Google has launched a new feature on Search and News which shows a "Fact Check" label for certain links, indicating whether a third-party fact-checking organization has found the story factual or not.
In October, the search giant introduced the fact check label for Google News in a few countries. But now the company is expanding use of the tag to search, as well as Google News in every other country where it's available.
So now, you'll see a "Fact Check" tag in your Google search results telling you which claim is being checked, who made it, who did the fact check and a short summary of the fact check, like "mostly true" or "false." And on Google News, articles that have been checked for facts will be labelled "Fact Check."
In practice, this means that if you are looking for facts in Google Search, you will now regularly see information from sites that will prominently appear on the page. Google will present a link to those sites’ fact checks, together with a bit of additional information about the claim and, of course, whether this organization rated it as true or false.
Possibly, the new feature could mean that hyperpartisan sites of any persuasion could present “fact check” conclusions that are not really fact checks at all.
This is because any site can mark-up its content as a fact-checking article. Put the right invisible meta data on your page and voila, you’ve taken a key step toward becoming a fact-checking resource.
On its help pages, Google notes that it is obviously not doing these fact checks itself (“If you disagree with a fact check, contact the website owner that published it”). Organizations that want to add their fact checks to Google Search must follow Google’s relatively stringent guidelines
Tech companies are under more pressure than ever to regulate the content on their sites. Google-owned YouTube has been mired in controversy -- and the target of boycotts -- over ads being placed alongside hateful content. On Wednesday, the German government approved a plan that would punish sites like Facebook or Twitter with fines of up to €50 million, or $53 million, if they fail to remove hateful postings quickly.
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