Time magazine recently had a cover asking “Is Truth Dead?” in response to the proliferation of fake news sites that unfortunately, a lot of people believe more than the “biased” traditional media. A lot of the digital apps and services are doing their best to contribute to the fight against fake news. Google’s latest efforts now brings the Fact Check tag in Google News and Search for a global audience. Now if only people knew how to use Google properly, then we probably would solve some significant part of this post-truth problem.
Basically, the Fact Check symbol appears in articles that have already been verified and includes information that have already been fact-checked by news publishers and fact-checking organizations. Actually, this feature has been around since last October but was only limited to a few countries and was only in Google News for news stories. Now, since it’s become more relevant than ever, they have expanded it to Search results and globally as well. When you search for something that has an authoritative claim, you will see snippets of information about the claim, who made the claim, and the fact check on that claim.
However, this is still not available for all search results and some will even show results verified by different publishers or organizations that may show different conclusions based on their fact checking. Publishers have to use the schema.org ClaimReview markup when they fact check specific statements. They can also use the Share the Facts widget and finally, they have to adhere to the general policies, Google News Publisher criteria for fact checks, and the Google News General Guidelines.
Google wants to emphasize that the fact checks aren’t from Google but from among the now 115 members of the fact check community. They want to present it in a way that people will make informed decisions based on these fact checks. Again, all the tools in the world cannot help people decide and understand if their minds are already closed to a certain way of thinking or agenda.