"From our perspective, there should just be no situation where fake news gets distributed"
Joining in the post-U.S. election postmortem on the role of news and media, Google’s googl Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai addressed the problem of “fake news” circulating on social media in an interview with BBC Tuesday.
When initially asked whether he thought the circulation of “fake news” contributed to the election’s outcome, Pichai responded, “I am not fully sure.”
Later, when pushed, Pichai said “You know, I think fake news as a whole could be an issue.”
He told the British broadcaster “From our perspective, there should just be no situation where fake news gets distributed … I don’t think we should debate it as much as work hard to make sure we drive news to its more trusted sources, have more fact checking and make our algorithms work better.”
On Monday, the company announced it would restrict its advertising on fake news sites.
Facebook fb followed suit soon after. However, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg dismissed the idea that Facebook contributed to the election outcome. In a post-election Facebook post on Nov. 13 Zuckerberg also stated, “99% of what people see [on Facebook] is authentic.”
The social media mogul, who has been called the “most powerful editor” in the world, told a conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif. earlier this month, “I think the idea that fake news on Facebook—of which it’s a very small amount of the content—influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea.”
“There have been hoaxes on the Internet, there were hoaxes before,” he continued.
Facebook has repeatedly insisted that it is in the business of helping people stay connected, as Zuckerberg puts it, “News and media are not the primary things people do on Facebook.”
However, acording to Pew, 62% of American adults get their news from social media; the same poll also found that 66% percent of Facebook’s users got their news from the social media site—nearly 44% of America’s population.
In his BBC interview, Pichai highlighted “the notion of trusted sources in journalism — how do we promote those better.” Without going into much detail, he added, “there are a lot of initiatives we are undertaking so hopefully all of that will help us do it even better.”
For more on fake news’ effect on the election, watch Fortune’s video:
According to analysts Edelman Square, 63% of Americans trust search engines as a trusted source of news and information, compared to 58% percent who say they trust traditional media.