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Google is rolling out a fact-check feature in its search and news results

The search giant is trying to battle the spread of fake news.


Google rolled out a new tool on Friday in order to highlight articles in its search and news results that have been fact-checked.

Now, when a search query returns a result that has been reviewed, Google will display who made the claim and if a third-party organization has found it to be true, false or somewhere in between.

The search giant isn’t doing its own fact-checking, but rather relying on nonpartisan websites like Politifact and Snopes that work to assess the veracity of statements made by public officials and news organizations.

The fact-check snippet also includes a link so users can provide feedback in case they think something is wrong.

The change comes months after Google faced criticism, along with Facebook, for spreading fake news and offensive misinformation. Google came under fire late last year for returning a Neo-Nazi site as a top result when searching for information about whether the Holocaust happened.

Google first tried its fact-checking feature in a limited capacity last year in its news results, just weeks before the U.S. presidential election. Now the tool is being made available in both its search and news results and in all languages.

Despite the wide rollout, not every search will be paired with an indication that it has been fact-checked, and some of the sites Google is turning to for verification might disagree on the accuracy of the claim in question. It's unclear how Google will decide what to show in those cases, and Recode has reached out to Google for clarification.

In a blog post, Google said it’s “helpful for people to understand the degree of consensus around a particular claim and have clear information on which sources agree.”

Last month, Facebook added its own warning label to stories that contain questionable information, tagging stories that appear in its News Feed as “disputed” along with a link to a third-party fact-checking site.

One of the problems with that feature, as Recode pointed out, is that it may take days for a fact-checking website to get around to verifying a story. And as Pizzagate showed us last year, fake news can spread like wildfire.

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