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 exploded 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?