In an effort to combat “fake news,” Google has launched a new feature on their search engine titled “Fact Check” which adds a label to certain links indicating whether they have been confirmed by partisan fact-checkers Snopes and Politifact.
Mashable reports that this new fact-checking feature was already implemented in some countries in October of 2016 but will now be rolled out globally in multiple languages. Now when you search for a news item, you should see results with a tag that states which claim is being fact-checked, which organization did the fact-check, and a summary of the story’s credibility with a “true” or “false” rating.
This feature will also be implemented on Google News, where news articles will be deemed true or false by Snopes and Politifact. Google has also stated that due to the nature of the system, some search results may return conflicting ratings depending on which organization fact-checked the story.
Google has listed a number of rules for publishers to follow if they want to be included in the program. Google will also only include publishers who are “algorithmically determined to be an authoritative source of information”.
Google also stated in their blog post, “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.”
Breitbart has detailed why partisan websites such as Snopes and Politifact are unqualified to judge what constitutes “fake news.” However, many large tech companies such as Google and Facebook are turning to the partisan organizations to determine what should be considered fake news despite the organization’s extremely poor track record of accuracy and basic moral decency.
In July of 2016 Politifact attempted to fact-check the grieving mother of a Benghazi victim who spoke at the RNC. When President Trump stated that Hillary Clinton wanted “open borders,” PolitiFact deemed his statement “mostly false,” despite the fact that Clinton herself admitted as much in a private, paid speech to a Brazilian bank on May 16, 2013.
“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders,” she said at the time. Snopes fact-checker David Emery let his obvious partisanship be known in December of 2016 when he asked if there were “any un-angry Trump supporters” and tweeted, “Incredibly, some people actually think they have to put words in Trump’s mouth to make him look bad.”
Google and Facebook have now appointed these organizations to act as the arbiters of truth in the digital age with little oversight from any governing body whatsoever.