Facebook and Google close the door in the face of fake news sites

Facebook and Google, in the aftermath of the presidential elections in the United States, and the criticism that has ensued, ally themselves against false and biased information

No more hoaxes! This is, in short, the policy that the two giants are studying and adopting after being accused and harshly criticized, for weeks, of having influenced the outcome of the presidential elections. On Monday, both companies declared war on misinformation by hitting fake news sites.

Google moved immediately declaring that it would ban sites peddling fake news from using its online advertising service. Even Facebook, a few hours later, informed that it has updated the policy text of its Facebook Audience Network adding that it will no longer allow ads from fake and biased sites to be displayed, as it already does for misleading or illegal content. Couldn't they have thought of that before Donald Trump's victory? Maybe more than legitimate regardless of Facebook and Google.

Fake and Misleading Advertising

The problem has always existed, even before the U.S. presidential election. But it's the classic straw that broke the camel's back. The spread of fake news through search engines and social networks - first and foremost Google and Facebook - according to some observers may have partly conditioned voters to vote for Donald Trump at the expense of Hillary Clinton. Non esistono, ovviamente dati ufficiali e affidabili per affermare tale ipotesi ma, ciononostante la piaga delle notizie false e delle bufale che circolano online risale a ben prima dell’elezione del Presidente degli Stati Uniti e riguarda, più in generale, l’intero sistema alla base dei media, dell’informazione e della pubblicità online.

Google colpisce il portafoglio dei siti bufala

adsense.jpgFonte foto: Shutterstock

AdSense, i l servizio per fare pubblicità con Google

Il colosso del web riferisce al Wall Street Journal che le nuove limitazioni per utilizzare i suoi sistemi di pubblicità online saranno in vigore entro pochi giorni. Google, non è un segreto, vive di pubblicità che gestisce tramite la piattaforma di advertising AdSense. Il sistema funziona così. L’azienda di Mountain View vende banner a chi vuole farsi pubblicità e li mostra sui siti che hanno aderito al sistema. It retains a percentage, while the rest represents the earnings of those who have made their pages available for the display of ads. The more clicks they receive, the more they earn: but they are not the ones who decide what to show on their site, Google's algorithms establish it. What is it that attracts the curiosity of users the most? Certainly not the sale of an iron used as new, but rather absurd stories, but likely, curious even if completely false. Well, Google has promised some changes to AdSense excluding from the circuit not only, as already happens, racist, violent and pornographic content, but also those that spread fake news. The Mountain View giant has not explained how it will achieve this goal, but hopefully it will succeed for the sake of Internet users.

Facebook gets tougher

The social network has also been overwhelmed by post-election criticism. Mark Zuckerberg himself, in a note, informed that less than 1% of the content circulating on Facebook are hoaxes or fake news and that, according to him, it is unlikely that such a percentage could have affected the outcome of the star-studded elections. The hoaxes, when they are exaggerated, even make people laugh like the one circulated for a while that claimed that Pope Francis supported Donald Trump. Yet, for goliardia or bad faith, the "likes" that this post - blatantly false - has received have been several, as well as the shares. Facebook's first move to combat fake news was to update the policy of its Facebook Audience Network - again, this is about ads - excluding fake news sites, in addition to the restrictions already in place, which are not few. It wouldn't hurt if they both succeeded.