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Google Puts Fake News About Aliens at the Top of Search Results
By: The Verge
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While the largest tech platforms continue to assure us that eliminating misinformation is both a) very important to them, and b) impossible, Google’s search results were hijacked today by fake news about space aliens caught on camera “sucking energy from the sun.” A search for “aliens” turns up a breathless report from UK tabloid Metro about the alleged energy-sucking, which is sourced to a grainy video of unknown origin posted by an anonymous “UFO fan channel.” (We are not linking to this report on purpose!)

The bogus story is newly prominent on Google’s search results page, following a recent redesign that gives added weight to “top stories” in an effort to give Google more of a real-time feel. The new design also serves to highlight articles that use Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages format, a competitor to Facebook’s Instant Articles format that makes stories load faster on mobile devices. As Kyle Chayka reported yesterday in these pages, publishers are using AMP and Instant Articles to camouflage themselves as legitimate — and platforms aren’t saying anything about what they plan to do about it.

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This article was published on The Verge. A link to the original article can be found after the post.
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