Technology

Google adds fact-checking to news articles — just in time for the election

Getty Images. Google has introduced a fact checking category to its news service, just ahead of the U.S. presidential elections.

Google is adding "fact check" tags to its news articles, introducing the feature amid a presidential race roiled by heated disputes over the accuracy of even the most basic information. The move, announced Thursday, will allow readers on Google news applications and websites to click on links to check facts where claims have been evaluated by fact-check organizations. The new feature is being introduced amid a war over facts between many major media outlets and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. It also aims to stem the spread of "fake" news that may spread through social media.

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.

Google news chief Richard Gingras

Google News "determines whether an article might contain fact checks" using an algorithm that evaluates claims and by seeking websites "that follow the commonly accepted criteria for fact checks," the statement said. Bill Adair, a Duke University journalism professor and founder of the Pulitzer Prize-winning site PolitiFact, called the Google announcement "a huge step for fact-checking." Trump has forced fact-checkers to work overtime with a seemingly relentless stream of untruths and exaggerations about his past, and he has hit back at the media for damning revelations. Articles in Google News are labeled and categorized to reflect the type of story they are. For example, there is an "in-depth" and "opinion" label. Now the search giant is adding "fact check" to the list.

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