It doesn’t matter what side of the Presidential election you were on, one thing that we can agree on is how much social media and fake news impacted the decisions of many voters. Google and Facebook now realize that having incorrect information is just as bad as having none and they are working together to ban fake news sites from their platforms.
The U.S election was extremely popular on social media and the closer we got to November 8th the more intense and more frequent the posting became. While this would have been something to discuss before the election Google and Facebook are taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Google has updated its policy to say that the company will attempt to ban sites that “misrepresent, misstate or conceal information.” Google went on to say that sites that do not comply with this rule will be banned from using Google AdSense. Facebook has also updated its policy to rule out fake news sites from using Facebook Audience Network. Both tech giants have explicitly said that they will not advertise fake news stories and will work on their algorithms and continue to aggressively vet people using those services. The behemoth that is Facebook can no longer ignore how much power they have in distributing information to the American people. Google did not escape harsh criticism either and were held accountable for putting too much prominence on false news stories.
But will cutting them off be enough?
While their approaches will make it harder for fake news sites to bring in revenue, they will not completely disappear. Facebook and Google have started to address the issue of misinformation but solving this problem will take more than just an ad ban.