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Google Permanently Bans 200 Websites Due to Posting ‘Fake News’


Google has permanently banned 200 websites due to posting fake news stories.

Google Permanently Bans 200 Websites Due to Posting ‘Fake News’

Photo: AP / David Goldman

Some 200 websites have been banned by Google from accessing its Adsense advertising service due to posting fake news stories, director of product management for sustainable ads, Scott Spencer, announced in his blog post on Wednesday.

Reportedly, the ‘ban list’ includes websites, which contained bad ads on mobile, ads for illegal products, ads trying to game the system, misleading ads, as well as promoting and profiting from bad sites. However, the emphasis was made on the so-called ‘fake news’ category.

“In 2016, we saw the rise of tabloid cloakers, a new type of scammer that tries to game our system by pretending to be news. Cloakers often take advantage of timely topics—a government election, a trending news story or a popular celebrity—and their ads can look like headlines on a news website. But when people click on that story about Ellen DeGeneres and aliens, they go to a site selling weight-loss products, not a news story.

We’ve had long-standing policies prohibiting AdSense publishers from running ads on sites that help people deceive others, like a site where you buy fake diplomas or plagiarized term papers. In November, we expanded on these policies, introducing a new AdSense misrepresentative content policy, that helps us to take action against website owners misrepresenting who they are and that deceive people with their content,” Spencer explained the Google’s action.

Google has been criticized for its dealing with fake news stories as the company allowed fake news websites, including a webpage, claiming that US President Donald Trump had won the popular vote, to rise to the top of its searching results. In his post Spencer noted that in November, Google had expanded its policies against misleading websites.

“From November to December 2016, we reviewed 550 sites that were suspected of misrepresenting content to users, including impersonating news organizations.  We took action against 340 of them for violating our policies, both misrepresentation and other offenses, and nearly 200 publishers were kicked out of our network permanently,” Spencer wrote.

Reportedly, in 2016, 1.7 billion ads, which were violating the Google’s policies, were taken down by the company. In 2015, the number of removed ads was just 780 million.

“In addition to all the above, we support industry efforts like the Coalition for Better Ads to protect people from bad experiences across the web. While we took down more bad ads in 2016 than ever before, the battle doesn’t end here. As we invest in better detection, the scammers invest in more elaborate attempts to trick our systems. Continuing to find and fight them is essential to protecting people online and ensuring you get the very best from the open web,” Spencer concluded.

The list of 200 websites, permanently banned by Google, has not been disclosed.



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