Alphabet chief executive Eric Schmidt says Google and other tech companies must act against state-run Russian news agencies to stop spread of falsehoods

Eric Schmidt, the chief executive of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has said the search engine is preparing to take action against state-run Russian news agencies, including Russia Today and Sputnik, which are accused of spreading propaganda by US intelligence agencies.

“We’re working on detecting this kind of scenario … and de-ranking those kinds of sites,” Schmidt said, in response to a question at an event in Halifax, Canada. “It’s basically RT and Sputnik. We’re well aware and we’re trying to engineer the systems to prevent it.”

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