Thanks in no small part to the upcoming election and the accusations being thrown around by all involved, fact-checking has become more important than ever. As such, Google is adding a fact check tag to articles on news.google.com, where they will appear in the expanded story box, and on the Google News & Weather iOS and Android apps.
The feature joins existing tags used by Google’s news service, such as Opinion, In-depth, Highly Cited, and the recently added Local Source. The search giant says the growth of fact-checking organizations like the International Fact-Checking Network also prompted it to introduce the tag.
Google will look for the schema.org ClaimReview markup to determine if sites contain fact checks. Additionally, Google makes sure that the pages follow certain criteria for fact checks, which include: “Discrete claims and checks must be easily identified in the body of fact-check articles. Readers should be able to understand what was checked, and what conclusions were reached.”
If Google finds a site that doesn’t meet the criteria for the ClaimReview markup, it may ignore the markup or remove the site from Google News.
“We’re 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,” the company said in its blog post.
Some of the sites already using the new markup include political fact-checker Politifact.com, and the UK-based independent fact-checking charity Full Fact. So far, fewer than ten domains are currently using the feature.
With less than a month to go and just one more debate to get through before voting begins, it’s a shame Google didn’t introduce the fact-checking tag sooner.