Back to Techtips

June 2021: five tips to spot fake news online by Google

The internet can present its users with misinformation and fake news on a daily basis but if users do not feel certain about the information being presented to them they can verify it. Google allows users to check for misinformation or fake news online. An article or an image can be verified using Google’s tools. Ahead of International Fact-Checking day which falls on April 2, Google has shared tips on how anyone and not just professional fact-checkers can confirm a piece of information they are not sure or uncertain about.

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.

Google in a separate support page has noted how it determines fact checks. It notes that publishers have to meet certain requirements to be a trusted source of information, which is determined by an algorithm. The content around fact checks must tell you the claims that are being checked, conclusions about these claims, and how they were reached. It also explains citations and primary sources of information.

Here is how you can check for misinformation or fake news online:

-- 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. This tool is available only in the US as of now.

-- Check if an image is authentic: There are multiple photos that are forwarded on WhatsApp and Facebook that are not genuine or tend to mislead people. Google notes that users can check if an image is authentic by right-clicking on a photo and selecting “Search Google for Image.” 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.

-- Look for more than one source: 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.

-- Use Google’s fact-checker: Google users can type in a keyword and look for claims made by news publications and fact checks listed by Google. Users who wish to look for an elaborate fact check search for a topic in the Fact Check Explorer, which according to Google collects more than 100,000 fact checks from reputable publishers around the world.

-- Confirm if an event is taking place in the said location: 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.

Compiled and approved by the technical support officer and cited from India Today.

Other Useful Links