said that "more than 99 percent of what people see is authentic."
It sounds like Zuck is unfamiliar with the work of Andy Thomas, e.g., here's an eye-opening lecture he gave at the "Open Mind Conference 2013": A Conspiracy History of the World
... Electoral College vote. It is how our system works and it works well ...
In the context of "towards a more perfect union," nobody won the 2016 election. Of registered voters, Trump had 25.5%, Clinton had 25.6%, and "I voted for nobody" category had 47%, winning by a yoooge landslide. If you also include unregistered voters, nobody received ~ 66% of the vote (~193 million people). http://www.global.../5556857

Nov 16, 2016
Not reading Google news or being on facebook, I am not exposed to the emotional manipulation used by the conservatives. But I see what it has done to others, the fearful, the resentful, the crabby, the losers looking for someone else to blame.

Nov 16, 2016
List of false/misleading new sources:
https://docs.goog.../preview

Nov 16, 2016
Never in the history of American election has a winner of the Electoral vote lost by such a large number of popular votes, nearly 1 million votes./

Every candidate goes into each election, knowing they have to win the Electoral College vote. It is how our system works and it works well for its intended purpose, even today.
Clinton lost and will never be President, get over it and move on.You will feel better.

I will never "feel better" about a president elect as completely, patently, and massively unfit as Donald Trump. When a True American Patriot steps up and beats Trump to death, I will have to seriously consider committing my remaining time to carving the likeness of that American Hero onto the face of Mount Rushmore.

Nov 16, 2016
List of false/misleading new sources:
https://docs.goog.../preview


Thank you for sharing. A brief browse makes it seem at least even-handed, politically-speaking.

Nov 16, 2016
I will never "feel better" about a president elect as completely, patently, and massively unfit as Donald Trump. When a True American Patriot steps up and beats Trump to death, I will have to seriously consider committing my remaining time to carving the likeness of that American Hero onto the face of Mount Rushmore
And if you weren't such a sucker for the biased news that you and that 1M excess hillary voters fell for, you'd have a different opinion.

Nov 16, 2016
I see the warnings of false beliefs and political smears are right on target.

Nov 16, 2016
The Internet, and especially Twitter is an essentially democratizing technology, and democracy tends to be a favorable environment for populist movements.

Some have argued we should eliminate the public election in the primaries thereby allowing various party leaders to form a consensus about who they think is the best candidate, and then allow the public to vote for them in the General. Had the Republican party been given the chance we would likely have seen a Bush vs Clinton election vs the loudmouth racist predator vs Establishment which is what a democracy actually favors.

Plato speaks of this in The Republic. Democracy and tyranny go hand-in-hand.

Nov 16, 2016
I will never "feel better" about a president elect as completely, patently, and massively unfit as Donald Trump. When a True American Patriot steps up and beats Trump to death, I will have to seriously consider committing my remaining time to carving the likeness of that American Hero onto the face of Mount Rushmore.

Sounds pretty racist of you. Isn't that how it goes when you criticize an incompetent President and/or wish harm on them? Not sure, since that is how has been for the last 8 solid years. Either way, Massively unfit in your opinion or not, Hillary was 10 times worse. I would take Trump over that poor excuse of Democrat any day.

Nov 21, 2016
It takes 700,000 Californians to be represented by one Electoral vote (and one House representative) and yet only 200,000 Wyomians is sufficient for one Electoral vote.
https://en.wikipe...vote.png

It takes 700,000 Texans to be represented by one Electoral vote (and one House representative) and yet only 200,000 Vermonters is sufficient for one Electoral vote.

Nov 21, 2016
On fakery:

The world is a glass house; it's a stage. We all get to decide what role we'll play when we grow up.

"...and when the morning light comes streaming in, we'll get up, and do it again" – The Pretender (Jackson Browne)

Far and few between are the people who are who they are. Don't trust – just verify.

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