Google has rolled out a “Fact Check” feature to its worldwide users which will enable spotting fake news on Google Search results. The world’s largest search engine had made the feature available to limited users in the United States and the United Kingdom, but it is now ready for use across the globe.
Users will now see a fact check tag on a news story in search results that will display information from Google’s fact checking partners like PolitiFact or Snopes. “The snippet will display information on the claim, who made the claim, and the fact check of that particular claim,” Google said in a blogpost.
This new feature does not stop the dissemination of fake stories but only offers to try and educate the users on a certain topic. The links that have been fact checked will not receive any kind of boost over other stories in search results.
The information made available are not Google’s own, the blogpost says, adding that it will help people make more informed judgements. The company says it is possible that the fact checkers might also take different stances on several topics.
“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,” it said.
Any publisher can apply to add the fact check tag to their content, but Google’s search algorithms will determine whether they appear in results or not, the blogpost added. “If a publisher or fact check claim does not meet these standards or honour these policies, we may, at our discretion, ignore that site’s markup,” it said.
Last month, Facebook too had launched a function that helps mark fake news as “disputed”. The social media giant also uses Politifact and Snopes as their fact-checkers. A user can click on the right of a Facebook post and choose an option allowing them to mark it as fake news. Once the story is reported, it will be reviewed by third-party checkers that Facebook has teamed up with.