It’s tough being at the top. Google has been taking a lot of heat for returning what some are calling fake news results to online search queries. In addition, they have been under fire for showing paid ads next to offensive content and losing Adwords revenue.
They aren’t the only ones. Facebook has also been in hot water, and it all came to a head around the time of the 2016 elections. In an effort to combat this issue, Facebook rolled out their “educational tool” about a month ago.
Now it’s Big G’s turn. Last Friday they introduced the new fact check tool by Google, which utilizes outside sources to check the validity of the certain stories. The following post gives an overview of how it works:
Google rolls out new ‘Fact Check’ tool worldwide to combat fake news – CSMonitor.com
April 7, 2017 —On Friday, Google implemented a new tool to fight the spread of misinformation on the web worldwide. The new “Fact Check” program automatically labels dubious stories in users’ search results, and provides links to fact-checking sites like Snopes and Politifact to establish the veracity of their claims.
The main two problems with attempting to be the fake news police is: 1. The question of freedom of speech and 2. Who gets to decide what is fake
Some people are questioning whether Snopes and Politifact are considered accurate sources and have the right to decide if a news story is authentic. Snopes, a project that began in 1994 with the mission of proving or disproving urban legends, is now one of the most trusted sites for checking whether a story is true, false, or a little of both.
However, it seems that politics play into many decisions made these days.
As far as freedom of speech, part of what makes the internet so cool is that you can access differing opinions on topics and then glean information in an effort to make practical assumptions about the facts. Every person has an distinct opinion about what the truth is, making the term “alternative facts” part of the news mainstream.
The following video provides some thought provoking information on this subject:
Let’s face it, Google has a lot of weight on their shoulders to provide accurate search results. It makes it difficult to please every group or cause, similar to how a referee of a sporting event never makes a decision that satisfies everyone. I remember not long ago that Wikipedia was considered a questionable source of content since it is collaborative endeavor by its users…AKA someone’s opinion.
Can the people that conclude a written piece of work is fake or not stay completely neutral? The next post continues with this train of thought:
Google’s fact check feature goes global and comes to Google Search | TechCrunch
Occasionally, of course, different groups may have come to different conclusions. Some of these claims can be a bit fuzzy, after all. Google says it will present those different opinions to its users. “Even though differing conclusions may be presented, we think it’s still helpful for people to understand the degree of consensus around a particular claim and have clear information on which sources agree,” the company writes in today’s announcement. “As we make fact checks more visible in Search results, we believe people will have an easier time reviewing and assessing these fact checks, and making their own informed opinions.”
Read the original post here: Google’s fact check feature goes global and comes to Google Search | TechCrunch
I would like to think that there are a lot of practical people in our world with enough common sense to distinguish between what is accurate or inaccurate news. Based on scientific and historical knowledge, we know that the world is round, not flat. But given enough input saying the opposite, some people give in to doubts and start to wonder.
However, the type of people that question the status quo are many times inventors that think outside the box, coming up with ideas that save lives or at least make our lives easier. It will be interesting to see how this evolves and how artificial intelligence is used in our search for the truth.