Facebook and Google have had a significant role in the spread of fake news, facing plenty of criticism last year after the US presidential election since fake news is believed to have had a huge impact on the result. Neither Facebook nor Google actively contributed to disseminating fake news. Seemingly motivated by financial or political gain, some people and organizations took advantage of the way Facebook and Google work and used the services to spread fake news. But both companies have promised to fight the phenomenon, separately announcing measures meant to combat that viral lies that are told online.
Google on Friday announced a new product called Fact Check that will be available in Search and News. Google itself will not verify the accuracy of reports, but the company created the “Fact Check” tag to identify news reports as having been fact-checked by other news publishers and fact-checking organizations.
The Fact Check label will appear everywhere in Search and in News, and users will be able to spot fact-checked stories immediately, as seen in the image above. Naturally, not all news reports out there will be fact-checked. But the kind of viral stories that turn out to be fake may be fact-checked by people looking to stop the spread of misinformation.
Facebook, in turn, is also looking to curb the spread of false news within its social network. The company explained that it’s been focusing on three areas, including the disruption of economic incentives for fake news creators to push such stories, new products to stop the spread of fake news, and helping people make more informed decisions when they see potential fake news.
One of the measures meant to stop fake news is the tool in the image above, an educational project intended to help people spot fake stories. The tool will be located at the top of the News Feed for a few days in 14 countries. Additionally, Facebook promised to continue its work in all the three key areas it identified, in an effort to put a stop to fake news.
Like Google, Facebook won’t interfere directly, but it’ll try to prevent fake news from going viral by informing Facebook users how to avoid fake news, and by making it harder for fake news creators to make money off their viral stories. Facebook will also work with other partners to try to prevent fake news from going viral.