Facebook and Google have decided to ban fake news sites from their services after they received criticisms related to the recent US elections, with claims that fake news through their sites caused the voting public to be misinformed and thus affected the final results.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, said that this claim is “a pretty crazy idea.” Nevertheless, this did cause the two tech giants to update their policies.
The announcement was made by Google on Monday, November 14 (US time), as reported in The New York Times. Google’s new policy bans sites that are posting fake news through the Google AdSense system.
Through Google AdSense, ads generated by Google are given to them and the site gets a portion of the revenue every time a person clicks on the ads or visits the website. Now, the new policy of Google restricts fake news sites from applying to Google AdSense.
Facebook followed soon after, removing “fake news” from the social networking site’s ad network, the Facebook Audience Network. Sites that are found out to be posting fake news can no longer apply, as well as sites that promote pornography, adult products or services, casual dating, violence, and weapon sales, among others.
However, Facebook Audience Network and Facebook News Feed are two different things. In this sense, fake news can still circulate in the social networking site if these fake news’ cannot be banned from the News Feed.
Quartz noted on this saying, “the advertising ban won’t directly affect the distribution of fake news through Facebook’s News Feed.”
On a more positive note, these policy changes hopefully reduce fake news from being generated as well as the danger of the fast wide-spread of inaccurate information.