Google bans 200 publishers in crackdown on fake news

Google bans 200 publishers in crackdown on fake news
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Google says it has booted 200 publishers from accessing its advertising service, Adsense, many of which were banned for posting fake news stories. 

Google released the numbers on Wednesday as a part of a blog post from Scott Spencer, director of product management for sustainable ads.

The tech giant has faced repeated criticism over its handling of fake news stories, including allowing a fake news website to rise to the top of its results displaying an incorrect story claiming that President Trump had won the popular vote.

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In his post explaining how Google attempted to crack down on “bad ads, sites and scammers,” Spencer explained that Google had expanded its policies against misleading websites in November, leading to the crackdown.

“From November to December 2016, we reviewed 550 sites that were suspected of misrepresenting content to users, including impersonating news organizations,” Spencer wrote.

“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.”

In total, Google took down 1.7 billion ads that they found in violation of their policies in 2016, more than double the 780 million they removed in 2015.