October 13, 2016

Google announced today that it will flag fact-checking articles in Google News. A search for news about Donald Trump, for example, yields the following results:


The links tagged as “fact checks” are from websites that apply a corresponding label to their code, ClaimReview markup. Google will also flag fact-checking content from “sites that follow the commonly accepted criteria for fact checks,” though these too will need to use the ClaimReview markup. This is currently in use by fewer than 10 domains. A Google spokesperson wouldn’t confirm the full list of websites; searches for the moment yield results from PolitiFact and Full Fact.

In the announcement, Google Head of News Richard Gingras writes that the organization is “excited to see the growth of the Fact Check community and to shine a light on its efforts to divine fact from fiction, wisdom from spin.”

Fact-checking guru Bill Adair called this move a “huge step” on Twitter.

This tagging may well lead to increased traffic for fact-checking outlets, which are already seeing record growth in the United States. Whether it will help “crowd out” false claims on the internet remains to be seen.

Whatever else happens, it seems to indicate a growing commitment to accuracy, at least in principle, from a Silicon Valley giant. Perhaps others, too, will take heed.

Update: the article was updated to reflect that PolitiFact and Full Fact are among the websites whose fact checks are tagged by Google News.

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Alexios Mantzarlis joined Poynter to lead the International Fact-Checking Network in September of 2015. In this capacity he writes about and advocates for fact-checking. He…
Alexios Mantzarlis

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