Google launches 'fact check' label for its news service

New tab will access content from around the world to help spread accurate news online


We may be living in a post-truth era of statistics, fake news, claims and counter-claims, but Google is here to help.

The search giant has added a "fact check" tab to its news service, a service pulling in content from and linking to fact-checking websites such as UK charity Full Fact.

There are more than 100 sites of this sort around the world, according to Google, collectively producing "many thousands of fact-checks a year, examining claims around urban legends, politics, health, and the media".

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The new tab will recognise the sites as fact-checkers in part because of a particular type of computer code the sites tend to use, says the Daily Telegraph. The sites will also be scanned by Google to make sure they "follow widely accepted criteria".

This is an "assault on false, misleading and inaccurate" news, says the Telegraph, and it "could help encourage the spread of accurate news online".

Google made no reference to the US election, says Next Web, but this seems like a "subtle nudge" to voters. "It's a nice way to make sure readers are at least forming opinions based on fact," says the site.

Glenn Kessler, who runs the Washington Post's Fact Checker, told Engadget: "I think that voters and people interested in politics really want to see whether or not politicians are telling the truth.

"There was a lot of publicity given to the American fact checkers in the 2012 election and a lot of international news coverage about the fact checkers, and that inspired fact checkers to spring up all over the place – in Latin America, Africa, Asia, all across Europe."

The new tab is found in the expanded version of Google News starting from today in the US and UK. According to Tech Radar, the search giant has "no plans to expand the feature outside those two regions".

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