The war against fake news is getting stiffer by the day. Not only is Facebook battling the menace in all front, Google too is not giving it a breathing space. On Friday, Google added fact checking tag to Search and News. This is a game changer because new considered to be fake will now be tagged as such to warn users of the implication of clicking it.
“After assessing feedback from both users and publishers, we’re making the Fact Check label in Google News available everywhere, and expanding it into Search globally in all languages. For the first time, when you conduct a search on Google that returns an authoritative result containing fact checks for one or more public claims, you will see that information clearly on the search results page. The snippet will display information on the claim, who made the claim, and the fact check of that particular claim.” Justin Kosslyn, Product Manager and Cong You, Research Scientist at Google said on Friday.
Google said the tag won’t be displayed or added to every search result. The company also said tags on search results may differ, especially in occasions when different publishers carried out the check—and in such cases, results or conclusions reached may be different.
Google itself will not be responsible for checking the facts behind the search results, but is collaborating with others to carry out the checks. The goal of the check is to help you make informed decisions. You will also be able to make your informed decision as the search engine giant continue to make the checks visible.
If you are a publisher and want to use or be included in the feature, Google said “you must be using the Schema.org ClaimReview markup on the specific pages where they fact check public statements.” Another option is that you can use Share the Facts widget developed by the Duke University Reporters Lab and Jigsaw. However, you only qualify to use the latter option if you are regarded as an authoritative source of information—and this is based on algorithm. Other conditions are highlighted by Google in a blog post on Friday.
Google added Fact Checking labels to its popular news service last October prior to the US Presidential election won by President Trump. This came on the heels of various controversial news items that got many users confused and influenced their choice of candidates before and during the election.
Articles containing fact checks will be determined by Google’s algorithm using the schema.org ClaimReview system. The algorithm will also look for sites/blogs that adhere to commonly laid down criteria for fact checks.
Google began adding labels to its articles seven years ago to make it easier for readers to access different categories of content. Users can already access and identify content on the news service based on “Local Source,” “Highly Cited,” “Opinion” “Trending,” “In Depth” and “Related.” Content is also provided to readers by category to make using the service a stroll in the park.