Finally! Fact Checking at Your Fingertips
Remember when you could trust the news stories you found on the Internet or at least know at a glance which ones were hoaxes? The proliferation of credible-looking news stories making false (yet feasible) claims is wearing on readers who are tired of hunting for real news. Internet viewers may once again be able to trust the news they read as real news with the help of Google’s Fact Check.
What Fact Check Is
Fact Check is a new Google tool that integrates fact-checking reviews from reliable research organizations like PolitiFact and Snopes into search results. Fact Check will appear below the search result snippet with an overall rating of the content’s “truthiness” and links to the reviews about all individual claims made in the content.
How to Get Fact Check
For Fact Check to be present, the content’s publisher has to add a Claim Review tag from schema.org. This enables Google’s algorithm to consider reviews from the two preferred fact-checking agencies about the claim to which the tag is applied.
Claim Review tags can be added for each individual claim a site makes and for differing analyses from multiple reviewers. Users can also provide fact-checking feedback (and this would be the only time a human gets involved in the fact-checking process…everything else happens via algorithm).
Who Can Use Fact Check
Fact Check is intended for use by reputable news sources (as defined by Google’s algorithm). So, basement bloggers and grassroots news organizations may have difficulty getting Fact Check results to show up next their content in search results, even when the Claim Review tag is applied.
So far, Fact Check is only a news fact-checking tool. It does not verify marketing claims or prices posted on business-to-consumer websites.
Fact Check and You
Fact Check is a tool for publishers to demonstrate the reliability of their news. Users can’t hit CTRL+[some button] or a Function key to bring up Google Fact Check to scan a site for “truthiness.” However, Fact Check does make it easy for you to see at a glance if a news story is blatantly fake, mostly true or 100% fact. Fact Check reviews are also clickable, so you can navigate to PolitiFact, Snopes or user feedback to read the complete write up about a claim.
Fact Check’s integration into news results is just a first step to fight fake news, but it is one that eases the burden of research on news readers who want to stay reliably informed without having to go on a fact-checking crusade every day.