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Google News Politics Technology

Google Tackles Fake News With Global Fact-Checking Rollout (betanews.com) 230

Google is calling on fact-checking organizations to help it bust fake news -- but it's starting in a small way. From a report: Google's Fact Check feature is not new, but today the search giant is rolling out the feature around the world. A global rollout is important if such a tool is to have any real impact. It's all well and good have reports fact-checked on one side of the world, but it's of little use if the same fake stories remain unquestioned and untested elsewhere. Google is doing its part by making the Fact Check label available in Google News everywhere, and spreading it into search results in all languages as well. The Fact Check label has been around since October, providing an at-a-glance way to determine whether or not a particular story has been verified as true. Google admits that it will not be possible to fact-check every single search result it displays, and the company points out that it is not responsible for the actual fact-checking process.
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Google Tackles Fake News With Global Fact-Checking Rollout

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  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @12:07PM (#54191871)
    Is this fact checking going to be like Politifact, which has said that an article or tweet is "mostly false" while saying that the facts it contains are true?
    • by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @12:11PM (#54191907)

      You can use many truths to draw a false conclusion. Conspiracy theorists do it all the time.

      • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @12:24PM (#54192027)
        A conclusion is not a fact. So, what you want is someone to check that the articles reach the "correct" conclusions?
      • by s.petry ( 762400 )

        CNN and MSNBC are both masters at using a cherry picked set of facts to support a narrative. Other sources often do the same, just not to the same extent.

        Using a very limited set of facts to support your position is called confirmation bias. People introducing additional facts to question the narrative are simply labeled "fake news". "Conspiracy theorist" is a bit dated, but that was the line pushed from the 60s or so. The people exposing CIA operations were labeled, yet we found through more facts tha

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          "CNN and MSNBC are both masters at using a cherry picked set of facts to support a narrative. Other sources often do the same, just not to the same extent."

          Bullshit Mountain called. Fox News wants to know how much you charge for rimjobs.

          "Conspiracies are relatively common, yet the media has demonized the term so that people can't talk about them."

          This is because the vast majority of them are patently false, and there is a correlation between belief in conspiracy theories and general hatred of groups trying

          • by s.petry ( 762400 )

            I never exonerated any media outlet, you invented a narrative. As to the extent I pointed out, Fox at least presents Democrats (not just moderates but the extreme leftists) and their supporters. The two worst don't bother with any discussion that does not suite their narrative.

            When you come out of your fantasy land about statements I never made, how about you let us know a reasonable number of true conspiracies that you would support being talked about. Until Snowden, we had plenty of theories about Gove

          • "Conspiracies are relatively common, yet the media has demonized the term so that people can't talk about them."

            This is because the vast majority of them are patently false,"

            With the revelations that many more 'conspiracy theories' are indeed true than previously hoped for, that paradigm is collapsing. Indeed, the tool used now is more and more the 'big lie'. Tell the biggest whopper as often as you can for as long as you can, and when the truth comes out, everyone is either desensitized to the truth and di

            • Chemtrails, aliens, truthers, reptilians in the White House, the list goes on and they're all bullshit, even the last one. Just because the government really was spying on you does not suddenly mean the others were true all along, but too many people believe what they want to believe regardless of lack of evidence, or even evidence against it.

              While the rest of us will stick to Occam's Razor, and keep assuming that wildly-unlikely stuff is almost certainly just more bullshit - unless and until someone produc

        • People introducing additional facts to question the narrative are simply labeled "fake news".

          "fake news" is the use of lies in place of facts. Or in your world is everything a fact, real or not?

          • Pure rubbish. Cherry picking is a common tactic for fake news. Look up CNN, MSNBC, NBC, and even ABC removing content to portray a narrative. To show that this is not new, look back at the first reporting of the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case by NBC. Who was caught editing audio to make George appear to be racist instead of answering a dispatcher's question, they lightened his photos to make him appear to be white instead of Hispanic, and instead of displaying current pictures of Trayvon Martin pu

        • "Conspiracy theorist" is a bit dated, but that was the line pushed from the 60s or so.

          Current conspiracy theories include things like "jet contrails are actually mind control chemtrails", with proof of this often being i.e. pictures of barrels inside of passenger jets, and some contrails being colored in appearance. Of course, if you look deeper you'll find that these have nothing to do with mind control or any other secretive plot, but they use the fact that water barels used to simulate rapid passenger movement on a jumbo jet actually exist, and the fact that contrails can and do appear di

          • by s.petry ( 762400 )

            Even more current conspiracies are Hillary's emails, the Trump leaks which we recently found were unmasked (possibly illegal) and possibly leaked by Susan Rice. Both of those were called right wing conspiracies. Both of those were found to have a good amount of truth to them, with Comey taking over as prosecutor and claiming he could not prosecute Hilary and the latter still under investigation.

            Conspiracy theories and "Fake News" have turned out to be "things people don't want you to know" quite often.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The best houses of lies are built on a foundation of truth.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 07, 2017 @12:27PM (#54192055)

      The Onion.

    • by David_Hart ( 1184661 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @12:43PM (#54192187)

      Is this fact checking going to be like Politifact, which has said that an article or tweet is "mostly false" while saying that the facts it contains are true?

      A fact is either true or false. What Politifact is commenting on is whether the opinion, belief, or conclusion drawn from those facts is "mostly false".

      For example, the unemployment rate has dropped. Donald Trump is the president. Therefore President Trump is responsible and should be praised for lowering the unemployment rate. The first two sentences facts, the last sentence is an opinion. The opinion would be considered, by most, to be "mostly false". Yes, his presidency may have had an effect on business expansion and hiring people but most of these business plans were in place well before President Trump took office.

      • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @12:56PM (#54192293)

        What Politifact is commenting on is whether the opinion, belief, or conclusion drawn from those facts is "mostly false".

        In other words, Politifact is NOT a FACT checking organization. They are checking whether or not the opinions presented are "correct". If the facts presented in the story are true, I do not need someone else to tell me if the conclusions the author reaches are true or not. If someone is going to claim to be a fact checker, I want them to limit themselves to checking the facts. If they do not, it is just a matter of time, and probably not much of it, before they are calling fake news true because it reaches the "correct" conclusions (or leads people to do so) even though the facts are completely false.

        • by fyngyrz ( 762201 )

          f the facts presented in the story are true, I do not need someone else to tell me if the conclusions the author reaches are true or not.

          You may not. Others clearly do. The evidence is incontrovertible: Tens of millions of votes for an idiot because the voters were unable to draw the correct conclusions from the available facts. Well, that, and playing hermit in echo chambers of idiocy such as Fox "News", Drudge and so forth so they didn't have facts in the first place.

          Politifact is trying to do a right thi

          • Tens of millions of votes for an idiot because the voters were unable to draw the correct conclusions from the available facts

            Fortunately, she lost anyway. Unfortunately, the other choice was only minimally better.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        A fact is either true or false. What Politifact is commenting on is whether the opinion, belief, or conclusion drawn from those facts is "mostly false".

        Yeah, so in the interest of accuracy and being factual, they should change their name to PoliOpinion and change "mostly false" to "contrary to our opinion".

        Or they could just keep trying to trick people into thinking their conclusions are factual. It still seems to work on a lot of credulous people.

        • Or maybe they should go and do a point by point examination and call out the bullshit. An example, "all scientists believe carbon emissions by humans are the main cause of global warming." is false. But "I believe all scientists believe carbon emissions by humans are the main cause of global warming." is a fact. Mind you, the belief is incorrect, but if that's what you believe, then by definition, it's a fact. And yes, this is an extreme case to illustrate why organizations like politifact have such a ha
    • Is this fact checking going to be like Politifact, which has said that an article or tweet is "mostly false" while saying that the facts it contains are true?

      Not only "like" Politifact - Politifact is one of the sources behind the scenes. To be fair, there aren't many options other than the obvious "don't even go down this road".

      • Well, since the "don't even go down this road" is my preferred option, you obviously got my point. Once you go down the road of determining which articles are accurate and which are not, you are quickly going to start basing that decision on whether or not you agree with the conclusions they reach.
    • Is this fact checking going to be like Politifact, which has said that an article or tweet is "mostly false" while saying that the facts it contains are true?

      I'd settle for just links to all related sources.

    • by Tailhook ( 98486 )

      Who decides what is fact?

      NYT, Wapo and Guardian, as far as Google is concerned. Everything not in alignment with those three is "alternative" fact and modded accordingly.

  • by DatbeDank ( 4580343 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @12:07PM (#54191873)
    It's only fake when it comes from non-MSM sources and doesn't peddle the neocon talking points.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      That's how the alt-media like it. If they became trusted sources of news by publishing mostly true stories, they would become part of the mainstream and lose their appeal.

      The whole point of the alt-media is to confirm your suspicions that the world really is against you, that it's not your fault, that you really are the victim here and your suffering is valid, and that you were right all along.

  • by urbanriot ( 924981 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @12:10PM (#54191881)
    It tells you a lot about a company when they're more concerned about Fake News (TM) than they are about the advertising revenue they're receiving from a plethora of scammers that regularly bilk less technical folks out of piles of money, specifically seniors looking for phone numbers for well known companies.
  • Since they're not fact checking, this will depend entirely on how well they oversee the organizations who do. That ought to be a fun dive into governance issues.

    It is very easy to lose trust. I can understand why they would want to do this---between meaningless news and fake news, it is already hard to learn about things that matter. But they are going to encounter legitimate scandals and legit-or-not accusations of bias. I hope they have a plan for dealing with this.

    Fact checking is an essential piece of j

  • by Kunedog ( 1033226 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @12:11PM (#54191897)
    fixd

    The Fact Check label has been around since October, providing an at-a-glance way to determine whether or not a particular story has been approved by the Ministry of Truth.

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      But that's exactly how it should be done. You post a label, and people can decide how trustworthy the label itself is. You don't keep people from seeing statements that you disagree with, you merely get out front and say "Well, I think these are lies, but here you go...".

  • What exactly are facts when it comes to government anyway? A Spin Meter may be a more appropriate use of Google's time. Stating a single fact is one thing but when munged together, most things government deal with are so complex that anyone can pretty much spin things any way they like and still seem factual to one group or another..

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 07, 2017 @12:13PM (#54191925)

    Isn't this google using their almost total dominance of search to control the news industry? If a story happens to be true but doesn't fit with the narrative that google wants to put forth could it get burried?

    It's not just about libertarian or conservative bloggers. What if an advertiser, let's say big agribusiness, doesn't want peta exposes of bad farms to be seen? Could that be labeled "fake news"?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Isn't it odd how every mainstream media outlet simultaneously adopted an identical narrative about "fake news" after the presidential election proved them to be utterly out of touch with what the average citizen wants?

    It's almost as though traditional, corporate media companies are all directed by some single entity about how to report on certain topics.

    Nah, couldn't be...

    • It's almost as if Pizzagate was a load of alt right fake news horse shit

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      Why do you think popular opinion decides what is true?

      I can see lots of reasons for being dubious about how accurately this tag will be applied, but disagreeing with popular opinion sure isn't one of them.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...you're merely uninformed. If you do, you're misinformed.

    Pick your poison.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'll stick with inventing my own facts.

  • Google is ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AnthonywC ( 4415891 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @12:25PM (#54192029)
    The Ministry of Truth.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Depends where they set the bar. Say a blog post goes viral, multiple reputable sources check and debunk it, and a human at Google notices and marks all copies of said post as disputed with links to said debunkings, I don't really have a problem with that. The error rate is going to be very, very low and in cases where mistakes are made the reputable media is generally quite good about pointing them out.

      If the bar is something like "Brietbart has a long history of publishing fake news and not issuing correct

      • by mvdwege ( 243851 )

        If the bar is something like "Brietbart has a long history of publishing fake news and not issuing corrections so let's just mark everything from that site", I'm less keen on it.

        You know, if the land around is brown and dead for miles, it is in fact reasonable to presuppose the well is poisoned.

  • I don't see an entry for what probably most hurt Hillary's chances in the 2016 election. That is, she blamed a YouTube video for the 9/11/2012 terror attack on the U.S. ambassador to Libya and his staff in Benghazi.

    I also do not see an entry for the oft repeated phrase "the Russians hacked the election."

    There's a ton of hair splitting regarding statements made by Trump and other Republicans.

    PolitiFact appears to be just another propaganda site. It's probably sponsored by the Russians with the intention of d

    • I don't see an entry for what probably most hurt Hillary's chances in the 2016 election. That is, she blamed a YouTube video for the 9/11/2012 terror attack on the U.S. ambassador to Libya and his staff in Benghazi.

      If that really hurt Hillary's chances US voters are idiots. Yes, in the initial fog of war the blame may have been misplaced. That is not fake (deliberate incorrect) news, that is just people trying to understand a complex situation.

      I also do not see an entry for the oft repeated phrase "the Russians hacked the election."

      From what I have seen, the phrase "the Russians hacked the election" is only repeated by people using it as a straw man. It may be oft repeated in those circles, and it is indeed fake (deliberately incorrect) news, but I think it is too obviously fake to need labeling. What is a

  • by pipingguy ( 566974 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @12:34PM (#54192117)
    Will there be a truth detection algorithm? Who will be in charge of it? Will it be co-opted? By whom? Can't be just ban BadThink and make it punishable by banishment or death or something?
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      If you look at TFA, unfashionable as that may be, you can see that they set out some requirements for claims and for debunkings. For example, Trump's "34 million unregistered immigrants" claim, gets links to Politifact and their "pants on fire" rating added. You can then click the link to see their analysis.

  • What if (Score:4, Insightful)

    by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @12:39PM (#54192155) Homepage Journal

    What if the fact checking is fake? Look at urbandictionary, I'd argue that less than half of the entries are accurate. It's a fake dictionary.

  • Does Sarkeesian have an exclusive contract with Twitter?

  • Great! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @01:06PM (#54192353)

    They should start with fact-checking fake news like: "Women make 80% of what men do." or "Climate change threatens the future of humanity." or "Gun control reduces homicides." or "The welfare state helps people become productive members of society." or "Paying more for education than we do improves educational outcomes."

    I suspect it isn't that kind of fake news that they are going to fact check.

  • by stickyboot ( 845510 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @01:10PM (#54192377)
    This has a very fishy smell of censorship to it.
  • There is a pretty high correlation to trump supporters and people who argue against fact-checking. Just saying.
    • > There is a pretty high correlation to trump supporters and people who argue against fact-checking. Just saying.

      There's a pretty high correlation between lib-left (Clintons and Dems) and people who argue for internet gatekeeping... just saying.

      The lib-left loves their lapdog MSM...
      * The same lapdog MSM that kept quiet despite knowing that JFK was screwing more women than Bill Clinton could ever dream of.
      * The same lapdog MSM that suppressed the story of Bill Clinton's sexcapades.

      Actually, if the MSM had

  • ...screams every right-winger simultaneously.

  • by AutodidactLabrat ( 3506801 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @02:17PM (#54193049)
    Notice how the right trolls are out in force claiming fact checking is biased therefore must not be done?
    Knew this was coming
    Can't win the argument, lie about the evidence.
    • by Raenex ( 947668 )

      Don't worry, guys. The left has fact-checked itself and determined that they have no bias.

      • FAIR has bias.
        Vanity Fair has bias
        Snopes? not a chance
        Poltifact? Proof offered has been, to be generous, lacking.
        The right, however, drools, as Conservapedia proves so very well
        • by Raenex ( 947668 )

          Snopes? not a chance

          You mean the site whose owner hired [dailymail.co.uk] prostitutes to do their fact checking for them? Top notch. Oh, that's just "fake news". Or maybe not [forbes.com].

          Poltifact? Proof offered has been, to be generous, lacking.

          The site owned by a liberal-leaning newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, that endorsed Clinton and consistently endorsed other Democrats running for office? The site that consistently finds Republicans lie more and more severely? Well, of course! I mean it can't be that they are injecting their own bias into the mix, right?

          The right, however, drools, as Conservapedia proves so very well

          The right has Conservapedia, and the left has "Rational

          • Once more, show me the proof that the PRODUCT IS FALSE.
            So far, Finding the republicans lie more and more severely is simply true.
            • by Raenex ( 947668 )

              Once more, show me the proof that the PRODUCT IS FALSE.

              Any "proof" I show you will be dismissed, because you'll just agree with whatever spin fits your chosen side.

              So far, Finding the republicans lie more and more severely is simply true.

              No, that's just your own dogmatic assumption.

  • http://www.npr.org/2016/02/25/... [npr.org]

    > In 2003, Savage had enlisted a digital army to tie Santorum's name with
    > an...unpleasant sexual definition...and then "Google bomb" the Republican
    > until the new term became the top search result for "Rick Santorum."

    And we're supposed to trust their "fact checking"? NOT!

  • Given the lack of credibility of existing media and Google's Silicon Valley alignment, this is a narrative checker more than it is a "fact checker".

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