Google is responding to the growing backlash against politically charged fake news with a change to its Adsense advertising network policies. The company will prohibit the use of Adsense ads on websites that “misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about the publisher, the publisher’s content, or the primary purpose” of the site, according to a statement.
The Wall Street Journal was first to report about the policy change Monday. The change is meant to cut off money for fake news websites, which have gotten a lot of attention in the wake of last week’s presidential election.
Facebook has been at the center of a wave of criticism over social networks not doing enough to combat the spread of fake news on their platforms. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to critics this weekend by claiming that more than 99 percent of the content shared on Facebook is authentic, and denying that the network could have swayed the election.
However, not everyone seems to agree: A number of employees within Facebook has banded together to counter this narrative, and suggest concrete steps to the company to more effectively fight fake news, according to a BuzzFeed report.
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Google came under pressure Monday as well after the company’s search engine promoted an article that misrepresented the results of the presidential election. Google’s decision to change its Adsense policies as a response to the backlash could actually provide a significant blow to sites looking to capitalize on fake content playing to reader’s fears or biases.