Google started rolling out the fact-checking feature of its Search and News services worldwide following months of beta testing and limited rollouts, the Mountain View-based tech giant announced on Friday. Developed in partnership with Jigsaw, the experimental version of the functionality debuted last October and was designed with the goal of stopping the dissemination of factually inaccurate and purposefully false online stories. Google and Jigsaw developed the feature as a label that appears next to search results and designates whether a particular story has been fact-checked, who checked the validity of the information it's presenting, and what conclusions were made following that procedure.
In practice, users with access to the fact-checking functionality will see a small label next to a news story saying something along the lines of "Mr. John Doe said the Earth is round, Politifact checked that claim and found it to be correct." All of the information presented by the label was displayed in a way that's easy to read and understand, so after some additional tweaking, Google and Jigsaw felt the feature is ready to be deployed worldwide. The rollout of the new functionality started earlier today and should be completed over the weekend, if not sooner. All of the fact-checking presented by the label is conducted by independent and mostly unrelated organizations in a variety of languages. Naturally, not every story on the Internet will be fact-checked and some organizations might fact-check the same story and reach different conclusions regarding how accurate it is, Google admitted. Regardless, the company described the new feature as yet another step in its efforts to combat "fake news," a term popularized by President Trump in the run-up to last year's United States presidential election.
Most fact-checked stories will be displayed higher in Search and News results, Google said, adding that all publishers looking to be included in the new system need to use the Schema.org ClaimReview markup on pages where they're checking the validity of public statements. Alternatively, they can use the Share the Facts widget for the same purpose. More information on Google's latest functionality is available at the link below.