What ad policy changes will Google and Facebook make to eliminate or reduce the number of fake news sites in search results and news feeds?
Did you know that some critics partially blame fake news across Google and Facebook for the outcome of the presidential election? Mark Zuckerberg isn’t convinced that fake news had anything to do with Donald Trump’s victory, but some of Facebook’s employees believe it did.
Regardless of what anyone thinks, Facebook and Google have taken steps towards addressing the problem of fake news. Google will soon implement policy changes barring sites from displaying fake news from using their ads from the Google Display Network. This is how they plan to cut off the potential revenues from these sites.
Google issued this statement:
We’ve been working on an update to our publisher policies and will start prohibiting Google ads from being placed on misrepresentative content, just as we disallow misrepresentation in our ads policies. Moving forward, we will restrict ad serving on pages that misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about the publisher, the publisher’s content, or the primary purpose of the web property.
Facebook also updated the Facebook Audience Network’s terms so illegal or deceptive content is prohibited from using their ads system.
Apparently, a lot of the fake news that was circulated throughout the election propagated from Macedonia, using Google Display Network to monetize their sites. Supposedly, this will no longer be a problem.
Google and Facebook are known as the two largest ad platforms, but there are other alternatives. Additionally, it isn’t certain that the measures these platforms have taken will be sufficient in handling the underlying issue. The policy changes don’t exactly address the problem of fake news cropping up in the news feed, nor do they address the problem of Google search rankings.
It’s highly probable that the fake news ordeal will slow down or stop since the election is over, or at least for now. Automation can flag wildly deceptive content, but without human intervention, it’s essentially impossible to totally eliminate fake news.