The company today introduced a new feature that will tag and help find “fact checking in large news stories.” Tagged articles will show up in the new story box on news.google.com, as well as in the Google News and Weather app for iOS and Android in the US and UK.
There’s a two-pronged approach to detecting fact checking. First Google looks for actual markup in the site’s source code. Then Google looks for pages “that follow the commonly accepted criteria for fact checks.” You can learn more about the process here.
Though Google makes no mention of the ongoing US presidential election, I can’t help but feel this is a subtle nudge towards making voters are keeping track of who’s telling the truth and who’s not (need I even explain?). It’s meant to help clear up hoaxes too, but right now, politics are likely the focus.
To be clear, the tags show up in small grey text above the article links – Google itself isn’t passing judgement, nor does it tell you the source article’s conclusion in search results. It’s merely a sign that says “hey, read me to find out the truth.” Still, it’s a nice way to make sure readers are at least forming opinions based on fact rather than fiction.