Google's CEO has weighed in on the fake-news controversy that many are saying could have affected the presidential election.
When the BBC's Kamal Ahmed asked specifically whether fake news might have swung enough votes toward Donald Trump to change the results, Sundar Pichai paused before answering, "Sure."
"Look, it is important to remember this was a very close election and so, just for me, so looking at it scientifically, one in a hundred voters voting one way or the other swings the election either way. ... From our perspective, there should just be no situation where fake news gets distributed, so we are all for doing better here."
Pichai said the company has already taken steps to rid Google of fake news sites and stories. In the past two days, he said, the company has moved to remove Google-served ads from sites promoting fake news, which means fake news platforms can no longer use Google's platform to make money. Over the last year, Google has also been looking at how to fact-check articles and work to promote trusted journalism sources, Pichai said.
Shortly after the election, people began blaming Facebook for allowing fake news to be distributed on the site, perhaps contributing to Trump's surprising victory. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said he thinks it's "extremely unlikely" that Facebook swayed the presidential election, but has acknowledged that the social networking site has work to do when it comes to hoaxes on the platform.
But Google has also had issues with inaccurate news sites popping up in search results. For some time on Monday, the top Google search result for "final election count" displayed an incorrect tally from a Wordpress blog called 70 News that said Trump won the popular vote by a margin of almost 700,000 votes. In fact, Clinton was ahead in the popular vote by about 700,000 votes at that time.
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