In this age of misinformation and disinformation spreading like wildfire, it feels important that people like you and I have a way to sort through all the bite-sized pieces of information we are constantly getting from different sources, and be able to determine whether this is something worth sharing or if it should be relegated to the “fake news” bin. Google hopes to help in that respect with a slew of new features they are announcing that will be rolling out in Search, such as:
- A notice in search results indicating that said results are new and changing quickly, prompting you to check the source first or come back later to make sure the information is still relevant.
- A new “Highly Cited” label will appear in Top Stories to highlight original reporting, as long as other publishers are linking to it. This feature is launching soon on mobile in English for the U.S. and will roll out globally in the coming weeks.
- A fact-checking tool that you can use to fact-check a specific story, which “collects more than 150,000 fact checks from reputable publishers from around the world.” Additionally, when searching for a disputed topic, fact-check articles may appear in your results that have been vetted by independent fact-checking organizations.
- An “About This Result” tool built right into Search to check the credibility of the source, providing you with a sense of how they describe themselves, what others have said about them, and learn additional context about the topic. This feature will be rolling out soon worldwide for English search results.
Google has also announced that they will be supporting fact-checkers globally through the Google News Initiative and by partnering with the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN) in order to provide training and resources to fact-checkers and industry experts around the world. They will also be partnering with and supporting several smaller fact-checking groups worldwide.
These announcements arrive just in time for International Fact-Checking Day on April 2 and reinforce Google’s mission to help dissuade misinformation online by strengthening the fact-checking ecosystem and providing users with the tools to make informed decisions based on facts. We welcome these new additions and hope that they go a long way when it comes to fighting propaganda.