Facts are important. Most of us can agree on that.
And it’s a fact of the world today that real facts can be hard to come by – or at least hard to identify and verify.
Google has entered the ‘fact fray’ by adding fact check information to its search feature.
From the Google Blog…
Here’s how they describe their rationale for doing this:
Google was built to help people find useful information by surfacing the great content that publishers and sites create. This access to high quality information is what drives people to use the web and for contributors to continue to engage and invest in it.
However, with thousands of new articles published online every minute of every day, the amount of content confronting people online can be overwhelming. And unfortunately, not all of it is factual or true, making it hard for people to distinguish fact from fiction.
Now, when you enter a Google search, some of your results may include publisher fact checks. They will indicate whether the so-called facts are, according to the publisher’s check, true, false, partly true, etc.
Google Fact Check Getting Off the Ground
This fact check data isn’t going to be available for every search you do. Also, it’s important to know that these checks are not created by Google. They are offered by other, independent fact-checking organizations which now number 115.
So, it’s quite possible that different checkers may come to different conclusions about facts presented. Regarding this phenomenon, Google notes:
Even though differing conclusions may be presented, we think it’s still helpful for people to understand the degree of consensus around a particular claim and have clear information on which sources agree. As we make fact checks more visible in Search results, we believe people will have an easier time reviewing and assessing these fact checks, and making their own informed opinions.
I agree. When it comes to getting to the bottom of claims being presented on the internet, my feeling is that the more information available, the better.
What if You Disagree?
When fact check data is displayed by Google, readers do have the ability to give feedback on this information. Just click the “Feedback” link under the result that you wish to give feedback about.
Want to Test This for Yourself?
Search Google for “27 million people enslaved” for example. When you do, you’ll see a fact-check box telling you that PolitiFact says that Senator Bob Corker’s claim that 27 million people are trapped in modern slavery is “mostly true.”
If you look under News results for this search term, you’ll see a “Fact Check” option next to the stories. This offers you more in-depth information.
I invite you to keep an eye out for this additional data in your search results. It certainly seems a good addition to me.
Speaking of facts…
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