Google: What Is the Value of Fake News? What Did You Say?

June 18, 2021

I read a story which may be hogwash. (If you have ever cleaned a pig, you can recall the delights of that exercise on a 90 degree day in Poland China territory. Note to thumbtypers. Poland China is another name for a Warren County hog.)

The title of the write certainly caught my attention:

Nearly Half of All Ads on Fake News Sites Come from Google, Study Finds

Let’s be clear I am pointing you a second hand write up from a research outfit’s “study.” Frankly I can’t believe that the estimable Google, former employer of Timnit Gebru, and owner of the real artificial intelligence methodology would be engaged in this type of activity. Goodness.

The outfit doing the study was the University of Mich8igan School of Information. Didn’t one of the founders of the Google attend this institution? Here’s a sampling of data from the outfit which spawned really annoying pop up surveys on government Web sites in the 2000s:

  • 48% of ad traffic on “fake” news publishers is served by Google
  • 32% of “low credibility sites” like Breitbart, Drudge Report, and Sputnik News were delivered by Google
  • “The top-10 credible ad servers, like Lockerdome and Outbrain, make up 66.7% of fake and 55.6% of low-quality ad traffic.”

May I repeat what Google has oft repeated when the unpleasant but profitable subject of using whatever gets clicks to produce revenue? Here goes:

the search engine told Marketing Brew in a statement that the company removed ads from “more than 1.3 billion pages that breached” its policies in 2020. “We have strict publisher policies against promoting dangerous and misrepresentative claims,” it said.

Several questions:

  1. Will Google provide more funding to the Ann Arbor institution in order to provide input into research project plans before the study and the results are made public by real news outfits like Marketing Brew?
  2. Will Larry Page spend time on campus chatting with researchers and students about the importance of the Google and how to get an insider track to a job at the online ad mom and pop store?
  3. Will some MBA with time on his or her hands convert these percentages to revenue?

I, on the other hand, will continue to believe in the commitment to ethical business practices, ethical content filtering, and ethical AI just like the Google.

One final question: Will Marketing Brew experience an uptick in its Google “quality” score?

Stephen E Arnold, June 18, 2021

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