In the wake of a ton of misinformation being spread (by both sides) during the recent presidential election, Google has announced that it will soon no longer allow sites that promote fake news access to its advertising network.
Google, along with other tech companies like Facebook, were heavily criticized during the election campaign for allowing websites with factually incorrect information (whether on purpose or by accident) to go viral, letting dishonest sites rake in ad revenue while giving voters a false sense of reality.
“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,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement given to Reuters.
The issue of fake news reached maximum heights when it was revealed that Facebook’s “Trending Topics” section was really just whatever a small team wanted to say was trending. Facebook insisted that it was not a news site, but abandoned the team in favor of an automated algorithm.
Just this past weekend, a conspiracy blog rose to the top of Google News when people searched for who won the popular vote in the election. The site claimed that Donald Trump won the popular vote, 62.9 million to 62.2 million. Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote, but lost the election due to the way the electoral college is structured.