Facebook and Google have decided to take steps against “fake news websites” after widespread speculation that doctored stories pushed the United States elections in President-elect Donald Trump’s favour. On Monday, Alphabet Inc, which owns Google, said it was working on a mechanism to stop such websites from using its AdSense advertising network. Facebook also announced new advertising policies for the same purpose, Reuters reported.
The social media majors have been accused of helping mislead voters by allowing the circulation of incorrect information posted as news. Republican candidate Donald Trump won the election against Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton on November 9. However, while Clinton was ahead of Trump in popular votes, searches on Google after the election showed the opposite, owing to fake news generated by dubious websites.
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg had denied the allegations, and held that the social networking website did not have a role to play in the outcome of the election. “We do not integrate or display ads in apps or sites containing content that is illegal, misleading or deceptive, which includes fake news,” Facebook said in a statement. Both companies have decided to target the ad revenue model of such websites generating false news. However, they have yet to come up with a mechanism to look into the authenticity of the news before allowing it to circulate throughout their platforms.
Google said, “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.”