Google CEO says fake news is a problem and should not be distributed
In an interview with the BBC, Google CEO Sundar Pichai made his first comments on the post-election fake news controversy, and admitted the company has made some mistakes.
“It is important to remember that we get billions of queries every day,” Pichai told the news organization. “There have been a couple of incidences where it has been pointed out and we didn’t get it right. And so it is a learning moment for us and we will definitely work to fix it.”
When the BBC asked Pichai about the potential effects of fake news on the election, he said “there is a lot of discussion” about social media’s role, but added that he was “not fully sure” about the effects.
“Look, it is important to remember this was a very close election and so, just for me, so looking at it scientifically, one in a hundred voters voting one way or the other swings the election either way,” Pichai said, according to the BBC. “So, when you talk about such narrow margins, obviously there are many, many contributing factors and so I think there is enormous debate because of that — I am not fully sure what caused this.”
This week, Google began surfacing a conspiracy blog in response to the query “who won the popular vote.” The company also announced yesterday that it will remove fake news sourcesfrom its ad network. (Facebook quickly made a similar move.)
Pichai’s comments follow statements from Mark Zuckerberg, who, when faced with a similar question, first said it was “crazy” to think fake news on Facebook had an influence. He later made the claim that “99 percent of what people see is authentic.”
“Given those tight margins [in the election],” BBC reporter Kamal Ahmed went on to suggest to Pichai in the interview, “fake news could have affected some people’s vote, and maybe enough people’s vote, to affect the outcome.”
“Sure, I think fake news as a whole could be an issue,” Pichai replied. “From our perspective, there should just be no situation in which fake news gets distributed, so we are all for doing better here.”
Disclaimer 1: All of the contents in this document reflect the opinion of the author and are for educational purposes only. This resource was split into categories around 8:00pm EST on 11/15/16.
CATEGORY 1: Below is a list of fake, false, or regularly misleading websites that are shared on Facebook and social media. Some of these websites may rely on “outrage” by using distorted headlines and decontextualized or dubious information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits. These websites are categorized with the number 1 next to them.
CATEGORY 2: Some websites on this list may circulate misleading and/or potentially unreliable information, and they are marked with a 2.
CATEGORY 3: Other websites on this list sometimes use clickbait-y headlines and social media descriptions, and they are marked with a 3.
CATEGORY 4: Other sources on this list are purposefully fake with the intent of satire/comedy, which can offer important critical commentary on politics and society, but have the potential to be shared as actual/literal news. I’m including them here, for now, because 1.) they have the potential to perpetuate misinformation based on different audience (mis)interpretations and 2.) to make sure anyone who reads a story by The Onion, for example, understands its purpose. If you think this is unnecessary, please see Literally Unbelievable.
Here is the list— Notice the prominent conservative websites on the list, including: Breitbart, Infowars, Twitchy, The Blaze, Bizpac Review, etc.
the elites arent happy..this is called payback..
happy to see my blog isnt mentioned.. 🙂
the “fake news” smear will now be used to for censorship and dismissal..just watch..
twitter yesterday undertook the “night of the long knives” and banned prominent alt-right tweeters but not alt-left strangely..but there is no bias! 🙂