Fake news and hoaxes that are currently plaguing the internet have pushed Google to add fact checking feature in Google News. After starting the project in the US, Google now has added five more countries to its list of areas where Google News’ fact checking feature can be applied. People who use Google in these five countries (plus the US) will now have the ability to use fact-checked resources when referring to any news or articles. This can be the first step toward global effort to minimize the effects of unchecked articles, hoaxes, and fake news.
Three American Latin Countries to Get Fact Check Feature
Google established fact checking feature for the US, Germany and France in year 2016, and the company now has expanded its global reach by adding similar features to three Latin countries. Argentina, Mexico and Brazil will be the first three countries outside the US, Germany and France to have fact checking feature in their Google websites. Users can use this feature in Google News and its expanded story box, and they can also access it from Google News application in iOS and Android.
By clicking the “News” mode when searching for news using Google, you can immediately see sources that have been fact-checked. Google provide “fact-checked” sign to the sources the algorithm produced in the search result, using the term “fact check” right under the news URL. Previously, Google also used terms such as “Opinion” or “In-Depth” to clarify the form of certain types of sources. However, the “fact check” label surely does better job assuring responsible users that the sources have indeed been checked. By using a more clarified term, Google stated its goal to combat the spread of fake news and hoaxes that have been plaguing the internet.
In the future, Google hopes to expand its similar feature to other countries, even outside Europe and America.
Combating the Rise of Fake News, Hoax and “Alternative Facts”
Google is just one of the companies that have publicly committed to combat the spread of fake news, hoax and alternative facts, which have risen significantly before and following major political situations such as Brexit and the US Elections. Facebook has also taken similar step to combat fake news, especially after public backlash about how the company seemed to do nothing to combat the phenomena before the election, resulting in many people spreading fake information easily.
The term “fake news,” however, is also often used by certain politicians such as President Trump to actually discredit news organizations that publish unflattering news about him. This is the reason why Google decided to call its feature “fact check.” Unlike “fact news,” “fact check” term focuses on actually clarify the source of a news or article, making sure that what reported is not different from what actually happened.
Google and Facebook joined the league of about 120 companies and corporations in the world that publicly focus on combating the spread of fake news. In addition, Google is also a main supporter of 10 media projects in Europe with the goal of combating fake news and increasing more critical public view toward all news about French election.