Misinformation on the web: nothing new.
Google wants to change that — at least for the last month of election season.
On Thursday, Google News launched a fact-checking feature. A “Fact Check” label will appear in expanded story boxes on Google News and on Google apps, joining other news labels such as Highly Cited, Opinion and Most Referenced.
Don’t expect to see a lot of these: on first glance, we found, well, zero fact-check markers. Maybe it's because the criteria for Google's fact-checking seem to involve compliance from the sites themselves.
“Google News determines whether an article might contain fact checks in part by looking for the schema.org ClaimReview markup. We also look for sites that follow the commonly accepted criteria for fact checks,” a blog posting on Google noted. “Publishers who create fact-checks and would like to see it appear with the ‘Fact check’ tag should use that markup in fact-check articles.”
Basically, sites can apply to have this service included. Which means stories from biased sources will likely go unchecked, while claims on more reputable sources will be subjected to greater scrutiny.
Still, it’s something, and especially good during an election season that’s seen fact-checking, of all things, become a topic of great debate.