The internet holds the power to make anything and everything viral. We all have, at least once, believed in a viral picture which later turned out to be fake. To help users make a rational judgement of what they see on the web, Google is now adding fact-check labels under the thumbnail image results that people search. The system is similar to the fact-check information panel introduced to YouTube in US, Brazil and India, and is also highlighted in Google News and general search results.
The labels will be based on the ClaimReview database, established by independent fact-checkers, used by publishers to indicate factually correct content on search results. These labels appear on results that come from authentic sources that meets Google’s criteria. When the user clicks on one of these results to preview the image in a larger format, they will be able to see a summary of the fact check.
Adding such a label won’t affect the Google Images results ranking, claims Google. The system is designed to make the most relevant and reliable information available and circumvent visually misleading information. These labels may appear for both fact check articles about specific images and for fact check articles that include an image in the story.
To some extent, even social media platforms have started providing with this system in an effort to curb misleading information about COVID-19, with Twitter adding 5G-Coronavirus conspiracy theory fact checking and WhatsApp launching a COVID-19 fact checking chat box. Even Facebook recently introduced the ability to turn off political ads. To recognize the efforts put in by fact checkers around the globe during the ongoing pandemic, the Google News Initiative provided $6.5 million funding to support such organizations.