Close on the heels of Facebook announcing it’s new tool to combat fake news, Google has released its ‘Fact Check’ feature for news and search results. It will be taking the help of fact-checking organisations to help fight the scourge of fake news.
Google will now show rich information from fact-checking websites such as PolitiFact and Snopes. Google uses its algorithms to decide which fact-checking organisation is more authoritative about a news item or a search result, and will show links from those sites up front. While this program was in operation in limited Google News story clusters in the US and the UK, the feature will not be rolling out globally and will be featured in Google News as well as Google’s search results.
According to TechCrunch, in Google News, articles that include a fact check are marked with a ‘fact check’ label. This effectively means that when you are looking for facts on a Google Search, you will also see information from PolitiFact or Snopes which link to those fact checks along with some information around Claim and who is the Claim by.
Google claims that it does not do the fact checking on its own and users have the option to contact the incriminated site’s owners and get the facts corrected.
According to The Verge, the update will not improve the search rank for the fact checking websites or bring their information to the top every time.
While PolitiFact and Snopes are the two fact-checking organisations onboard, Bloomberg says that Google is also opening up its system to news organisations such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. So the media organisations can use the tool to fact check each other or publishers could give different takes on the truth in the same article.
According to Google, “Even though differing conclusions may be presented, we think it’s still helpful for people to understand the degree of consensus around a particular claim and have clear information on which sources agree. As we make fact checks more visible in Search results, we believe people will have an easier time reviewing and assessing these fact checks, and making their own informed opinions.”
Any publisher is allowed to apply to add a ‘fact check’ label to the search content. But it is purely Google’s algorithm that will decide if these fact check options appear in search results. As you are wondering, if every fact checking organisation got the same rights, then yes it can not only get chaotic but could also be a probable front for some evil player to peddle more misinformation.
Publish date: April 7, 2017 5:08 pm| Modified date: April 7, 2017 5:17 pm