Google Just Added Fact Checks to Your Search Results
The search engine's latest feature aims to crack down on fake news.
Photo courtesy of Google
Aside from being "a total scam!" and "very dishonest!," fake news has become a major problem for the watering holes of the internet. Social media platforms and search engines are susceptible to misinformation because, by principle, they're largely unregulated.
After taking heat for helping spread a bunch of bullshit all around the web during the election, Facebook launched an offensive against fake news on Thursday—and now Google is joining the fight, Bloomberg reports.
The tech giant unveiled a new feature Friday appending fact checks to the bottom of search results, helping users sort what's true from what's not in a matter of seconds. Just type in a few key words—"Trump Iraq War," for example—and a line will pop up under the results letting you know if the info you're looking for ("Trump opposed the Iraq War from the get-go") is true, mostly true, mostly false, or total bullshit. Plus, you can check out the source of the fact check and see what evidence it's using with a single click.
Google tapped prominent fact-checking organizations like Politifact and Snopes for help with the new feature, and it's allowing publishers—like the the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal—to apply to become fact-checkers, too. The search engine won't be hiring an in-house team, however, and it won't be paying the companies doing the fact-checking.
"These fact checks are not Google's and are presented so people can make more informed judgments," Google wrote in a press release. "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."