Self-centered Individuals Using Google to Spread Fake News

Most of the fake news contain very captivating titles, with the sole intention of drawing people into gaining access to sites that hide under the mask of news sites such as the People. The way of operation for all fake news is similar. For instance, they display headlines in some of the most visited sites. Once individuals click on them, they are automatically redirected to websites that mime the logos of famous and legit publications. Another thing that is common about fake news is the headlines that are accompanied by vivid photos of the well-known people. Most of the content is not in line with the title. The reader is later taken to ads that advertise an antiaging cream.

Individuals who post the misinformation use Google AdWords system to incorporate their advertisements on the sites that are in line with their parameters. It is yet to be determined whether the fake news publishers focus on sites that help in checking facts or not. The fact that a system owned by Google continues to be used to propagate false information, therefore, indicates that Google (the largest search engine) is being used to spread incorrect information. Other companies such as Twitter and Facebook have also been used. At present, they are being looked at to discover how the false messages are spread. David Letzler, a well-known research scientist, says that The Snopes and PolitiFact serve to indicate just how much online misinformation can cause problems. The Google spokesperson Chi Hea Cho said that upon finding a practice that is fraudulent on its platform, the corporation is quick to take action which may include suspending the account indefinitely. He also revealed that publishers are given the mandate to block ads.

When PolitiFact and Snopes (some of the most famous fact-checking sites) were informed on the false news about Televangelist Joel Osteen leaving his wife among other news, they said that they could do little about it. Most of the time, people who put their adverts on google are quite unsure on whether their ads are running. Similarly, site owners do not know which ad will appear on their page. The co-owner of Snopes Vinny Green said that last month, his corporation attempted to filter ads that are misleading from its website. It is now clear as day that sites whose primary aim is to provide factual and accountable information may end up being used negatively.


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Dil Bole Oberoi