Google, Facebook move to punish fake news sites

Google and Facebook Inc. took steps to punish fake news websites amid growing scrutiny of technology platforms for permitting false information to spread online. On Monday, Alphabet Inc.’s Google said it’s implementing a new policy that pulls its popular advertising tool from websites that run "misrepresentative content" although it stopped short of banning fake news from its pages. "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," Andrea Faville, a Google spokeswoman, wrote in a statement. Facebook clarified existing rules that it won’t integrate or display ads in apps or sites that are illegal, misleading or deceptive. Google’s AdSense for publishers, which facilitates web display ad sales, is the dominant service in the industry and a primary source of revenue for most online publications. The incoming policy will not necessarily scrub false articles from its search pages, which surface from complex algorithims. But the move could send publications behind fake news scrambling for cash. Reuters first reported on Google’s policy change. Google was working on the policy prior to the US Presidential election last week, according to Faville. (Mark Bergen and Sarah Frier/Bloomberg)

More from Business News