Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer at Google, is currently enjoying his first visit to the United Kingdom since he took the reigns of the Mountain View-based tech giant back in 2015. Apart from announcing new expansion plans, Pichai also used this opportunity to answer some general questions regarding Google. In an interview with BBC, the 44-year-old reflected on the recent controversy surrounding fake news stories about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, admitting that these factually inaccurate and outright false articles could have affected the outcome of the US presidential election. More specifically, Pichai referred to the narrow results of the election and the fact that Trump only won on electoral votes while Clinton received the popular vote. Given that situation, Pichai believes any factor could have tipped the scales regarding the outcome of the US presidential election, fake news stories included.
In addition to that, Google's CEO admitted that there have been several cases of fake news related to the US presidential election which Google didn't handle right. Pichai didn't evade any responsibility and labeled these instances as "learning moments" which the tech giant will work hard to fix in the future. As for the exact effects of these inaccurate stories which Google accidentally promoted or failed to sanction in recent weeks, the company's executive concluded that he can't be sure how big of an impact they had on the outcome of the election. However, he reiterated that Google is currently helming several initiatives dedicated to fact-checking online articles and sanctioning untrustworthy sources.
Pichai also asserted that it's incredibly important for Google and other large Internet companies to do whatever they can to promote genuine and accurate stories to their users. Earlier this week, the tech giant announced that it will exclude fake news sources from its online advertising network to cut their revenue sources. Related to that endeavor is an anti-fake news coalition First Draft News which Google has been funding for quite some time now. Pichai's view of the false news controversy in the US doesn't exactly mirror that of Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg who recently stated that it's "pretty crazy" to even suggest that factually inaccurate articles on Facebook somehow influenced the outcome of the US presidential election.