Fake news sites are about to run into trouble with Google. Alphabet, Google’s parent company has announced plans to prohibit fake news sites from using the company’s ad-selling software, AdSense, which is how many of those sites make revenue.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is updating its policies to prohibit its ads from being displayed “on pages that misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about the publisher, the publisher’s content, or the primary purpose,” as well as those that distribute fake news. While preventing those sites from using AdSense will not necessarily curb the sharing of misinformation, the move will hurt those site’s ability to make money, possibly forcing them to close.
The spread of fake news has become a huge post-election topic, with Facebook, in particular, coming under fire for spreading fake information during the months leading up to the presidential election. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has previously said that the idea the fake news influenced the election is “crazy.” However, BuzzFeed reports that a group of Facebook employees have reportedly created a secret internal task force to investigate and perhaps offer a solution to the issue.