News and Commentary

Google Fact-Checks News Using Buzzfeed, Salon, Snopes

So Google is now “fact-checking” all our news.

Who are the vaunted checkers, the ones charged with sussing out the truth and stating it without bias? Salon. Buzzfeed. Snopes. The Washington Post. Politifact.

Seriously. Couldn’t they find more liberal “news” sites?

Google calls them “authoritative sources.” Snopes? Buzzfeed? And The Washington Post of today is nothing like it was 40 years ago. Jeff Bezos has taken the paper far left, and its day-to-day content skews hardcore liberal.

The new toolbar rolled out over the weekend. When looking up, say, “Hillary Clinton sold uranium to Russia” on Google, a small icon pops up at the bottom that, in this case, “fact check by False.”

Google tried to effect the 2016 outcome by first introducing its fact checking feature just weeks before the presidential election. But the tool didn’t work so was revamped. In a blog post, Google said it’s “helpful for people to understand the degree of consensus around a particular claim and have clear information on which sources agree.”

Facebook also looks to affect daily news, adding warning label to stories they deem unsuitable, the BBC reported.

Facebook is launching an educational tool as part of measures it is taking to counter fake news.

For three days, an ad will appear at the top of users’ news feeds linking to advice on “how to spot fake news” and report it.

The campaign, which will be promoted in 14 countries, is “designed to help people become more discerning readers”, the social media firm said.

But experts questioned whether the measure would have any real impact.

“Until Facebook stops rewarding the architects of fake news with huge traffic, this problem will just get worse,” Tom Felle, a lecturer in digital journalism at City University told the BBC.

From Friday, users who click on Facebook’s ad will be redirected to its help centre, where they will see a list of 10 tips for identifying false stories.