Tuesday 25 October 2016

Google to fact check online news stories

Cara McGoogan

Published 17/10/2016 | 09:20

Google boss Sundar Pichai. Pic: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
Google boss Sundar Pichai. Pic: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Google has launched an assault on false, misleading and inaccurate news articles online with the introduction of a new feature that will fact check stories on its News section. 

  • Go To

It has added a fact check tag to Google News that is reserved for articles from official fact checking websites, such as the UK charity Full Fact.

The factual update to the popular news aggregator could help encourage the spread of accurate news online.


Alongside regular news stories on any given topic, Google will now pull articles from fact checking websites, of which there are more than 100 around the world and two based in the UK, according to Duke University.    

"They collectively produce many thousands of fact-checks a year, examining claims around urban legends, politics, health, and the media," said Richard Gingras, Google's head of news. "We're excited to see the growth of the Fact Check community and to shine a light on its efforts to divine fact from fiction, wisdom from spin." 

Fact check sites tend to use a particular type of computer code, which the search giant said it will use to determine if an article contains fact checks. It will also scan the sites to see if they follow widely accepted criteria for such pieces. 

The tag works in a similar way to the "In-Depth", "Opinion" and "Local News" tags on Google News, and will appear before the headline as "Fact Check".

The update comes amid growing concern about the truth of articles published and promoted online. Facebook has come under fire for promoting fake news after users found its news section contained false, inaccurate and potentially offensive stories.

Following an incident where the social network promote the fake story "BREAKING: Fox News exposes traitor Megyn Kelly, kicks her out for backing Hillary", Facebook said it had tweaked its news algorithm. But after the changes, promoted five fake stories and three highly inaccurate ones in a three week period, according to the Washington Post. 


Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in Business