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FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2015, file photo, a man walks past a building on the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif. Google is trying to make it easier for you to manage the vast pool of information that it collects about your online activities across phones, computers and other devices. \(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Google is cracking down on fake news sites by hitting hoax hucksters in the wallet


Google is taking action in the war on fake news. 

The company announced Monday it would not let sites that "misrepresent, misstate or conceal information about the publisher, the publisher's content or the primary purpose of the web property" use its AdSense platform, Reuters reports.

Considering display ads are a major source of revenue for many sites, Google's move could be a crippling blow.

This sounds familiar

Facebook has been under fire for allowing fake news and hoax sites to circulate alongside authentic news outlets. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the idea that fake news helped sway the presidential election was "pretty crazy," but later said his company was taking steps to fight fake news.

Google hasn't been immune to the fake news flood. Over the weekend, the top search result for "Who won the popular vote?" was a fake news site claiming Trump had won. Hillary Clinton still holds a lead, CNN reports.

Close behind that fake news about the vote count was the Snopes article debunking it.

Trump in Macedonia.jpg
Guests watch a television broadcast of President-elect Donald Trump as he gives his acceptance speech, during an election night event organized by the U.S. Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton to be elected the 45th president of the United States. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

Google also drew criticism after BuzzFeed News reported Macedonian publishers were creating fake news, largely opposing Clinton, that made money using Google's AdSense. (Pictured: Macedonians watch the election in the U.S. Embassy in Skopje.)

What if it is a site with some real information and some fake news? It requires specialized knowledge, and having humans (do it) doesn't scale.
Fil Menczer, Indiana University

Google already prevents sites with porn, violent material and hate speech from using the AdSense platform.

However, some experts say it could be tricky to separate the fake news from the legitimate. Google hasn't specified how this plan will be carried out.

And tech experts said it might be too little, too late.

What do you think of Google's attempt to crack down on fake news?

POLL  | What do you think?

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