Nathan Johns, a relatively quiet search quality analysts in the Google Search department posted on Twitter that sites writing about fake news should "think twice" about placing taboola or outbrain links on your site.
In short, I think he is calling those taboola/outbrain links spammy and intrusive and that sites that have them have no right to call out fake news.
Here is his tweet:
Hot take: if you're going to report/complain about fake news, maybe think twice about those taboola/outbrain links on your site?— Nathan Johns (@NathanJohns) December 12, 2016
I think it would not be far-reaching to say that most readers dislike content with taboola/outbrain links? I mean, as you read the site, these ads pop up if you place your mouse cursor over a word by accident. They are terribly obtrusive to the reading experience.
This is actually one of the first times, that I can remember, Google saying anything negative about taboola/outbrain links. I doubt there will be more said about it, but I found the tweet interesting.
Forum discussion at Twitter.