Google Permanently Bans 200 "Fake News" Sites

Tyler Durden's picture

The crackdown has begun.

In a blog post by Scott Spencer, director of product management for sustainable ads, posted on Wednesday, Google said it has banned 200 publishers from accessing its Adsense advertising service for posting fake news stories. Google said it had cracked down on sites which contained 1) Ads for illegal products; 2) Misleading ads; 3) Bad ads on mobile; 4) Ads trying to game the system and, 5) Promoting and profiting from bad sites. But the emphasis was on the so-called "fake news" category which has dominated media buzz for the past two months.

This is how Spencer explained his action:

In 2016, we saw the rise of tabloid cloakers, a new type of scammer that tries to game our system by pretending to be news. Cloakers often take advantage of timely topics—a government election, a trending news story or a popular celebrity—and their ads can look like headlines on a news website. But when people click on that story about Ellen DeGeneres and aliens, they go to a site selling weight-loss products, not a news story.

* * *

We've had long-standing policies prohibiting AdSense publishers from running ads on sites that help people deceive others, like a site where you buy fake diplomas or plagiarized term papers. In November, we expanded on these policies, introducing a new AdSense misrepresentative content policy, that helps us to take action against website owners misrepresenting who they are and that deceive people with their content.

Google has faced criticism over its handling of fake news stories, including allowing a fake news website to rise to the top of its results displaying an incorrect story claiming that President Trump had won the popular vote.

In his post explaining how Google attempted to crack down on “bad ads, sites and scammers,” Spencer explained that Google had expanded its policies against misleading websites in November, leading to the crackdown.

From November to December 2016, we reviewed 550 sites that were suspected of misrepresenting content to users, including impersonating news organizations.  We took action against 340 of them for violating our policies, both misrepresentation and other offenses, and nearly 200 publishers were kicked out of our network permanently.

In total, Google took down 1.7 billion ads that they found in violation of their policies in 2016, more than double the 780 million they removed in 2015.

It wasn't just fake news: Google provided the following examples of common policy violations among bad sites in 2016:

  • We took action on 47,000 sites for promoting content and products related to weight-loss scams.
  • We took action on more than 15,000 sites for unwanted software and disabled 900,000 ads for containing malware.
  • And we suspended around 6,000 sites and 6,000 accounts for attempting to advertise counterfeit goods, like imitation designer watches.

Some of the more conventional bans were the result of Google adding a policy mid-year prohibiting ads for payday loans, considered predatory. Roughly five million payday loan ads were disabled over the latter six months of 2016. Also among those the removed ads were what Google calls “tabloid cloakers.” These advertisers run what look like links to news headlines, but when the user clicks, an ad for a product such as a weight loss supplement pops up. Google suspended 1,300 accounts engaged in tabloid cloaking in 2016.

Spencer concludes:

In addition to all the above, we support industry efforts like the Coalition for Better Ads to protect people from bad experiences across the web. While we took down more bad ads in 2016 than ever before, the battle doesn’t end here. As we invest in better detection, the scammers invest in more elaborate attempts to trick our systems. Continuing to find and fight them is essential to protecting people online and ensuring you get the very best from the open web.

Google has not disclosed the list of 200 sites it had permanently banned.

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CuttingEdge's picture

So no more CNN/MSNBC et al access via Google? Them being the most heinous culprits and all...

And then I woke up.


DavidC's picture

Naughty but funny!


NoDebt's picture

And yet we can't seem to give the "My mother in law makes $9,500 a month working part time from home on her computer" guy the freaking boot from ZH.  It's a sad state of affairs.


Soul Glow's picture

If ZH is on the list I guess we'll get a lot less trolls.

Richard Chesler's picture

CNN, NYT, Wapo, Huffpo, Salon, etc...

greenskeeper carl's picture

Those ads are annoying, and after reading the article, it doesn't look like Google is trying to sensor news sites it disagrees with (yet). As a private company, they should be allowed to remove these scam sites from their ad network of they want to. There is a big difference between removing sites that advertise like a news site, but then the link sends you to weight loss of penis enlargement and them banning dissident/alternative news sites, which this doesn't appear to do.

For the record, i don't like Google as a company and am not defending them, I just don't want everyone getting caught up in the hyperbole that seems to be taking hold with some of the comments on here thinking places like ZH are now on the chopping block.

pot_and_kettle's picture

sounds like a good way to find and bookmark a bunch of alternative-to-MSM news sites.  Thanks Serge!

freewolf7's picture


Relax, we'll tell you how to think.

Pinto Currency's picture

Boycott all Google products.

HowdyDoody's picture

You can bet they will boycot this behind-the-scenes image from the Trump inauguration.

Did Melania feel violated? Was Obomber triggered?

El Vaquero's picture

All of this fake news talk has given me an idea to further discredit the regressive left.  They like to bitch about rape culture, so we should see if we can get them to apply their insanity to something not actually related to rape:  Canola oil.  Where does canola oil come from?  Rapeseed.  That's right, there is a Brassica out there that is known as rape, and the seeds from this plant are called RAPEseed..  It's in the name.  We should see if we can whip them up into a fury against canola oil using fake news stories. 

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) El Vaquero Jan 25, 2017 12:39 PM

I think you can just substitute the word "conservative" where ever you see the word "fake" in this story. 

"Google permanently removed 200 Conservative News sites from its network."


froze25's picture

You mean I can't learn "a weird trick" to make more money but I can still get fed lies on a daily basis from CNN, oh man, this blows. So whats going on in Antarctica? Why was John Kerry there on election day? Why did Buz Aldrin go there and have to get medically evacuated from there? Why was the Russian head of the Orthodox Church there? To look at ice and snow?

Never One Roach's picture

Only Hillary and her maid, Anthony Weener and Huma and all her Moslim Brotherhoods are allowed to see it.

But for a price, she'll waive the requirements.

jeff montanye's picture

makes you wonder what hillary wouldn't do for a price.

this post seems a trifle lame, making a mound out a mole hill.

this seems more important.  

and wrong.

Escrava Isaura's picture

Google banned fake-news, not propaganda or indoctrination.


The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) jeff montanye Jan 25, 2017 5:16 PM

We do know that for a Quarter million dollars you can wind up Hillary and she will talk for 45 minutes.


Ballin D's picture

That was the market price when people thought they were bribing a future president. She doesn't speak anymore because no one is willing to pay for even a meal for her.

Is-Be's picture

Agents provocateurs posing as journalist.

Wind your cynicism dial up to Max.

Luc X. Ifer's picture

Hi. My name is Schmidt  - Eric aka "Hillary'ous Butthurt" Schmidt.


TruthHunter's picture

Since this potentially a freedom of the press vs generic scamming, make the list public.


OverTheHedge's picture

That's quite an eclectic mix - I can't think why conspiracy theories happen.....

Is-Be's picture

Every two-bit Social Engineer drapes themselves on the mantle of Peace and Brother Lee Love.

It is Standard Operational Procedure. Ask Joseph Stalin. Or Muslims or Christians.

Use this knowledge to identify serpents.

We know that which is peaceful. We need no adult supervision.

AnngeloJamaica's picture

Are you trying to tell me that they hired Lois Lerner?  

New_Meat's picture

when you give to the go-fund-me site, don't be niggardly either

TerraHertz's picture

Go ahead, please. Because rape/canola oil is actually quite harmful, medically. It's one of the slow-burn population cull hidden poisons, along with aspartame, MSG, fluorides, and others.

Which makes me think you won't have much luck getting the left to go anti-Canola. Since they are funded by the same people who push Canola, etc.

c0nan's picture

Are you a brainwashed idiot?

raeb's picture

Most gays are into asses.

sarz's picture

The Russian browser Yandex is better on Google's Android than Google's Chrome. Maybe Yandex can come up with a competitor for YouTube. 

In any case, for any politically sensitive topic such as the Holocaust or 9/11 or Michelle Obama's sexual status, Google is always misleading. So my first choice is Duckduckgo. 

No OB Wan Kenobe's picture

I have used the Bing search engine more and more. It is great and so far believes in freedom of speech. Google needs some competition.

WorkingPoor's picture

Done long ago, after it took running a permanent magnet over the platter to get their NSA friendly Chrome POS browser off of a hard drive.

G**g** was so in bed with the prior regime, and still in bed with No Such Agency, that they carried and still carry moisture transfers of Agency and WH laundrymarks on their behinds.

How two-faced of them, to claim to be part of the solution, when in point of fact they are a significant portion of the problem.

it is my opinion that they sought, and still seek, to be the go-to internet snitches for the alphabet soup of 'intel' agencies.

Yet so many seem to bow down to them... In which case, I invoke Pacino's "John Milton" for its only bit of usefulness... "Worship that? Never."

The only sour bit (dear me, a pun) of consolation I have about G**g** is that if SHTF and the net goes down, so do they... unless, that is, they have a hand in it going down.

Watch them try to expand the definition of "Dark Net" to "that part of the net without G**g**." A matter of projection, really... I cannot think of anything darker than a sellout to authoritarians... except for the authoritarians themselves.



Trogdor's picture


Relax, we'll tell you WHAT to think.

(fixed it for ya ;)

Last thing the PTB want is people who know how to think ...

Uzda Farce's picture
Uzda Farce (not verified) freewolf7 Jan 25, 2017 3:00 PM

Google, Facebook, Time-Warner, Reuters and Bloomberg are corporate sponsors of the Rockefeller/CFR. Several of their execs are CFR members, including Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen, Sheryl Sandberg, Jeffrey Bewkes, Stephen Adler, and Michael Bloomberg. See member lists at cfr dot org.

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in 'democratic' society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country."

-- Edward Bernays, assistant to CBS founder William Paley, "Propaganda", 1928

goober's picture

Some little known facts about the matrix we all live in, an incredible read, some written by a Google engineer. Remarkable details on how and why it all happened. Your tax dollars at work against you !

not dead yet's picture

Fake news site Business Insider, which reads like it's been written by the DEMs and the deep state, had a screed recently about the "fantastic" life of George Soros. Not a single negative thing was written especially his working with the NAZI's. More like George is a semi god and great person. BI recently eliminated their comments section as too many people were posting the real truth on whatever subject they were whitewashing.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Amusing that so many people are interested in 'weight loss products'.  I'll give people a hint, you should probably get off your ass and exercise more!

Remember when obesity was a problem in the 19th century?  Me neither.

not dead yet's picture

Can't have that. The food police would have a fit, plus a huge blow to their ego's that would require puppies and coloring books, if they couldn't tell us what to eat and get laws passed to ban certain foods and tax others. It's not the food but Americans, and a good chunk of the world, have gotten extremely lazy. In our demonization of food we glorify the use of drugs and alchohol and for most is a necessity. Beer is chock full of calories and weed is well known for giving it's users the munchies.

GoingBig's picture

it might be a stretch for you to think but here goes. It isn't about excercise. It is all about he high fructose corn syrup and other high carbohydrates that they have been shoving into products since the 70's. You can eat a regular diet, excercise, and still gain weight due to the way most food products are formulated. REmember getting rid of all of the FAT in products? Well, they replaced the fat( which was actually okay for you) with sugar. Because once you take the fat out there is no taste...


So before you start blaming all of the fat on people. Look at big business like monsanto, kellogs, and others. They, forced by the govt, have created this crisis. And you can excercise all you want. If you eat those processed foods, you will get fat.

Alohakid's picture

You're absolutely right. We cut out all sugar years ago, still exercise for general health, but now have to eat more in order to maintain weight.

goober's picture

Or the twentieth century. Look at some photos of the Vietnam era, both in country and here in USA with protest and you will not find any fat asses like we have today, none ! In fact if you look closely you will find simply from photographic history, that fat ass USA is a very recent phenom. Just 20 years ago it was no where near as common and prior to that it lessens very quickly. 30 years ago it was not at all common. Today nearly all TV commercials show fat peope happy as clams and it is represented as completely normal and good, or at least accepteable as normal.

Why is this ? And does anybody make money from it ? and is it just another control mechanism ?

musimann's picture

I kicked google out of my network years ago. A curse on your house! Maybe I'm beating a dead horse here but google is owned by a Jew and so is yahoo, fakebook, ebay, paypal, Amazon and a number of others. Who is trying to control, censor and enslave people with fake news? NOT TO HARD TO FIGURE OUT UNLESS YOUR AFRAID OF OFFENDING THE FAKE TRIBE!

JamesBond's picture

To  publish the list, they know, would only encourage a deluge of visits by the alt-right.



bowie28's picture

I agree.  There are tons of sleazebag companies posting deceptive links to get clicks and views on their ads.  Google or any other company should do what they can to prevent this since it's basically false advertising. 

I'm more concerned about Google "gaming" their own algorithms to push mainstream/gov biases to the top of all searches and minimize or filter out true info that PTB do not want going mainstream.  This is less detectable and can gradually make it harder and harder for still sleeping sheeple to stumble onto some truth.


_.jmh._'s picture

"then the link sends you to weight loss of penis enlargement" to each their own but that sounds a bit drastic to me....

musimann's picture

so I can lose weight and get a bigger dick too? Awesome.

Alohakid's picture

They say that happens WHEN you lose weight...

Mike Ochisbent's picture

Nah! It just looks bigger when your fatness goes away.