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Google's fight against fake new has been going on for a while now. It has recently updated its guidelines to prohibit sites that misrepresent or conceal their country of origin or are directed at users in another country under false premises.
"Sites included in Google News must not misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about their ownership or primary purpose, or engage in coordinated activity to mislead users," reads the company guidelines. Moreover, Google allows publishers to file a spam report if they believe that another publisher has violated any one of Google News inclusion guidelines.
"While we may not take manual action in response to every report, spam reports are prioritized based on user impact, and in some cases may lead to complete removal of a spammy site from Google News results," said the search engine giant.
Websites are required to meet broad criteria to make an appearance in Google News results.
"We update our policies on a regular basis to reflect a constantly changing web and how people look for information online," stated a Google spokeswoman, reports Bloomberg.
"As a result, we want to ensure that people can understand and see where their news online is coming from and that sites are being transparent about their origins," she added further.
The move to keep deceptive sites from appearing in Google News doesn't come as a surprise as there is increasing pressure on the company to take each and every action possible to prevent the spread of fake news. However, we are still wondering if Google will be able to spot sites that hide their nation of origin.
If you recall, there were allegations of Russian websites trying to influence the 2016 US presidential election. Later on, the company even admitted that Russian agents did make use of its platforms, including YouTube and Google News, to spread propaganda.