During the final months of the US presidential election, related fake news has turned into a plague on the Internet. Some top fake stories generate more traffic than real stories from mainstream news outlets like The WSJ, NY Times, Huffington Post etc. Ironically, site owners drive legit traffic via fake news, and convert traffic into money though ad networks.
To fight against fake news, Google has updated a new policy to ban all publishers with misleading articles from using its ad network. Google AdSense is the dominant ad system in the industry, which is also a primary source of revenue for most publishers. From now on, monetizing fake news will be difficult for speculators.
“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.” Andrea Faville, a Google spokeswoman, wrote in a statement.
In addition, Google News is planning to tightly regulate the accuracy of news. It means that only verified stories will be appeared in its result page.
Facebook follows Google’s lead
Facebook’s role is criticized in the US presidential election due to continuously spread of inaccurate news on the platform. The tech giant has followed the lead of Google, and also released a new policy. Facebook Audience Network, its ad network, will also restrict publishers with false content.
This move may be not enough. Because fake news usually is easy to capture audience emotion and inspire sharing on social platforms. The best way is to flag fake news websites and block the reach of these sites.