Google is undercutting fake news websites with a new policy initiative. The tech giant has announced that sites creating and disseminating fake news will no longer be able to use its Adsense service to sell advertising.
The decision would cut out a major financial source for the fake news sites who rely on clicks to their websites to generate income.
Google spokeswoman Andrea Faville told Reuters: “Moving forward, we will restrict ad serving on pages that misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about the publisher, the publisher’s content, or the primary purpose of the web property.”
The news comes as Facebook is increasingly under fire for the proliferation of fake news items on its service that were shared millions of times during the election. Many of the stories shared were completely fabricated smears against Secretary Hillary Clinton and President Obama, accusing them of absurd crimes like murder, trading arms, and other illegal behavior.
Thus far, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has minimized the problem with fake news, and has argued that it is not a significant presence on the service. Others have cited data debunking Zuckerberg’s claim. Facebook profits from spreading fake news, and may be reluctant to cut off content that is so heavily shared.
Fake news is believed to have contributed in part to Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election.