The Fight against Fake News

You may remember a couple of months ago, we posted an article about fake news here on the Black Rebel Group blog, a subject that never seems to be too far from the newsroom. If you haven’t seen the article, check it out here.

Social media giants, search engines, real news companies all pledging to do more to prevent the spread of fake news.

Today, Google has rolled out an enhanced fact check feature, that has been available in the UK and US since October 2016, to the rest of the world. Hopefully this will help to stop some of the more convincing fake stories from getting through into mainstream media and causing problems. But, what does the feature actually do?


Searches will now highlight ‘authoritative sources’ in such as PolitiFact and Snopes and indicate whether the info on a particular post is False, True, Mostly True and so on. It will not be available for all of the searches you make and sometimes there may be conflict if another fact checking organisation and researched and come to a different conclusion. Google laid out information about the fact checker in a blog post published earlier today, which you can check out here. They say that the fact checks are not theirs and are presented so that people can make more informed decisions. The image below comes directly from the Google blog and shows what the fact checks look like.


fbFacebook’s also getting in there with a ‘new educational tool against misinformation’ that will appear at the top of user’s news feeds and link to advice on how to spot fake news and report it. This tool will be promoted in 14 countries. In a post on the Facebook newsroom, published yesterday, it says that Facebook has been focusing on three key areas:

  • disrupting economic incentives because most false news is financially motivated;
  • building new products to curb the spread of false news; and
  • helping people make more informed decisions when they encounter false news.

in-feed-unitThe image on the left is what the tool will look like on your news feed if you want to take a look.

What do you think about the new features/tools?

Do you think they will make a difference?

How would you tackle the fake news problem?

Let us know in the comments…


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