Google Fights Back Against ‘Fake News’

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Thunderbolt Digital are a local digital agency who offer a range of services to help improve your online visibility, including social media marketing, web design, SEO Surrey, and more! We work closely with our clients to provide exactly what they need and as such know how important communication is, and that all the right facts are relayed between parties. In the same way that miscommunication can disrupt a partnership, online ‘fake news’ stories can cause a breakdown of trust between users and online providers – something which Google is set to stand up against.

Google have yet again changed the searching experience for users after rolling out a ‘fact check’ feature worldwide in an attempt to curb the false news epidemic sweeping the internet, especially in regards to political issues. This feature originally appeared in Google News last October but has recently been integrated into Google’s general search and is being expanded across multiple languages.

These new “fact checked” search results are presented in ‘rich snippet’ format, highlighting who made the original claim as well as the source that either verified or refuted it. Of course, the sites that make these fact checks must be a good authority – and whilst google doesn’t specify what that means exactly, they have revealed that sites that violate certain guidelines (inciting hatred or violence, for example) will be excluded from fact check results; this move is probably in response to an earlier outcry after google’s top ranking search result for “Did the Holocaust happen?” linked to a neo-nazi website.

Of course, slips ups are liable to happen as an algorithm will be used to sort these new results –  google are not fact checking the results manually and are relying on politically independent sources like Snopes and Politifact to check queried facts. Google admits that this process will result in conflicting results from different sources being shown alongside one another from time to time, but claim that these should help paint a broader picture of an overall issue, allowing users to come to their own informed judgement.

As of yet, this feature is only available on certain searches with results that meet the correct ‘fact check’ criteria, though this is likely to change as more sites attempt to become an authority in this area. This sounds like it could be the start of fraudsters attempting to game the system, but as we all know Google crack down very hard on these matters; there’s also a system for leaving feedback on these new results so that users can report unhelpful or misleading results.

Thunderbolt Digital are a trusted SEO Surrey marketing agency that has assisted many local businesses in the online marketing battleground – and emerged victorious. If you’re in need of a friendly, competent team to help you with SMM, SEO, mobile optimisation, or another digital service, then Thunderbolt are here for you! Get in contact today by calling our office at 01252 413757 or emailing our team at howdy@wearethunderbolt.com – we’d love to chat with you!

 

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