The problem with the old media was that every journalist could write whatever came to her mind whether it was true or false and in most of the cases, the false seemed to rule the roost. What exacerbated the problem was there was no way of finding what was true and what was false. Many prominent Indian mainstream journalists are notorious for running political and ideological agendas for their masters rather than doing genuine journalistic work. The new fact checking feature in Google News may cause problems for them now, although, according to this Google blog entry, currently the fact checking feature is available just in the US and the UK. But as is the case with most of such features, they will soon be available in India and elsewhere too.
What is this fact checking feature in Google News?
The Internet is becoming a major source of news even when many of the news stories trending on websites like Facebook might be fake. Still, people trust these news stories and it can be very frustrating to those who first trust the stories and then find them to be fake or rumour-riddled. Many websites are implementing checks and balances to make sure that proper fact checking is carried out before the news become available to the general public. Facebook fired its entire human editing team after it was found out that its human editors were manipulating trending topics on Facebook.
Similarly, Google News is one of the biggest sources of news on the Internet and lots of unverified news spread all over the Internet, shaking people’s faith in these new sources. To make sure that only original news gets the sort of attention that it deserves, Google has introduced a “fact checking” tag with every piece of major news trending on the website. Here is how it looks:
This link on Google Support explains in brief how a fact check can be done on a story although this is more of a tagging issue rather than developing an intelligent system that actually verifies whether a news story is to be believed or not.
The current system of fact checking news may not be perfect because humans can be very manipulative when it comes to telling something using logic and data. Still, it is a beginning. According to Google, a certain criteria must be followed in order to make your article or news item factual.