By promoting “click bait” .. a study accuses Meta and Google of financing misleading content
A new research study has revealed the involvement of Meta and Alphabet in financing misleading content, during campaigns coordinated by groups in countries around the world.
According to the study conducted by MIT University via its MIT Technology Review platform, the two mentioned companies have already paid millions of dollars as part of their content initiatives, which have resulted in an increase in misinformation globally.
The study indicated that these initiatives played a vital role in obscuring the humanitarian catastrophe for the Rohingya Muslims, as they allowed the spread of false political content through clickbait sites and sources of stolen content.
A clickbait or “click bait” is a usually deceptive text or thumbnail link designed to attract attention and prompt users to click on the link to view its content.
The study discovered that there was a clear flaw in the security checks of the Facebook platform, which allowed a person to manage 11,000 accounts, which led to the networks of Clickbyte sites reaching half a million Americans before the 2020 elections.
She emphasized that at some point during the launch of the Facebook Instant Articles project, 60% of the content posted with this feature was engaging in unwanted activity.
On the other hand, the study said that Meta was not the only one involved, but was joined by Alphabet, which is affiliated with the Google search service, as it revealed the involvement of the American company in supporting the networks of Clickbait sites as well, through the advertising service “Google AdSense”.
The organizers of these suspicious sites took advantage of YouTube algorithms that push viral content, regardless of the validity of the information in it, in addition to using the “Google Drive” service to store misleading content in more than 20 countries.
For its part, Google said in an email to the Al Jazeera News Monitoring and Verification Agency, “Sanad,” “We work hard to protect viewers from clicks or misleading content across our platforms, and we have invested heavily in systems designed to raise the level of reliable information.”
“Following our review, we have closed down 29 YouTube channels that were reported to us by MIT Technology Review for violating our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines.”
“In addition, prior to this implementation, we had already stopped serving ads on nearly 2,000 videos across these channels. We continue to actively monitor our platforms to prevent actors looking to misuse our network for profit.”
Sanad tried to contact Meta to obtain a response regarding the accusations leveled against it in the research study, but it has not received any response from them so far.