With the 2016 election cycle in full swing, the need for proper fact checking is at an all time high. Google just announced a new label that will appear in Google News on topics that have been properly fact checked. According to a post on Google’s Keyword blog, the new label will appear in the expended details box on news.google.com as well as the Google News app on iOS and Android mobile platforms.
To accomplish this, publishers will be required to add a new line of code to fact checked articles published on the Web as well as adhere to a set of guidelines set by the search company. Detailed by Google, some of the guidelines state “Readers should be able to understand what was checked, and what conclusions were reached…Analysis must be transparent about sources and methods, with citations and references to primary sources…The organization must be nonpartisan, with transparent funding and affiliations.”
Some of the early sites that have already adopted the new markup include U.S. politics site PolitiFact as well as UK-based Full Fact. It’s possible that these tags will appear for Google News readers as soon as the final presidential debate on October 19. When either candidate makes a specific claim during the debate, a PolitiFact fact checked article would likely appear in the Google News listings when other reporters write about the claims made by Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
While this new markup won’t disqualify false stories from appearing in the Google News listings, the markup will easily discredit those false stories when the topic appears on Google News. At this time, less than ten domains are currently utilizing the new markup according to schema.org. Interestingly, both Facebook and Twitter recently joined global newsrooms in an effort to eliminate the spread of false news stories on social media as well as search engines.
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