It takes almost no time at all to learn that if something on the internet is too good to be true, it probably is. Clickbait, junk studies that exist to let people scream on the news, and more fill up the internet every single day. So Google is taking an important step to help us sort useful news from stuff we can lose, by putting fact checks under stories.
Google has announced that it will now be sorting and promoting fact checked stories. It’ll be looking for specific code in posts (to show that facts have, in fact, been put to the test before publishing), and those posts will need to follow specific content standards in order to meet the label’s criteria. So anybody abusing it will be found and likely quickly punished. Anybody trying to abuse the fact check label for their own ends is getting yanked off Google News.
It’ll be an important step. Back when Jonathan Swift said (maybe) “Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it,” he wasn’t talking about the internet, but it might as well be written on the side of every server. Considering how many facts and myths go around, many of which won’t die no matter how hard Snopes or scientists try to kill them, automatic fact checking is a welcome feature.