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Google "fake news" filter serves up fake penis pills

by on13 June 2017

Looks like it needs a bit of work

Search engine Google’s attempts to filter out fake news have cocked-up badly as its health section has fast filled with adverts for pills designed to, er, stiffen your resolve.

The Boyne City Gazette, which is the official organ of Boyne City,  was hacked and a hacker has tinkered with its web code so that it redirects to a fake penis site. This sort of thing happens all the time and there is little news value in it.  But Google seemed to be unfairly weighted towards Boyne City Gazette and ranked its stories highly.  Because of the hack, it meant that Google's "health section" was packed full of adverts for fake penis pills.

According to the Rogister, links were engineered thanks to Wordpress redirect. Normally if you go on that page you get directed to a spam site only occasionally, if your referrer is Google News then you get automatically redirected to the spam site.

The question is how did Google’s News algorithm give the fake penis pills such a high ranking on Google News? If the algorithm cannot even spot a faked advert, how is it going to spot the vagaries of fake news?



Last modified on 13 June 2017
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