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Google becomes watchdog for online fake news

Every day, social media users come across sensitive messages purportedly posted by famous persons like politicians and celebrities, which on detailed scrutiny turn out to be false. While the common reaction to such overtly deceptive information on the digital space is indifference, the underlying menace of fake news is becoming uglier with every passing day.

But, misrepresentation of facts becomes a social evil when it is done by mainstream media – yes, some of them do it! We have seen facts being twisted with the aim of safeguarding vested interests, especially when the topic under discussion is controversial in nature.

Google becomes watchdog for online fake news
Courtesy: Pixabay

So, what if a news item is entirely fabricated, lacking even an iota of truth in it? The internet is replete with misinformation, which needs to be handled with due seriousness.

When a solution to the problem comes from the search service goliath, it should be effective. Google News Initiative is envisaged by Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) to weed out the bad elements from the online news-scape.

The innovative framework is designed to keep track of all news items published on the web, including breaking news. Under the initiative, around $300 million will be spent by Google over the next three years to ensure ethical news reporting with improved accuracy and news value.

Google has modified the search algorithms to identity ‘misinformation’, and efforts are on to better identify algorithmically moderated content that is popularly known as ‘synthetic media.’

Not long ago, Google had come under fire for carrying fake news on its platform, followed by Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR). The worst criticism came during the presidential poll when there was a gush of propaganda on the internet that ultimately influenced the way Americans voted.

Under the initiative, around $300 million will be spent by Google over the next three years to ensure ethical news reporting with improved accuracy and news value

And, there is more from the search giant to support journalism- a special tool that would help people to subscribe to online news publications. Financial Times, the New York Times, Le Figaro and The Telegraph were identified as the initial partners for the Subscribe with Google program.

In a separate incident that underscores the relevance of the ongoing fight against fake news, an analyst of Fox News severed his long-term association with the media firm, denouncing it as a ‘propaganda machine.’ Ralph Peters was particularly irked by the way the channel’s hosts handled various prime-time shows, which according to the army veteran were biased and devoid of authenticity.

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