After major controversy and anxiety in the mass media facing the threat of fake news, Google has finally stepped in the game by adding a “fact check” option in its search results.
The tech giant had announced that they were officially rolling out this new feature globally in its search and news results to evaluate the authenticity of the information searched.
Google isn’t doing this by themselves though, it relies on respected independent fact-checking organizations like PolitiFact and Snopes to check for the article’s legitimacy. For example, if you search for the terms “27 million people enslaved,” a check box will appear at the top of the search results, saying that PolitiFact thinks the claim that 27 million people are trapped in modern slavery is “mostly true.” Or if you search in the News results section, a fact check option will be next to the standard stories, providing more information.
Source: Business Insider
In a statement, Google posted that this isn’t them passing judgment on a claim. “This information won’t be available for every search result, and there may be search result pages where different publishers checked the same claim and reached different conclusions. These fact checks are not Google’s and are presented so people can make more informed judgments. 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.” Google added.
The feature was created by Jigsaw, a think tank/ideas lab owned by Alphabet (Google’s parent company). The feature used to be limited in some countries, but now it’s finally being rolled out worldwide, in both the main search and in the news search.
Google also tried to take down fake news sites and outlets by kicking them out of their Ad network, Google AdSense, taking away their ad revenue.