Google Cracking Down on Fake News - Carlos GaminoBy Carlos Gamino

Satire is nothing new—The Onion has long been cleverly masked satire that plenty of unsuspecting people have fallen for over the years, and The New Yorker has its own brand of satire.

But what about genuinely fake news that masquerades as real news while riling people who don’t know the punchline?

Facebook and Google are really cracking down on fake news publishers after claims that “a flood of misleading Internet content influenced voters during the U.S. presidential campaign.”

Facebook says that it won’t allow fake news publishers to advertise on third-party apps or websites, although the social media giant’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg rejects the accusations that the site allowed fake news to influence voters.,

Google is another matter.

They’ve been working for years to develop the Knowledge Vault, which is what shows up in your browser when you search Google.

Aside from that, though, Google is banning fake sites from using its advertising service. The world’s most popular search engine has been using more than 200 factors in its algorithms to determine how news stories should rank and where they should show up in search results—but they came under fire during the U.S. election for delivering a top result for “final election vote count 2016” that was, in fact, fake news. (The fake news story claimed that now-president-elect Donald Trump was ahead of Secretary Hillary Clinton in the popular vote.)

“The goal of search is to provide the most relevant and useful results for our users. In this case, we clearly didn’t get it right, but we are continually working to improve our algorithms,” says Andrea Faville, a Google spokeswoman. “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.”

What Do You Think?

Do huge sites like Google and Facebook have a duty to prevent fake news from gaining traction? I’d love to hear your opinion, so share it on Twitter… or, naturally, on Facebook.

Carlos Gamino