Around 20,000 websites dedicated to fake news generate approximately 235 million dollars a year thanks to the advertising they show as a Global Disinformation Index study has concluded.
This non-profit organization composed of governments, companies and civil society to combat disinformation, maintains that disinformation is being subsidized without having knowledge of it through online advertising and the companies that make it possible.
“Our estimates show that advertising technology and brands are involuntarily financing disinformation domains. These findings clearly demonstrate that this is an industry-wide problem that requires an industry-wide solution,” says Clare Melford, co-founder and executive director. of GDI, in a statement quoted by Poynter.
Amazon, Google and other companies would probably be involved without knowing it
According to the study published by the Global Disinformation Index, about 70% of websites analyzed showed ads provided by Google. The ad exchange of AppNexus, Amazon, Criteo and Taboola, among others, would follow.
Google, in proportion to the number of ads shown, also represents the highest amount of revenue paid to websites rated as misinformation in the GDI sample. Specifically, it pays 86 million dollars, followed by 59 paid by AppNexus, 53 from Criteo and about 9 from Amazon.
After the 2016 presidential elections, companies like Google promised to intensify their efforts to curb the easy monetization of websites dedicated to misinformation. In early 2017, for example, he banned 200 web pages for this reason. However, these findings reveal that they still have enough to do in this regard.
Taking into account that false news is a problem that affects the entire advertising sector, the Global Disinformation Index considers that the solutions that are required must be sectoral, involving both the companies that provide the technology for the ads and the Companies that buy advertising spaces. To achieve this, they believe they must be transparent about the location of their ads, they must have a real-time list of the disinformation domains that are emerging and, finally, direct advertising spending only to quality news websites.