A report has found that Google is allowing fraudsters to advertise at the top of search results despite its pledge to tackle the practice. The search giant has been condemned as irresponsible after selling adverts under search terms such as “buy fake ID”, “buy fake passport” and “buy fake reviews”.
Lord Harris of Haringey, chairman of National Trading Standards, said: “If Google is allowing these adverts that is wrong and irresponsible.”
Bill Mew explains that the volume of material being indexed by Google and the volume of adverts both mean that it is impossible for them all to be vetted by Google’s own staff. Instead algorithms are employed and the process is automated. The sophistication of the algorithms supporting its ad targeting however is far greater than the sophistication of the algorithms in less lucrative areas – allowing such simple mistakes to have been made. Google, Facebook and others need to step up the sophistication of such automated processes if they are to avoid social media regulation.