Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, had a recent interview with the BBC. During the interview, Pichai remarked upon the issue of fake news stories after the election of Donald J. Trump to the American presidency and commented that Google had made some errors they plan to fix. Pichai commented that in the billions of queries Google receives every day, there are bound to be moments where inaccuracies were known but not corrected. He went on to state that such issues are opportunities to learn and refine algorithms.
When asked about false news stories and their effect on the American election, he said that there was much discussion on social media’s influence and that he wasn’t convinced about its effects. Pichai went on to say that when results are as close as they were, many factors become visible as potential influences.
This week saw Google establish a conspiracy blog that questioned who won the election’s popular vote. It also announced that it would omit fake news sites from its ad network, a move that was mirrored by social media giant Facebook. Pichai’s remarks echoed Mark Zuckerberg’s, masters of a major social media platform amazed that fake news broadcast via social media could be so influential.
BBC reporter Kamal Ahmed, attempted to lead Pichai into admitting that fake news could certainly have had an affect on the outcome of America’s presidential election. Pichai responded by stating that fake news stories should be hamstrung and abolished as swiftly and completely as they can.