Google News has decided to add a fact check tag on the articles that it indexes, thus offering its readers the possibility of choosing more reliable sources. The update comes a month before the presidential elections, in a period in which the candidates have been highly affected by the rumors circulated by some media channels.
After the debates had been sprinkled with unchecked information about the two controversial candidates, Google News decided to add some more reliability to the news sites that it features by adding a fact check tag to its page.
Other tags like Highly Cited, In-Depth, and Most Referenced are already featured on its Real Time Coverage page, the readers having the option of selecting an article that covers the story in length, or the article that has most likely been used as a partial source by other websites trending for the same news.
Google News will be tagging articles with the new button according to the following criteria:
- The methods and sources used by the writer must be transparent.
- Primary sources must be referenced and cited.
- Checks and claims should be easily identified by the reader. Moreover, the checked facts must be separated by those who were unchecked as not to create confusion.
- The website/news organization must be unbiased, this means that its affiliations and funding should also be transparent.
- The title of the article must clearly indicate that the facts presented within the piece are reviewed, or that the content is checked.
For the moment the new Google News option will only be available in the United Kingdom and the United States. The feature will be implemented just in time for the third and final presidential debate between Republican Trump and Democrat Clinton.
The feature will slowly expand to Australia, where the political situation is as filled with scandals and biased news articles as the one in the United States.
According to Bill Adair, a professor of journalism at Duke University, the new feature is a “huge step for fact-checking.” Moreover, it makes journalism come back to its original meaning, that of reporting the truth.
What do you think of the new Google News feature? Will you screen the news for articles bearing the tag?
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