Google has announced fresh changes to its News Guidelines that aims to crackdown on news sites that pretend to be from some other country.
Google has stepped up its efforts towards curbing fake news, with the latest regulation on this being that sites concealing their home state would be banned from the search results. In the same manner, any site that falsely claims to be from some other country would also face a similar fate.
Google said all of this forms part of its updated News Guidelines that all news sites will henceforth have to comply with for them to continue featuring in the company’s search results. Needless to say, Google happens to be the most searched news outlet, something that provides them with authority to dictate the terms for others to follow.
The above can also be seen as an extension of the measures announced post the revelation of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections. Several sites were then found to have posted news that is believed to have boosted the prospects of current President Donald Trump and have since been traced to sites that originate in Russia. News outlets like Russia Today also enjoys wide acceptance on YouTube – another Google-owned platform that has also emerged as a favored platform for spreading fake news.
In light of that, Google believes preventing sites that disguise their country of origin would be a step in the right direction against curbing fake news though this won’t weed out the issue in its entirety for sure. Google has been under increasing pressure from both lawmakers and critics to act tough against those who spread misinformation and false news. The above will no doubt put the company in good stead in the face of such criticisms even though the issue might still come to haunt the company in days to come.
Interestingly, the latest measures won’t affect those who correctly state their country where they originate from but still spread a rumor, fake news, and facts distorted to suit or establish a particular line of thought. In fact, denying users the right information could well prove to be the biggest menace for companies to deal with, more so when it happens to be backed by nation states.