Published: Sat, April 08, 2017
Technology | By Timothy Carter

Google expands Fact Check to Google Search and News across the globe

Google expands Fact Check to Google Search and News across the globe

Google will work with the likes of Snope and PolitiFact as well as more traditional publishers like the New York Times and the Washington Post. While this program was in operation in limited Google News story clusters in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, the feature will not be rolling out globally and will be featured in Google News as well as Google's search results. This should hopefully help readers tell the difference between news based in verifiable fact and news that's a little less trustworthy.

The new program was first tested in October, when Google gave publishers in certain countries the ability to show a Fact Check tag in Google's News section.

The tags won't be about "calling out" obvious falsehoods, but will attempt to assign degrees of veracity for fact-based (rather than opinion) pieces and the labels will appear next to news results in the way "highly cited" appears today.

The new feature will emulate fact-checking websites by grading the information on a scale from true or partly true to partly false or false but it will not fully highlight fact-checkers' results when they turn up in search.

In other words, Google wasn't doing the fact checking itself, relying instead on other sites and resources to fact check the information and displaying the outcome within news story results. That includes using the Schema.org ClaimReview markup on pages where they analyze public statements, or the Share the Facts widget created by Jigsaw and the Duke University Reporters Lab.

It'll be interesting to see how this feature evolves, or if it has any effect on fake news in the first place.

Facebook recently introduced a fact check feature of its own that would flag if an article being shared is disputed by fact checkers. If all that's required is proper HTML markup, a site could try to get a fact check label for a false story.

This information will not be available for every search result.

The new Google logo is displayed at the Google headquarters on September 2, 2015 in Mountain View, California.

Google will take the help of algorithms to enroll publishers which are an authentic source of information. And while there are plenty of fact-checking organizations, unless you are looking for their data, you aren't likely to see it. Google's announcement comes in the same week that Facebook announced a new set of measures to impede the distribution of fake news on its platform.

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