When you need information about a local business or a current events story, chances are that you turn to an internet search engine. If global statistics are any indication, you probably use Google to run your search. You may have noticed, however, that finding what you need can be rather confusing at times, especially when your search results include links to unreliable sources of information. The issue has gained a great deal of media attention in recent months, as internet technology leaders have pledged to fight back against deceptive and embellished content being promoted on search engines and social media. According to a new report from a media watchdog group, the junk news sites still appear to be winning.
The Problem of False News
Last month, we published a post on this blog about efforts by Google and Facebook to clamp down on sources of misleading, sensationalized, and often fake news stories. Both companies acknowledged the problem of false news and propaganda, particularly in the wake of this year’s controversial presidential election. As a result, the media giants announced plans to stop selling advertising to sites that were determined to be peddlers of fake news.