Search giant Google has highlighted the work it has been doing to make sure more fact-checked content is appearing in the search results.
Fake news has been a problem online for a few years now, with many tech giants struggling to keep it out of the limelight. One of Google’s initiatives in the fight against misinformation was to display fact-checking labels within the search results, and it has been doing this for around three years now. It is believed that these fact checking labels appear in the results more than 11 million times on a daily basis in global search results and within Google News for five countries.
This means that these labels have approximately four billion impressions on a yearly basis. These labels were able to be implemented with the ClaimReview mark-up. This is a schema mark-up that permits fact-checkers to identify where the claims made within a web page’s content is true or false. Those pages containing this ClaimReview mark-up are then displayed within the search results with a snippet, which looks like the below example:
This snippet clearly shows searchers what is being claimed, by whom and whether the fact checkers found the claim to be true or not. All claims that have been checked are available for the public to search for using a database of more than 40,000 fact checks.
Google has stated that it plans to increase the adoption of fact checks by working with the International Fact-Checking Network and the Duke Reporters’ Lab. To make sure that this continues, Google will be exploring a number of new models that can help to support the sustainability of fact-checking tools for the long-term.
While there is still a long way to go to ensure that fake news and misinformation is eradicated from reputable sources of data, Google continues to actively help users by pointing out content that contains false claims. However, could Google be doing more than just highlighting that a post contains fake news? Should it be penalising these sites and have them appear much further down in the rankings?