Not long after Trump won the US presidency, the media and some political analysts began blaming social media powerhouses such as Facebook, Google, Twitter and others for Donald Trump’s win.
The critics accused the social media of perpetuating the spreading of fake news which seemed to have favoured Trump over Clinton, thereby swaying voters towards Donald Trump.
Although Facebook published a statement that describes these accusations as largely ignorant of the reason Trump won or what his voters wanted, Zuckerberg nonetheless pledged to do something about the surge of fake news on Facebook.
“Personally, I think the idea that fake news on Facebook — of which it’s a small amount of content — influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea,” Zuckerberg said on Thursday.
Facebook pledged not to place ads from fake news publishers on third party apps or websites, categorising it as “illegal, misleading or deceptive” content.
“We have updated the [Audience Network Policy] to explicitly clarify that this applies to fake news,” a company spokesperson said.
Google has also pledged to ban what it calls “misrepresentative content” from being published on its advertising network.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
Not only is Google axing their ad service on these websites, it is also planning to adjust its search algorithm in order to prohibit these fake news websites from ranking high on Google search.
“In this case, we clearly didn’t get it right, but we are continually working to improve our algorithms,” Google said in a statement.