Google and Facebook Act On Fake News – Just a Tad Too Late

November 15, 2016 By: El Jefe Category: 2016 Election

Yesterday, both Google and Facebook announced they were updating their policies and algorithms in an attempt to stem the rising tide of crappola posing as real news on their websites.  That would have been a really good idea – LAST YEAR.  As we all witnessed, fake news sites that were intentionally mis-informing voters google-facebookexploded on social media during this election cycle peddling fake stories that likely swayed voters, especially the ones sparking outrage over controversies that didn’t actually occur.  The two social media companies are attempting to limit the proliferation of fake news by banning ads for those sites.  The new policies will not affect viral growth of falsehoods, so this is only a partial step.

I find it very interesting that these steps are being taken after the damage has already been done, giving a lift to Cheeto Jesus, the worst presidential candidate in US history.  This has been a problem obvious to even the most casual observer in recent years, and, in fact, the New York Times reported on how Facebook content pushers were making serious money on sponsored posts last July. So it’s certainly no surprise this has been going on for some time.

I’m certain the delay in implementing this policy after the election had nothing to do with the profits pouring into Google and Facebook from all these ads peddling BS, right?

Yeah, right.

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    16 Comments to “Google and Facebook Act On Fake News – Just a Tad Too Late”


    1. The young guy in Macedonia who created and then peddled lies about Hillary really won’t be impacted that much by thins policy. Its like all the perverts who are released after serving time. They simply shift their venue.

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    2. Maggie, I think you’re right. I don’t know how much social media can do to stop people from posting BS, just as the cable and dish companies can’t stop Faux Noose and others. That is, asking an awful lot of Facebook and Google. And while I think the fake websites are [not safe for Mama], I think the slick appearance of channels like Faux Noose are much more appealing to their audiences and every bit as dangerous–if not more so

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    3. It is the ability of the internet to propagate a lie at the speed of heat that is the problem for those who care for fact and truth. I have seen a link sent by one of my idiot friends to everyone he knows, which I just delete. But some of those friends will forward this on to their friends without a brain cell even quivering let alone firing.

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    4. That’s why I refuse to join Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site. My friends and family are shocked at the lies, stupidity and hate. One by one they have quit.

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    5. Mother Jones' cat says:

      My favorite tidbit from this stuff is the fact that the youth in the Balkan’s were making pocket money by spreading false pro Trump news in the US:

      https://www.buzzfeed.com/craigsilverman/how-macedonia-became-a-global-hub-for-pro-trump-misinfo?utm_term=.ytNN0L4l4#.pydLba8q8

      On the other side of the coin we had Google doing what they could to help the Clinton campaign:

      http://www.democracynow.org/2016/8/8/google_in_the_white_house_assange

      How does one make an informed vote with this kind of chicanery?

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    6. I just give up on this century sometimes.

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    7. JAKvirginia says:

      While having an argument with my bro about Trump and his taxes some months ago, I said something about Obama having to show his birth certificates. “When did he do that?” came the reply. I was astounded. “Are you kidding?” I said. “I didn’t see anything about it.” he ventured. “Google up Obama and birth certificates. Click images. Enjoy.”

      Now this man has a Bachelor’s and two Masters degrees. But he is a conservative and Faux news, right-wing echo chamber guy. Of course he never saw them because they never showed them. And more importantly, he refused to wander outside his philosophic comfort zone to check otherwise.

      People believe the lies and falsehoods because they want to, need to hear someone “of note” echoing the same fact-free bullcrap that rattles around in their own heads. They feel vindicated and comforted by it. And since this “person of note” said it, well damn, I must be pretty smart, too. And did I mention that the ego plays a huge part in all of this?

      THIS is the part of America Democrats must learn to understand and learn to talk TO them, not AT them. If Democrats can’t or won’t learn this lesson, they can expect more defeats in the future.

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    8. capitol dave says:

      Hey, El Jefe – are you the TAD El Jefe? If you have no idea what that even means, then you’re not. I’m liking your work here, btw.

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    9. “Money makes the world go round,
      World go round, world go round.
      Money makes the world go around
      It makes the world go ’round.

      “A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound
      A buck or a pound
      A buck or a pound
      Is all that makes the world go around,
      That clinking clanking sound
      Can make the world go ’round.”

      That’s The Money Song from Cabaret. Ain’t it the truth?!

      Lots to clean up in American politics, beginning with money, Citizens United specifically.

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    10. I saw an article- don’t remember where, of course- on Hillary being ahead by nearly 1M votes. The comments were ablaze with Liar Liar Liar! Not true! Trump won the popular vote!! I saw it on the webs! Despite multiple pleas running the length of the 100s of comments to check the fact checkers they absolutely wouldn’t agree that maybe they were wrong. Not leaving my bubble.

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    11. I never joined Facebook but I keep getting messages that somebody wants to Friend me. I delete them but I’m a tad worried, especially since I found out that Wells Fargo had rigged up fake accounts. I kept getting email on W-F stationery that I should contact them about a problem with my account. Downright strange since I do to and never had a checking or savings account with that miserable institution. I’m a federal credit union type myself. Damn strange world and looks like its going to get even stranger.

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    12. Certainly the presidential race was the biggest casualty of their policies. But there were others: Duke Energy of Florida FLOODED FaceBook with ads touting Amendment One which would have decimated solar power in the state.

      Fortunately it failed — but it still gleaned 52% of the vote. If it had been presented merely as a law, it would now be law in Florida that any electricity generated on a home with solar panels would not belong to the homeowner once it passed the grid to the power company. It would belong to the corporation and would be sold back to the solar customer at full price whenever the sun wasn’t shining. Among other solar-killing provisions. Thank goodness amendments are held to a higher standard.

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    13. Larry from Colorado says:

      I fell for one of those (maybe) false stories yesterday that said Hair Drumpf was not going to live in the White House, but was going to split his time between T-rump tower and one of his golf courses.

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    14. two crows, there was a power company in California that did the same thing. Can’t remember the name but their game was to extinguish all home owner solar powered use.

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    15. Larry, look what Dubya did. He used the White House mostly just to change his clothes. His very obvious preference was to live at his “ranch”.

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    16. @ maggie – yup. That was the plan here too. And, in Nevada, a similar measure passed. Solar installations dropped 40% the following year. Which was the point all along.

      Already, Florida is #3 in the nation when it comes to the effectiveness of solar power — and #14 in number of installations being done. But that’s not enough for Duke Energy — no sirree!

      We have to remain vigilant. That 52% told Duke everything they need to know. I’m betting they’ll put forth a law in 2018 that will be designed to do exactly the same thing — and all it will need to pass will be a simple majority.

      Wait for it . . . .

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