Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Google is going to cut off revenue streams to sites that promote fake news.

An example of a fake news item that showed up on Google.
Courtesy of The Verge: 

Today, Google announced that its advertising tools will soon be closed to websites that promote fake news, a policy that could cut off revenue streams for publications that peddle hoaxes on platforms like Facebook. The decision comes at a critical time for the tech industry, whose key players have come under fire for not taking necessary steps to prevent fake news from proliferating across the web during the 2016 US election. It’s thought that, given the viral aspects of fake news, social networks and search engines were gamed by partisan bad actors intending to influence the outcome of the race.

Gee ya think?

You may also remember that last month Google announced that it was going to try and help users filter out fake news stories.

Though apparently that has not really kicked in yet.

In other news it turns out that Facebook may have a way of filtering out fake news stories but is not using it for fear of upsetting its conservative users.

Courtesy of Gizmodo: 

Gizmodo has learned that the company is, in fact, concerned about the issue, and has been having a high-level internal debate since May about how the network approaches its role as the largest news distributor in the US. The debate includes questions over whether the social network has a duty to prevent misinformation from spreading to the 44 percent of Americans who get their news from the social network. 

According to two sources with direct knowledge of the company’s decision-making, Facebook executives conducted a wide-ranging review of products and policies earlier this year, with the goal of eliminating any appearance of political bias. One source said high-ranking officials were briefed on a planned News Feed update that would have identified fake or hoax news stories, but disproportionately impacted right-wing news sites by downgrading or removing that content from people’s feeds. According to the source, the update was shelved and never released to the public. It’s unclear if the update had other deficiencies that caused it to be scrubbed. 

“They absolutely have the tools to shut down fake news,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous citing fear of retribution from the company. The source added, “there was a lot of fear about upsetting conservatives after Trending Topics,” and that “a lot of product decisions got caught up in that.”

So in other words Facebook may have helped elect an unqualified megalomaniac because they feared offending thin skinned conservatives with the truth.

Jesus H. Christ!


  1. Anonymous2:04 PM

    Yeah,fake "news" like chair throwing in LV.

    1. Anonymous2:40 PM

      You know I think everyone should pledge that the next time they see something on the twitter, facebook, daily kos, huffpo that outrages them they'll take breath, google it and fact check it before they spread it all over hell's half acre. A good rule of thumb is if you can't find a real news source, it's probably not true.

  2. Anonymous2:20 PM

    Yep, this is exactly why Yahoo is no longer my homepage. I found what is considered news in its feed to be insane. When I’d try track down the source of some of the “news” stories they were often right wing blogs.

  3. Anonymous2:33 PM

    Deleted my Facebook in 2010 and have never had a moment of regret. This news just legitimizes my decision, even though my dad still does Facebook. He's the only one in our immediate family that has an account. We have no idea what he says or does on it.

    Signed, not a Facebook family

  4. Anonymous2:34 PM

    So, all the fake news will now come out of Trump's mouth. We know how much he enjoys doing it, but I'm sure he's appreciated the help.

  5. Anonymous2:37 PM

    The articles on HuffPo on the "contributor platform" are not to be trusted either. You just based a post around one yesterday that doesn't fact check to support what was claimed. Dailynewsbin is another. The Inquisitr. A lot of fake stuff.

    I applaud you for subscribing to NYT and encourage you to get your post ideas from the real news there because you've bit on some doozies recently.

    1. Anonymous3:30 PM

      HuffPo, you do know they are a jacked up opinion website that really is as bad as Fox News but with a somewhat centrist liberal bent?

      HuffPo is nothing but an Arianna ego boost, a woman who has more money than brains and pretends to be moderate republican.

  6. Anonymous2:47 PM

    A little off-topic, and I apologize, but to the commenter here that likes wax poetic about the 20-somethings here in the valley that overbreed, here's a realistic account of what is more common with those young valley dirtbags that can't seem to figure out birth control.

    This poor young breeder bitch had 3 kids at age 23 and she and her dirtbag sperm-donor were desperate enough to somehow afford a plane ticket to WA state and kill her Grandmother, for money.


    Disgusting, and it's people like these that make me wish we still had the death penalty up here.

  7. Anonymous2:48 PM

    Strike a blow for truth and freedom. Boycott facebook. Delete your account.

    1. Anonymous8:05 AM

      You can't delete your account. You can only deactivate it. If you deactivate it, everything you ever posted is still in Facebook's database. Even when you delete content, pictures, they're still backed up on Facebook's server somewhere. Read the fine print. They own anything you post.

  8. O/T -- Seen this?

    addresses of electoral delegates

    1. Anonymous3:04 PM

      Why would I pester them, Barbara, even if they're correct? They aren't going to flip anything, so I harass them?? For pete's sake, move on! The holidays are upon us.

    2. Anonymous3:25 PM


      You're pretty funny to assume that everyone does these american holidays. My family is Atheist and we've never celebrated any of the holidays, and I'm pretty sure that a lot of commenters here share my experience.

      We are having such fun in our house now laughing about the pushing of the thanksgiving and xmas holidays, like already, not even two weeks after your halloween. I mean damn, don't you christian weirdos ever take a break from your "holidays".

      You guys crack me up.

    3. Anonymous3:43 PM

      3:25 PM - that's your prerogative. I have never once said one thing about atheists on this blog. Heck, Gryph is one! I am free to say what I say as you are, and I've been here eight years. You're barking up the wrong tree if you think I'm here to covert you. Calm down, honey.

    4. Anonymous3:52 PM

      I am an American who does Thanksgiving and Christmas, in spite of not be religious. I always have a reason to be thankful and enjoy the lights and giving gifts to those I love.
      I feel sorry for you.

  9. Anonymous2:58 PM

    But if those lying conspiracy sites go out of business where will President Trump get his news?

  10. Too late now.

    Everything is too late.

    My local City Council just decided to rape Balboa Park for 200 parking spaces. After they're done, it will cost $8-$12 to park in a park that is supposed to be accessible for FREE to everyone. Of course, they did this AFTER the election so we couldn't vote against them. I contacted my councilperson immediately and let her know that next election, I'll vote for her opponent no matter who they are. Sent same message to Mayor.

    This plan was pushed by a local, obscenely wealthy REPUBLICAN DEVELOPER! He's looking to make money on the construction. This is pay to play. He's also given a lot of money to re-election campaigns. The people voted against this and they're doing it anyway.

    We just voted down a hotel tax raise to pay for a stadium we don't want and an expansion of the convention center we don't want. I'll bet they do all three against the will of the people.

    Democracy is dead in this country.

    1. Anonymous3:22 PM

      It's unbelievably crowded with humanity down there in the warm areas of the country and unfortunately the more people that move there, the more people that drive cars and the more parking spaces and less parks.

      So Cal is so desirable, weather-wise, it is killing the place. Sorry you are having to go through this.

    2. Anonymous3:25 PM

      There isn't a Republican I would ever vote for - even for animal control. I like animals too much.

      On election day our small city passed a local proposal that construction of buildings over a certain height would require a referendum. This week the city council and buddies are meeting behind closed doors to figure out how to circumvent what the voters asked for. We are a small "city" with a population in town of about 16,000 and we are a tourist community because of the glorious Grand Traverse Bay. There is no reason for this community to become radically urbanized. The first mild downturn in Michigan's economy and all development will stop. Lots of these expensive condos and plush office spaces will go empty and unrented. This has happened in much larger towns that are in Detroit suburban areas. Over development is something to be leery of. Turning a park into expensive parkings spaces is much the same thing.

    3. abbafan3:36 PM

      mlaiuppa - American democracy died on November 8, 2016.

    4. Anonymous5:31 PM

      They always end up getting away with the building up. Here in SF, the city tries making it seem like everything's fine with all this vertical building up. Building is a good thing. But there are no street corners left that aren't building high-rise offices and lofts. The city feels cold (because of the shade created and wind tunnels) and grey now when walking around. It used to feel that way just down in the financial district. Much is due to the techie influx, but ever since I moved here the mayors would complain that movie companies didn't want to film here much anymore because they wanted dramatic cityscapes with high-rises. The mayors wanted SF to look like places like NYC just to get that film industry revenue, as well as more conventions. The result is that there are skyscrapers in-progress everywhere and the constant ugliness and noise of construction. In the very established residential areas, they used to have to keep the number of floors to three on your typical building. Anyone who's seen pics of SF knows that the buildings are very close to one another. Now a law allows the building to be five floors, which may not sound tall but it creates all sorts of problems for surrounding residences and the building up changes the city's identity. To build this high they have to make a percentage of the space affordable housing, which is a joke here in SF and there are ways they get around the rules. The real estate speculators here are a disease.

  11. Anonymous3:03 PM

    Ted Cruz, Tommy Hilfiger and Donald's ex Marla Maples at Trump Tower

    Random. Though I know Marla is friends with the family.

    1. Anonymous3:55 PM

      You are fucking nuts. Pathetic.

    2. abbafan6:22 PM

      Random fuckin' idiot, Marla is nowhere near trump. She took her daughter far away from his influence. Just like the fuckin' palins, you don't know them! fat alicia, you are deluded and sick; your parents need to have you committed NOW!

    3. Anonymous7:59 PM


  12. Anonymous3:19 PM

    Yeah, the one you showed uses New Yorker typeface to make you think, it's legit.

  13. Anonymous3:22 PM

    Where were all these presidential experience know it alls in 2008 when the greenest candidate in history (ok tie with dubya) won?

    In reality, aside from garnering leadership creds, you can't get experience for a gov job until you've been elected to a job.

  14. Anonymous3:22 PM

    I don't blame Democrats for this election outcome. I blame the Trump voters, I blame the moronic Republicans who elected morons like Dan Quayle, Ronald Reagan, George W Bush, and Sarah Palin to positions of national power. They are what is wrong with this country, not the Democrats.

  15. Anonymous3:32 PM


    1. Anonymous5:05 PM

      Just read it. Good piece.

      It's perverse every time a GOPer or Trump says "clean coal." Most politicians know it doesn't exist. Trump, though, may not actually know it yet. What his supporters in coal country will get, if anything, is all the problems they had before. They'll work their fingers to the bone and deal with injuries, pollution, disease, and all the problems that come with stripping the land and the ground beneath it. Those fools who deny that CO2 is a pollutant and who refuse to believe that fracking is ruining water and creating dangerous terrain and even earthquakes will just get more of the same and then some. I'd say let them, if not for the fact that the rest of us will have to deal with the ramifications. Otherwise I'd say, hey, enjoy the hazards in your soil and water and all that mining town leukemia.

  16. abbafan3:45 PM

    I do NOT have fakebook, or any of that social media bullshit, as I have a life, but most importantly, I value my privacy. Most people do not realize that whatever you post on there, will follow you around, and in some instances, may have serious repercussions.

    Speaking of legitimate news, check out this story on cbcnews.ca - "Quite an entanglement - Donald Trump and his potential conflicts of interest". Damn good read.

    1. Anonymous6:08 PM

      Totally agree, privacy is important and you give it all up with social media, I don't even have a discus or any commenting account either.

  17. Anonymous4:27 PM

    This whole thing is like a horrifying episode of the Keystone Kops!

    Please tell me there is a route to stop this circus. No one in the drumpf camp knows the first thing about governing.

    Right now I wish I believed in a higher power that could fix this in the blink of an eye.

  18. Anonymous5:23 PM

    Hey, if FB shut down all fake news sites, then the Deplorables would be screaming 'CENSORSHIP!!!', because it would be affecting 90+% of their news sources!

  19. Too little too late

    Zuckerberg says "nothing to see here."

    Now this is basically an admission that yes, people do use Facebook as their news source and these fake news sites did impact the election.

    I understand a bunch of teenagers in Macedonia were making a killing with their fake news sites posting outrageous election stuff, all made up. And all favoring Trump and attacking Clinton. They did it for the money.

    This won't stop it all, since some of the alt-right do it for love. They'll just post links to Paypal for the faithful to subsidize the hate.

    I don't pay a thing for my Wordpress, Blogger and Livejournal accounts. I can make any of them into a faux news hate website. I wouldn't make any money but they're free, so it would be like a really hateful hobby. I think we all know a Deplorable that would be just fine with that.

  20. Anonymous6:11 PM

    I know right? I get on fb to stay in touch with relatives who never call. On election night I just fuck them. They know where I live. That's TMI for Zuckerburg and whoever the hell else could use it against us in a Trump world. Go off the grid. One day America is just this wonderful place and the next it's the playground for Lucifer himself. What the hell! Trump is already breaking the rules held dear to his voters. Me I don't give a flying shit about traditions like Christmas and Thanksgiving. But the all American persona. Heavens! The world as the white christians, and white person knows just morphed into something from a bad hollywood movie. Geez, the Trump family is already trying to copycat Putin and put their shit on government sites to sell. What next? Oh, shit, sorry I asked.

  21. "Our social media sites have been flooded with misinformation in the past few months. While this has always been a problem, it now appears to have exploded over this election season. We are seeing post after post stating just plain illogical things and this is not a problem unique to any one side.

    Even more dangerous are the posts that don’t appear to be far-fetched until you dig into the details. The big problem with that… People don’t dig for the details."

    1. Read first. Then share. (Actually, sharing should be #6 after you've done the following)

    2. Check the source (and their sources).

    3. Watch out for recycled stories.

    4. If you care about facts, ignore the blatantly slanted.

    5. Google it.

    "As John Oliver correctly pointed out Sunday night, folks are being fed what they want to hear and they’re eating it up like a starving person. The most important thing in a functional society is a well-informed public. What we have now is not only uninformed but misinformed masses. That’s something that should scare us all."


    "Actually, no we can’t. There is no loophole that allows a random person to assume the office of president. That’s pretty basic common sense but yet you clicked or even shared this article anyway. Now that right there is the real point of this post…"

    "There will be many people who clicked share on this post because of its headline. They may not even click to open the story. They will never actually read these words. Ironically these are the folks who need to hear it the most."

    Now go back to the top and re-read #1-5.

  22. Anonymous3:26 PM

    Remember all the pearl clutching that President Obama caused when he wanted to continue using his blackberry while in office? Well, I don't ever recall him misusing the power. I don't remember him venting his hatred for the press, or anyone for that matter.
    Trump will spend at least three quarters of his time bashing the media, muslims, women etc on social media. Little boy Trump has no clue the pile of work he needs to get done in one day. He needs to know places, leaders, pronunciations etc at the drop of a hat, unfortunately he's not capable in leading, he just wants people to kiss his ass.


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