Fact-checking will now be part of your Google search results

Google has announced a new weapon in the war against fake news.

The internet search giant unveiled a new feature that will allow fact-checking to appear right in the search results.

“For the first time, when you conduct a search on Google that returns an authoritative result containing fact checks for one or more public claims, you will see that information clearly on the search results page” Google announced in a post on Friday.  “The snippet will display information on the claim, who made the claim, and the fact check of that particular claim.”

The fact-checking will be left to third parties like PolitiFact and Snopes, with more than 100 organizations including The Associated Press, the BBC, The Washington Post and The New York Times signed up as part of the “fact-check community.”

That fact alone raised eyebrows on Twitter.

“This information won’t be available for every search result, and there may be search result pages where different publishers checked the same claim and reached different conclusions,” Google noted.

“These fact checks are not Google’s and are presented so people can make more informed judgments,” Google said. “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.”

Publishers will be able to add notes like “true,” or “mostly false,” next to the checked stories but Google search algorithms will determine which ones will appear.

Google is joining many other media outlets and organizations to combat the spread of false information on the internet, a problem that has made headlines since the 2016 election season.

While some social media users welcomed the news, others were wary of what seemed like an Orwellian control of the facts.

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Frieda Powers


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