War against fake news have been in full swing by Facebook after the social media platform was accused of not doing anything against it. Google has now also joined the bandwagon and in its first attempt, has banned 200 publishers from using Google Adsense.
This step was an update to an already existing policy that prohibits sites from misleading users with their content. Much like the social media giant Facebook, Google has been under the radar for its role in spreading of false and misleading news since November, a period when the US elections dominated headlines.
The same month, Google changed certain aspects of its Adsense policy which now prohibits sites that:
“Misrepresent, misstate or conceal information about the publisher, the publisher’s content or the primary purpose.”
Google penalizes such websites by revoking their use of ads for monetization purposes.
On Wednesday, January 25th – Google said that “During the period of last 2 months, it has reviewed over 550 sites and nearly 200 of them resulted in permanent, irremovable bans. Another 140 sites have been temporarily banned from using Adsense.”
In 2016, Google also saw the rise of tabloid cloakers; which are basically advertisements impersonating a news site. For example, you click on an ad showing anything of your interest such as celebrity news or etc, it instead takes you to other spam sites such as advertisements for those weigh-loss products or any other type of spam.
Alongwith the Fake news sites, around 47,000 spam sites and another 6,000 fake advertisements were also banned from Google Adsense.
Google also revealed that it took down 1.7 billion ads for various policy violations in 2016, as compared to 780 million in 2015.