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Slice And Dice

Google to add algorithm based fact-check to its news listings

New Delhi | Published: October 18, 2016 6:19 AM

The age of information is turning into the age of misinformation. As humans are consuming more and more data via WhatsApp, Facebook and Google, it is difficult to check the veracity of each and every claim being made. Though it is easy to fact-check Donald Trump, as Democrats have been doing in each and every debate, it becomes difficult once you log online and there are many more Donalds and Hillarys. “You can’t be distracted by the noise of misinformation” is a rule for the digital age, and it seems like Google may be abiding by it. The Mountain View-based company on Friday announced that it would be using an algorithm to fact-check certain aspects of news. While Google won’t be checking all the news items, those fact-checked by Google would carry a label from the company, much like a featured or an opinion piece does.

With most people getting their news via Google and social networking platforms, fact-checking becomes all the more important as it becomes easy to sway people with misinformation. Hopefully, Facebook, which is also struggling with a similar problem—the social networking website had to change its trending algorithm when accused of promoting liberal views—would try a similar mechanism. Besides, if history is something to learn from, companies would not want a repeat of Brexit when it comes to those important decisions.

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