Since Donald Trump became President of the United States, #fake news has been a hot topic. While most would assume #Google would penalize a website for spreading fake news, it appears as if Google is capable of spreading an untrue story.
The fake news spread like wildfire
Once media outlets caught wind of the alleged coup that #Barack Obama was planning – the story spread like wildfire. Websites such as Search Engine Land and The Outline began to discuss the inaccurate information. Naturally, conspiracy theories shortly followed.
How did it happen
What caused Google to spread this fake news was a person asking their Google Home device if Barack Obama was planning a coup. Surprisingly, the device responded – with an authoritative voice – claiming the former POTUS was. This resulted in more people probing their Google Home device with related questions which caused bizarre details, stories, and theories about the alleged coup that Obama was planning to spread.
In addition to citing a source, the Google Home device claimed Obama was possibly in bed with communist China. The device went on to speculate there was a chance Obama had been planning a coup towards the end of his 2016 term as POTUS.
Google acknowledged the mistake
On Monday, a spokesperson from Google acknowledged Google had inadvertently reported false news over the weekend. The spokeswoman from the company revealed that there are instances where Google makes the mistake of featuring a site that contains inappropriate, misleading, or outright false information.
The moral of this story is not to believe everything you read on the internet. Even a reputable source such as Google is capable of getting the story wrong sometimes. And, unfortunately for those who had hoped there was some truth to the story, Obama is not planning a coup. When in doubt of a story, do a quick search to see what media outlets are talking about the story and what kind of evidence there is to back up the story. If media outlets are posting a lot of different versions of the story or there doesn’t appear to be any real evidence to back up the claim – chances are pretty good you are reading fake news.