Since the political climate probably isn’t going to calm down any time soon, if ever, we’re probably all going to keep seeing blatantly fake news stories popping on our Facebook feeds for a while. Facebook itself hasn’t really tried to do anything about this since early December, but Recode is reporting that Google has banned 200 online publishers from using one of its ad networks, partly as a crackdown on fake news outlets.
These bans came in November and December, and it sounds like a lot of the sites that got the boot were known to “impersonate real news organizations through shortened top-level domains.” That means a lot of sites that were using names like “NBC.com.co” or whatever to try and trick readers into thinking they were legitimate have been cut off from Google ad revenue. On top of that, Google apparently removed 1.7 billion ads last year for violating its policies, which is way up from 2015’s total of 780 million.
Of course, one of the biggest architects of the fake news industry acknowledged back in November that he can just make a new site every time he gets shut down, so assuming that the people behind this crap don’t wake up and realize they’re profiting off of unrest and prejudice, Google’s crackdown might end up being more of a bandage than a real solution.