In its ongoing battle against fake news online, Google has recently expanded its 'Fact Check' feature in its Search and News services, now available to all users around the world.
Fact Check was initially tested in October on Google News, helping users determine if a certain piece of content is accurate. Today's announcement makes it more accessible, especially to those using Search.
Google will be relying on third-party websites like PolitiFact and Snopes.com to determine the correctness of news articles. For example, searching for "27 million people enslaved" will bring up a search result with PolitiFact showing the actual claim, who said it, and whether the news is true or not.
This service won't be available for every search result, and there may be search result pages where publishers checked the same claim, but have arrived to different conclusions. "These fact checks are not Google’s and are presented so people can make more informed judgements," said the blog post by Google's Justin Kosslyn and Cong Yu. The two further went on to state that:
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.
Publishers that are interested to be included in this feature can simply put in additional code onto their website, aside from other criteria required by Google News.
Aside from Google, Facebook is also making efforts to block fake news. Back in March, the social media company sought the aid of third-party websites like The Associated Press and Snopes.com to determine fake news, labeling them as "disputed" when shared. More recently, it launched a guide on how to spot false content and avoid spreading them even further.
Source and image: Google Blog