Google rolled out a new feature Friday for its search browser, which uses media outlets like Politifact and Snopes to help combat “fake news.”
After inputting a search query on the tech conglomerate’s platform, a user is shown results with “fact checks for one or more public claims” or news stories.
“The snippet will display information on the claim, who made the claim, and the fact check of that particular claim,” Justin Kosslyn, product manager of Jigsaw, Google’s technology incubator, and Cong Yu, a research scientist, wrote on an official Google 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.”
Kosslyn and Yu don’t specifically mention Snopes or Politifact in their text, but the pictures provided demonstrate the two projects in use. An accompanying map also lists the two websites.
Snopes, Politifact, or any such publication deciding which news stories are legitimate leads to editorializing as fact checking is prone to subjectivity.
This notion is further evidenced in that not a single fact checker at Snopes comes from a conservative background, which a Daily Caller investigation revealed. In fact, Snopes employs liberals and leftists almost exclusively.
Politifact has also made some extremely doubtful (and perhaps biased) efforts to disprove and verify certain public claims.
The Pulitizer Prize-winning site ruled former Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2014 claim to have destroyed “100 percent” of chemical weapons in Syria as “Mostly true.” Syrian citizens were victims of the worst chemical attack since 2013 on Tuesday, in what many believe was the work of the Syrian government.
Google clarified that not every search result will trigger an automatic fact check by Snopes and Politifact because sometimes “different publishers checked the same claim and reached different conclusions.”
“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,” Google elaborated.
The tech giant thanked its “fact check community,” which reportedly includes 115 organizations, for helping to purportedly refine the feature.
Google isn’t the only company trying to fight news it considers deceiving or false.
Facebook rolled out new tools in January and April to help determine what news stories are “sensational” or “misleading.” The tech company also hired a former CNN anchor who isn’t shy about her anti-Trump sentiment in January to become its new arbiter of news.