Microsoft is jumping on the fake news bandwagon, adding a “Fact Check” label to Bing. Facebook enacted a crackdown on fake news months ago, and Google soon followed suit. And now, Microsoft is joining the party. And you’ll soon see the fruits of these labors in Bing search results.
It’s getting increasingly difficult to tell fact from fiction. And we have the internet to blame for this phenomenon. Sure, false news stories, conspiracy theories, and urban legends were born and spread before the advent of the internet, but it’s worse these days. Thanks, Tim Berners-Lee.
Fake News Is a Serious Business
Fake news isn’t a new phenomenon, but it is now much more prevalent than ever before. Fabricated news stories are being written, spread, and perpetuated to actually affect people’s opinions on specific countries, politicians, and celebrities. And the whole thing is becoming a serious business.
Having watched Facebook and Google both do their utmost to help people separate fact from fiction, Microsoft is adding a new UX element to Bing search results. The “Fact Check” label, as it’s called, will add fact-checking information to search results without the user ever having to leave Bing.
Essentially, Bing will add a note where applicable to news stories and web pages. These will instantly show users that a claim has been fact-checked by an organization such as Snopes or Politifact, and reveal what their assessment of it is. Whether it’s True, False, or somewhere in-between.
Bing Is Bigger Than You Think
I can already hear wags suggesting that the Fact Check label is meaningless as no one uses Bing. But that simply isn’t true. In fact, as Microsoft was keen to point out in August 2017, Bing is bigger than you think. So, given Bing’s popularity, Microsoft’s efforts to fight fake news should be applauded.
What do you think of Microsoft’s efforts to fight fake news? Which fact-checking organizations do you trust? And which do you think have their own in-built biases? Do you think the whole fake news phenomenon is being overblown? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Cat Branchman via Flickr