The internet has been riddled with fake news and advertisements that have caused technology companies such as Google and social media sites such as Facebook much headache for the past two years.
Both companies have been active in their efforts to eradicate fake news in circulation using their services, but Google has been more aggressive in doing so and the company has now expanded this service to Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.
Google's Fact Check Label vs Fake News
In November and December 2016 alone, Google permanently banned 200 fake news publishers following its improved policies, and temporarily banned 140 others. However, that is not all because Google also came out with a "Fact Check" label on Oct. 13, 2016, which initially rolled out in the United States and the United Kingdom.
On Nov. 17, 2016, just a month after it first rolled out, the "Fact Check" label was also launched in France and Germany. Google also funded 10 additional fact-checking projects through the Google Digital Initiative Fund.
The quick rollout for France was due to Google's determination to trim fake news articles pertaining to the country's upcoming elections, and it did so by funding Le Monde's 13-person team called "Les Décodeurs," who aimed to develop a Google Chrome extension to flag the validity, authenticity, and reliability of a "news" website.
"Our goal is to be open source, so that everyone can use it. And we hope to have a bigger database by sharing our database of news sites and other fake news from other countries," Le Décodeurs Division Head Samuel Laurent explains.
As part of its continuing efforts, Google announced on Feb. 15 that Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico will finally get to enjoy the "Fact Check" label, along with some of its slight improvements.
What's New In The Expanded Version
When it was first launched, the "Fact Check" tag only showed beside article titles in the Google News site and the Google News & Weather application for iOS and Android devices. While these helped readers determine the quality of the articles they are reading from news.google.com, some users who prefer to manually search for news stories using the Google search engine are left in the dark.
As part of the company's efforts to improve the "Fact Check" tag and combat fake news, Google now shows the same label when users simply search for a story and switch to the "News" tab. A sample of this can be seen in the image below.
The photo below shows a screen capture of the "Fact Check" label in the expanded story box of news.google.com.
"[We're] eager to bring the fact check tag to other countries around the world," Google writes.
The company also calls for news publishers to be conscious of its fact-checking criteria.