Google's war against fake news has been raging for almost a year now following the ranking of several misleading articles on Google's search results around December 2016. As part of its ongoing mission to keep misleading news at a distance, Google has updated its News guidelines to keep away readers from websites which are dishonest about their country of origin.
As reported by Engadget, a spokeswoman for Google in conversation with Bloomberg explained away the move as a matter of adapting to the "constantly changing web". The spokeswoman also stated that the move was to ensure that people "understand and see where their news online is coming from."
Google and other social media giants have been under a lot of pressure from US lawmakers to strengthen their news-filtering methods. The urgency to do so was felt after revelations of possible Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections, where the Russians allegedly targeted sections of people with socially divisive ads and misleading information.
A subhead dealing with misrepresentation under Google's updated Google News index guidelines reads, "Sites included in Google News must not misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about their ownership or primary purpose. This includes, but isn’t limited to, sites that misrepresent or conceal their country of origin or are directed at users in another country under false premises."
The move could be of considerable help to people who read news on Google, in knowing the publication's country of origin and understanding whether the website itself could be deceptive in nature.