Google and Facebook Working to Fight the Spread of 'Fake News'

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Google and Facebook have announced new measures to fight "fake news," a term recently popularized by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Google today said it will be making its "Fact Check" label in Google News available everywhere, rather than in the United States only, and expanding the feature to its traditional search results globally in all languages.


The "Fact Check" label identifies articles that include information fact checked by news publishers and fact-checking organizations.
For the first time, when you conduct a search on Google that returns an authoritative result containing fact checks for one or more public claims, you will see that information clearly on the search results page. The snippet will display information on the claim, who made the claim, and the fact check of that particular claim.
Google said the "Fact Check" label is presented so people "can make more informed judgements" about a particular news story or claim, although the information won't be available for every search result, and there may be instances where different publishers checked the same claim and reached different conclusions.
Even though differing conclusions may be presented, we think it's still helpful for people to understand the degree of consensus around a particular claim and have clear information on which sources agree. As we make fact checks more visible in Search results, we believe people will have an easier time reviewing and assessing these fact checks, and making their own informed opinions.
Google said "only publishers that are algorithmically determined to be an authoritative source of information will qualify for inclusion," but it did not elaborate on how it makes this determination. Beyond that, publishers must be using the ClaimReview markup or the Share the Facts widget to be included.

Facebook for its part said it's working to better identify false news through its community and third-party fact-checking organizations.


Earlier this week, Facebook said it's rolling out an educational tool to help people spot false news, developed in consultation with non-profit organization First Draft. Facebook said it's featuring this tool at the top of the News Feed "for a few days" to users in 14 countries, including the United States.
When people click on this educational tool at the top of their News Feed, they will see more information and resources in the Facebook Help Center, including tips on how to spot false news, such as checking the URL of the site, investigating the source and looking for other reports on the topic.
Facebook said it "cannot become arbiters of truth" itself given the size of its platform, but it's committed to fighting the spread of misinformation.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Google and Facebook Working to Fight the Spread of 'Fake News'
 

LizKat

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Aug 5, 2004
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Fake news has a place. Like when you're four years old and the baby robin that fell from its nest in the rain (and that you insisted your mom help you find a warm place to rest in the barn and recuperate) dies overnight, and so.... the next day the warming up spot is empty and your mom says maybe he got better and flew back up where he belongs.

Past that, say at age seven -- the age of reason?-- then really fake news is ******** and should be called out as such. I'm not talking about opinion versus reporting, I'm talking about fabrications and failure to report context. If we manage to reach adulthood without being able to sort that stuff out, then it's nice if news aggregators are now (finally?) willing to assist. Unless, of course, you're the kind of political operative who revels in fake news. Sad day for trolls.
 

samcraig

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Jun 22, 2009
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Make no mistake - this move is more about advertising than it is about stopping fake news itself. Brand safety is paramount and both Facebook and Google have been hit hard (YouTube specifically) because brands have wound up having ads on sites or appearing within videos that aren't in alignment with their brand. It's also skewed numbers and reporting (Facebook).

Follow the money - plenty of articles on the hit both orgs have taken when it comes to trust from advertisers.
 

samcraig

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Jun 22, 2009
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Clearly I'm not in favor of anyone telling people what is and what isn't real news. That said facebook and google can't censor whatever they like, just as people can choose to no longer use their services.
I was drawing a loose comparison to Nunes getting docs from the white house then reporting back to the white house what he found. IE - who is policing the police ;)
 

vertical smile

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Sep 23, 2014
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The "Fact Check" label identifies articles that include information fact checked by news publishers and fact-checking organizations.
Who facts checks the fact checkers?
There was an unprecedented case of fact checking during a somewhat recent presidential debate where a moderator decided to become a fact checker and corrected one of the candidates. Up until that point, that candidate was clearly winning the debate, and having the moderator fact check his/her facts totally threw the person off their game.

The thing is, the candidate was correct in their statement, and the moderator was wrong. Whether it was deliberate or a mistake is not clear, but the result of the misinformation may have swayed some votes.

So, who will fact check the fact checkers? How could bias be eliminated from the fact checking?

I am afraid that this is just another way of manipulating data to further control the information that people are presented with.
 

TurboPGT!

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Sep 25, 2015
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Fake News is a meaningless buzzword used by opposing sides to call the other side "wrong."
[doublepost=1491575592][/doublepost]
False news = news with purposefully false information
not sure how there's more than 1 definition

Whether LeftWing.com or RightWing.com put false information in their stories, the defintion of 'false news' doesn't change based on site
No, you're implying that these entities are themselves not engaged in fake news aka propaganda. From what I've seen, these are among the biggest perpetrators.
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
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Fake News is a meaningless buzzword used by opposing sides to call the other side "wrong."
[doublepost=1491575592][/doublepost]
No, you're implying that these entities are themselves not engaged in fake news aka propaganda. From what I've seen, these are among the biggest perpetrators.
Not really. There are, indeed, fake news stories/sites which are nothing more of link baiting and manufactured news to drive traffic and gain advertising dollars.
 

LizKat

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Aug 5, 2004
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False news = news with purposefully false information
not sure how there's more than 1 definition

Whether LeftWing.com or RightWing.com put false information in their stories, the defintion of 'false news' doesn't change based on site
Yes. And the people who have a vested interest in fake news (left or right) will be the ones most vociferous about the whole issue of sorting out fake from real news.

What better way to continue the fight for a perceived right to plant false news in social media than to cast aspersions on any efforts to flag items that may not be verifiable?

If one is actually after verifiable information, then fact checking is a friend, not "the enemy".
 

vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
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False news = news with purposefully false information
not sure how there's more than 1 definition

Whether LeftWing.com or RightWing.com put false information in their stories, the defintion of 'false news' doesn't change based on site
I think one issue where news could be considered fake is all the editorial and opinion articles that are not clearly labeled as such.

One quick example, CNN has their own section labeled "opinion", but they are no longer labeling individual headlines as opinion like they used to. To make it worse, they scatter their opinion articles all throughout their webpage without labeling them as such.

Would you consider this fake news? Opinions are not necessarily fake, but if they are misrepresented as objective news stories, I personally would consider it in the category of fake news.
 

rictus007

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2011
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Thats something else altogether.
Is not difficult to fact check something. Like cost, results of investigations, public records... etc.

If someone want to chanllenge the investigation, public record, etc... that is something completely different.
 
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oneMadRssn

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Sep 8, 2011
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There was an unprecedented case of fact checking during a somewhat recent presidential debate where a moderator decided to become a fact checker and corrected one of the candidates. Up until that point, that candidate was clearly winning the debate, and having the moderator fact check his/her facts totally threw the person off their game.

The thing is, the candidate was correct in their statement, and the moderator was wrong. Whether it was deliberate or a mistake is not clear, but the result of the misinformation may have swayed some votes.
When was this? What?
[doublepost=1491576524][/doublepost]
Fake news has a place. Like when you're four years old and the baby robin that fell from its nest in the rain (and that you insisted your mom help you find a warm place to rest in the barn and recuperate) dies overnight, and so.... the next day the warming up spot is empty and your mom says maybe he got better and flew back up where he belongs.
WHY MOM WHY?!?!?!

I swear, if my dog isn't now living at a farm upstate running through lush green fields being happy playing with cows, I'm going to be super pissed.
 
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