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Could Google’s Launch of Fact Check in Search Results be the End to Misinformation on the Internet?

Google Update - 19 Jul 2017

Could Google’s Launch of Fact Check in Search Results be the End to Misinformation on the Internet?

Google Fact Check

The World Wide Web is an abyss of information and most of us resort to using the Internet to find information we’re looking for, but with so many sources publishing content to the Internet, how does one determine if content in search results is truly fact, or just fiction?

In an effort to curb misinformation on the Internet and provide Internet users the ability to make more informed decisions on what information sources to choose, Google has launched Fact Check in its search results worldwide.Now, moving forward, when Internet users conduct a search, Google will provide authoritative search results containing fact checks, noting one or more public claims.

Although Google’s Fast Check is not yet available for news stories search results, it is coming down the pipeline. Google News will provide news articles in their search engines which will be
deemed true or false by Politifact and Snopes, making it clear to online users what articles are truly credible or not.

According to Google “the entire process is conducted programmatically; human intervention only occurs when user feedback is filed.”In order for Internet content publishers to have Fast Check included with their content in Google’s search results, they will need to add Claim Review tags to their site’s source code. Some of the guidelines extracted from the Google developer’s blog are:

• The page hosting the ClaimReview element must have at least a brief summary of the fact check and the evaluation, if not the full text.

• You should host a specific ClaimReview on only one page on your site. Do not repeat the same fact check on multiple pages, unless they are variations of the same page (for example, you can post the same ClaimReview on the mobile and desktop versions of a page).

• Fact checks associated with news articles can be shown in either News results or the combined search results view; all other fact checks can appear only in combined search results view.

With millions of new sources of content published to the Internet daily,Google and other large companies, such as Facebook, have their work cut out for them in terms of trying to mitigate how much misinformation on the Internet is published. While Google’s Fast Check may not put an end to all false content we see scattered about online, it certainly is a step in the right direction.

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