Google Helps Spread Fake News [Fake News & Ad Revenue – Testing]

Google changed its search algorithm and that made it more vulnerable to the spread of fake news by Hannah Roberts.

From the post:

Google’s search algorithm has been changed over the last year to increasingly reward search results based on how likely you are to click on them, multiple sources tell Business Insider.

As a result, fake news now often outranks accurate reports on higher quality websites.

The problem is so acute that Google’s autocomplete suggestions now actually predict that you are searching for fake news even when you might not be, as Business Insider noted on December 5.

Hannah does a great job of setting for the evidence and opinions on the algorithm change but best summarizes it when she says:


The changes to the algorithm now move links up Google’s search results page if Google detects that more people are clicking on them, search experts tell Business Insider.

Just in case you don’t know:

more clicks != credible/useful search results

But it is true:

more clicks = more usage/ad revenue

Google and Facebook find “fake news” profitable. Both will make a great show of suppressing outlying “fake news,” but not so much as to impact profits.

There’s a data science “fake news” project:

Track the suppression of “fake news” by Google and Facebook against the performance of their ad revenue.

Hypotheses: When suppression of “fake news” impinges on ad revenue for more than two consecutive hours, dial back on suppression mechanisms. (ditto for 4, 6, 12 and 24 hour cycles)

Odds on Google and Facebook being transparent regard to suppression of “fake news” and ad revenue to make the results of testing that hypotheses verifiable?

😉

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