With Google now being synonymous with searching – when did you last hear someone say “I’ll just Bing it” – our dependence on that search engine is significant. So, if search results become poisoned or tainted they can have a significant effect. That can happen if a fake story gains enough traction. Eventually, the fake story becomes so popular and re-reported it transcends the boundary between falsehood and accepted. Google has now rolled out their Fact Check label globally to help us tell the difference between validated and unvalidated news.
According to Google’s blog, the Fact Check label in Google News is available everywhere, and expanding it into Search globally in all languages. When you conduct a search on Google that returns an authoritative result you’ll see hope the search results have been validated.
If you search for information on an alleged incident the search results will display who has validated the report.
Google says they are not doing the fact checks themselves. They are relying on third parties. That means some search results may come back as validated while the same search conducted by someone else may pull in sources that claim the report is not verified.
So, while Google’s results won’t authoritatively tell you if a story is accurate, it will provide some validation so you can make a more informed judgement.
Publishers wanting to take advantage of the Fact Check feature for their content need to use the Schema.org ClaimReview markup on the specific pages where they fact check public statements or the Share the Facts widget developed by the Duke University Reporters Lab and Jigsaw.