On the occasion of International Fact-Checking Day on April 2nd last week, Google shared 5 handy tips that everyone must know, in order to spot fake news, instead of getting tricked into believing it!
Along with sharing the tips, Google claimed that it is committed to supporting all users as they look for reliable information online, and share insights with other organizations to strengthen fact-checking as every day, people seek evidence to confirm or refute a piece of information they are uncertain about. Elaborating this on another page on its website, Google stated that if a fact check made by a publisher meets certain requirements, Google automatically shows a summary of that fact checks determined by an algorithm.
Alexios Mantzarlis, News and Information Credibility Lead of Google News in a blog post noted that over the past year more than 50,000 new fact checks surfaced on Google Search, with all fact checks receiving more than 2.4 billion impressions in Search in that timeframe.
Moving on to the tips that we, as users can employ in our daily use of the search engine and browser, first up, Google recommends ‘Looking For News Coverage’. See how (and whether) different news outlets have reported on the same event so that you can get the full picture. Switch to news mode or search for a topic in news.google.com. Google notes that users can check for the full coverage of a news piece if they switch to news mode or search for a topic in Google News. Users can click on full coverage to see the news outlets that have covered the news.
Next up, ‘Use Google Maps’. Google notes that users can confirm if an event is indeed taking place at a location by checking Google Earth or the Street View of a location on Google Maps.
Try ‘Checking if an image is being used in the right context. You can search with an image by right-clicking on a photo and selecting “Search Google for Image.” You can do the same on mobile by touching and holding the image. This will look for the picture to check if it has appeared online before, and in what context, so you can see if it has been altered from its original meaning. There are multiple photos that are forwarded on WhatsApp and Facebook that are not genuine or tend to mislead people. Mobile users can do the same by touching and holding the image for some time. Google will then check if the image has appeared online before and the context in which it appeared.
Find out more about the source. Google notes that users can find out more about the source of an article or website by clicking on three dots on the right of an article, given that the source checks itself out.
Lastly, ‘Consult the fact-checkers!’ Try searching for the topic in the Fact Check Explorer, which collects more than 100,000 fact checks from reputable publishers around the world.