Digital Transformation

Google follows Facebook and introduces further fact-checking features to combat fake news


By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

April 7, 2017 | 4 min read

Google is upping the ante against fake news again with the international roll out of new features that will place fact check tags on snippets of articles on Google News and Google Search results.

This label, which was unveiled in several markets last month, is now going global in all languages. It works by identifying articles that include information that has been verified or discredited by news publishers and fact-checking organisations.

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.

Google follows Facebook and introduces further fact-checking features to combat fake news

Google follows Facebook and introduces further fact-checking features to combat fake news

Designed to combat the spread of misinformation, the tool means that if users go hunting for facts in Google Search or via Google News then information from sites like Snopes will appear adjacent to the results. Google will link to its fact-check partners' sites and flag content as true or false.

The internet behemoth admitted that even though differing conclusions may be presented by publishers or fact-checkers, the company thinks it’s still "helpful" for people to understand the degree of consensus around a particular claim and to have access to clear information on which sources agree.

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In a blog post on the matter, written by Justin Kosslyn, product manager at Google's tech incubator Jigsaw and research scientist Cong Yu, the company said: "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."

The pair added: "If a publisher or fact check claim does not meet these standards or honor these policies, we may, at our discretion, ignore that site's markup."

The move from Google comes amid increased scrutiny over the spread of untrue news stories within its walls, and follows on from a similar play from Facebook which earlier this week introduced third-party fact checking to its news feed.

A study earlier this year revealed that two-thirds of global media chiefs see the rise of fake news as an opportunity for quality journalism to stand out as audiences search for trusted views during a time of uncertainty.

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