We all now have another friend in the fight to surface the truth… Google News has launched a Fact Check feature designed to separate fact from fiction. The question is, does anyone actually care about the truth any more?
Politicians lie. A lot. If they’re not lying, they’re at least spinning the truth to fit their own agenda. Sadly, the media, which should be keeping this in check, does the exact same thing. Which is why the publication(s) you read determine what you take away from a story.
Facts become blurred. The truth is subverted. A biased narrative is born.
All Politicians Lie. Some Lie More Than Others. https://t.co/ssi7faZQMS
— Micaela Heck (@CaelaHeck) October 4, 2016
In an effort to help you cut through the crap, Google News has added a Fact Check feature. This works in the same way as the “Opinion,” “In-Depth,” and “Highly Cited” tags you see assigned to stories appearing on Google News.
So, alongside the biased reporting of a story, you’ll find a link to a version which sticks to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Choosing You Own Biases Over the Truth
In its blog post about the Fact Check feature, Google actually avoids mentioning politics. Instead, the company uses a story about maternity tourism in the UK as an example of how biased reporting can obfuscate the truth.
However, it’s surely more than just a coincidence that Google has rolled this feature out now, in the middle of a presidential election during which both sides have been accused of spreading lies and half-truths in a desperate bid to get elected.
The sad truth here is that most people won’t ever use this feature. Because most people read publications which report stories in the way they want them reported. This phenomenon is called confirmation bias, and it’s why political discussions always devolve into bitter slanging matches.
The Fact Check tag is now available on the Google News website, and on the Google News & Weather app for Android and for iOS in the US and UK.
What do you think of Google’s new Fact Check feature? Do you read stories from a number of sources in order to get a balanced viewpoint? Or do you choose to accept the version of events that fits in with your own beliefs and biases? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Sam Saunders via Flickr