Facebook has been under attack since the US presidential election last week, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the defensive over the role the social network – and the fake news stories that spread through it – played in Donald Trump’s victory. The latest development in the row is a claim made by tech site Gizmodo that Facebook prepared a news feed update that would identify fake or hoax news stories, but shelved the plans over fears it “disproportionately impacted right-wing news sites” – at a time when Facebook was being accused of a liberal bias. Facebook has quickly declared the story itself to be false: “We did not build and withhold any News Feed changes based on their potential impact on any one political party,” a spokesperson told Slate. This debate has now widened to Google though, after a fake news story was found at the top of its search results. Again: swift action – yesterday Google said it would ban fake-news websites from using its advertising platform. Facebook has updated its own ads policy to bar fake-news sites from taking part too.

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