Google and Facebook are, hands down, the two most common ways for basically everyone to find information: either you’re searching for links on one, or browsing your news feed on the other. They’re also the two biggest advertising companies in the world, which gives them some leverage to feed or starve some content. And when it comes to totally bogus news, both are now going to take the “starve” approach.
We’ve all seen them; some of us may even have shared them. There’s a BLARING HEADLINE that confirms either your deepest hopes or worst fears — Politician A Eats Kittens! Politician B Downs Puppies! — and it’s making the rounds all over Facebook despite coming from a site with a URL like Clearly-Biased-Fake-Source.com.
They’re everywhere. John Oliver took them to task in his last Last Week Tonightepisode of the year, and he’s far from alone. The New York Times, Washington Post, and others have all repeatedly questioned the prominence of fake news across Facebook and Google, and the effect that so much pure crap may be having on the public.