Google expands ‘Fact Check’ tool to flag up fake news in search results
Google launched a fact checking tool in its search and news results on Friday, as the technology giant looks to fight back against the spread of fake news, amid mounting pressure on internet firms to tackle such content.
The search giant will not actually be doing the fact checking itself but instead will surface results from the likes of PolitiFact and Snopes. For example, if someone searches "27 million people enslaved", a result showing the actual claim, who said it, and whether it is true or not, will appear.
In October, Google tested the feature in a handful of countries and specifically in Google News. The announcement on Friday marks the wide-scale roll out of the feature.
The information won't be available for every search, Google said, and there could be instances where the same publisher checked the same claim but came to different conclusions. Google emphasized the fact that it was not checking the facts and are "presented so people can make more informed judgments."
"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," Google explained in a blog post.
Publishers wishing to be included in the fact check feature just need to add some additional code to their websites.
Google's move comes amid heightened criticism of internet companies' inability to tackle fake news and misinformation. Google has been one of the companies under fire and has been making moves to improve how it tackles such content.
Social networking titan Facebook has also taken steps to tackle fake news content including its own fact checking tool which tells users who are about to post a link to an article, whether the claims in the article have been disputed. Facebook also launched an educational tool to help users spot questionable content.