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Google ramps up war on ‘fake news’, adds fact checking feature to search

Google is continuing its assault on “fake news” by expanding its fact check feature to global search results, in a bid to highlight more trustworthy sources of information.

The company will give more prominence to “authoritative sources” in results, along with a summary of fact-checked claims.

It follows similar action from Facebook, which announced this week it would be introducing a new News Feed tool that contains guidance on how to uncover false stories.

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Google, which added the fact check feature to its news results service last year, says it will now be using the same algorithm to fact-check regular search results.

The company also says there will be a summary of the fact-checked statements with indicators to show whether they have been judged true or false.

When first introduced for news results last October, the “Fact Check” tag on news stories helped identify articles that “include information fact checked by news publishers and fact-checking organizations.”

In other words, Google wasn’t doing the fact checking itself, relying instead on other sites and resources to fact check the information and displaying the outcome within news story results.

Now, as the company explains in a blog post, the feature is available in regular search results, and news story results in more countries.

As the post explains: “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. These fact checks are not Google’s and are presented so people can make more informed judgements.”

Facebook’s new tool, created in partnership with non-profit group First Draft and announced this week, gives users access to tips on how to spot fake news, like checking the URL of a website, investigating the source, and looking for other reports on the same topic.

Let us know what you think of Google’s latest tactic in the battle against “fake news” in the comments.

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