We all know by now that may people have accused Facebook of affecting the outcome of the elections by promoting news from fake websites. Mark Zuckerberg quickly responded and said that it is beyond their power to control everything that gets posted on the social media platform. And also, that it did not have anything to do with the outcome of the election. While being asked if the news changed the people’s opinion, he said that not only Donald Trump’s supporters read those fake news. Hillary Clinton’s did too, so why wasn’t the outcome different? Because it did not matter. The fake news did not make any difference. According to Zuckerberg, fake news reports represent only 1 per cent of the global content on Facebook. Google was also affected by this burst of fake news.
Banned from the advertising networks
Now, it seems like both Facebook and Google have begun a process of banning fake news websites from their advertising networks. Well, this might have been even nicer had it happened before the election. But we understand that they could not have known the backlash they were about to receive once the result of the election was in. And it is a god thing that they are trying to stop the phenomenon now, until it is too late.
But Facebook and Google were not the only ones affected by this fake news disease. YouTube and Twitter also fell victims to entire news articles providing fake information. Google were the first ones to update their policy. They state that they would ban any website which misinterprets facts, which hides the truth or spreads fake information. Who does not abide will be banned from using Google AdSense.
During election night, a story written on a blog which said that Donald trump had won the election appeared at the top of Google search results. And at the time this was false because the results had not been announced. So it was a way of deceiving the readers. And this is exactly what Google wishes to stop. They did not face accusations the same way Facebook did, mainly because Google does not have a social media platform which allows users to share content. But they still chose to act.
Facebook followed shortly and made some changes in their policy. According to a spokesman, from now on, Facebook Audience Network will rule out any fake news reports. Both Google AdSense and Facebook Audience Network let publishers post ads on their websites. Then Google and Facebook manage these ads and the publishers get paid for clicks or reactions to their posts.
Their moves will most likely affect the revenue of many fake-news websites and will help weaken the phenomenon. But it will still not destroy it completely. Those websites can always turn to other ad-selling services, even if they are not as successful as Google AdSense, for example.
All in all, it is important that the biggest companies are taking steps towards eradicating such websites. Even if not all will be resolved right now, it is a beginning and maybe in the future, such face news reports will not appear anymore, especially during such important events, as it was the case with the presidential election.
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