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Google to pull advertising from false news sites

Google to pull advertising from false news sites

Google has confirmed plans to block access to its advertising platforms if it deems sites are publishing false news stories or being misleading about their site's 'primary purpose'.

Google has announced that it plans to penalise sites disseminating fake or misleading news stories by blocking their access to its AdWords advertising platform, should they fail to properly mark their content as satirical or otherwise hide their aims.

Following media reports that the outcome of the recent US presidential election may have been influenced, in whatever small way, by false stories published on out-of-the-way websites yet given undue prominence in news-gathering services like Facebook's feed and Google News, Google has confirmed plans to cut sites publishing fake news off from its AdWords advertising platform. According to a statement issued to newswire agency Reuters by Google parent company Alphabet, the move would affect only sites which 'misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about the publisher, the publisher's content, or the primary purpose of the web property.'

Under those terms, sites which offer up satirical content, such as well-known lampoon The Onion, would still have access to the AdWords platform so long as their content is clearly marked as satire. Sites which aim to influence public opinion by masking opinion editorial or outright fictitious 'news' as the real deal, however, will find themselves cut off from a major source of funding.

The move comes following an embarrassment for the company in which a false story regarding Donald Trump winning the popular vote in the US presidential election was placed at the top of the Google News results stream; in fact, rival Hillary Clinton walked away with tens of thousands more popular votes, but lost the presidency to electoral votes.

8 Comments

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Locknload 15th November 2016, 10:40 Quote
If they cut the fake news, that will diminish the daily news content by 95%.

Oh dear.
RedFlames 15th November 2016, 12:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
No money for misleading publishers.

That's the Daily Mail screwed then...
Corky42 15th November 2016, 13:06 Quote
Doesn't this set a rather dangerous precedence, I'm not saying fake or misleading news is a good thing but isn't this just a step further down the road of Google playing internet police, government, authority, or whatever.
XXAOSICXX 15th November 2016, 15:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Doesn't this set a rather dangerous precedence, I'm not saying fake or misleading news is a good thing but isn't this just a step further down the road of Google playing internet police, government, authority, or whatever.

Since this only affects sites using it's ad network, no, not really. Google can (and should) police who is able to profit from it's services, in my opinion.
Corky42 15th November 2016, 16:03 Quote
If Google's AdWords network didn't cover 90% of the internet I'd be agreeing with you, however as it does isn't this akin to censorship.
Anfield 15th November 2016, 16:16 Quote
the problem will be the same as with pirate sites, the sites will switch to dodgy ad providers and with that we will get an inevitable rise in malware served up through ads.
XXAOSICXX 15th November 2016, 16:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
If Google's AdWords network didn't cover 90% of the internet I'd be agreeing with you, however as it does isn't this akin to censorship.

I take your point, however as I understand it Google's ad network covers around 2 million websites out of a total c.900 million sites out there... that's what, 0.22%, not 90% (though, granted, 90% of all traffic is to the 0.22%).

Apologies if I've got the figures wrong, though... I'm not intentionally schmidtbagging ;) (too soon?)
Corky42 15th November 2016, 17:43 Quote
I plucked that 90% figure from a quick Google search (is that ironic?) so it could be way off. :)
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