Ads from major corporations show up next to a fake news story on the Red Elephants website.
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Wittingly or not, major global corporations are helping fund sites that traffic in fake news by advertising on them.Google, the biggest player in the digital ad market, places many of these ads. The company says it bars ads on its network from appearing against "misrepresentative content" – its term for fake news – yet Google spokeswoman Andrea Faville acknowledged that the company had sold ads on the site with the Christmas-card story. Those ads vanished after the Associated Press inquired about them. Many publishers and advertisers use Google's ad technology without having Google sell their ads.When the AP pointed out that a Chrysler Ram truck ad popped up on a story saying that the United Nations was making the U.S. pay reparations to African-Americans – it's not – Fiat Chrysler said it works with ad companies to scour individual sites and block them from loading its ads if it finds them "harmful". Walgreens ads also popped up next to the child prostitution story on the Red Elephants site, but the drugstore chain has since prevented its ads from appearing there, a company spokesman said.
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