Alphabet Inc.'s Google said on Monday it was working on a policy update to restrict its ads from being placed on fake news sites as concerns mount about the rapid spread of inaccurate information online.
"Moving forward, we will restrict ad serving on pages that misrepresent, misstate, or hide information about the publisher, the publisher's content, or the primary objective of the web property", Google said in a statement.
For its numbers, the 70 News blog sources another fake news site that did not have the numbers and laid out its own conspiracy theory on how Trump won the popular vote.
President-elect Donald Trump promoted Prntly on his Twitter page earlier this year. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said false stories didn't sway the outcome of the presidential election.
The policy change is imminent, Google spokeswoman Andrea Faville told Reuters. Votes are still being counted, with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton showing a slight lead.
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Facebook in particular saw the proliferation of fake news during the election, prompting some critics to question the role the social network played in helping Trump become elected.
"Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic", he wrote in a blog post on Saturday.
The Washington Post pointed out that the "70 News" site is extremely similar to a previously discredited pro-Trump fake news site called Prntly, which was founded by Alex Portelli (who was sentenced to prison for selling ecstasy).
False information is nothing new on the internet, where debunkers have been batting down unfounded claims and urban legends for more than two decades. Under that, Google lists some related news articles. "While some hoaxes can be completely debunked, a greater amount of content, including from mainstream sources, often gets the basic idea right but some details wrong or omitted". "They are programmed by human beings and they have all the failings of human beings".
The issue of fake news is critical for Google from a business standpoint, as many advertisers do not want their brands to be touted alongside dubious content. Google must constantly hone its systems to try to stay one step ahead of unscrupulous publishers, the former employee said.