How Google is tackling fake news, and why it should not do it alone
What can Google do to combat fake news? Columnist Ian Bowden illustrates some ways the search giant can tackle -- and already is tackling -- this problem.
Fact-checking and preventing fake news from appearing in search results will remain a big priority for search engines in 2017.
Following the US election and Brexit, increased focus is being placed on how social networks and search engines can avoid showing “fake news” to users. However, this is a battle that search engines cannot — and more fundamentally, should not — fight alone.
With search engines providing a key way people consume information, it is obviously problematic if they can both decide what the truth is and label content as the truth. This power might not be abused now, but there is no guarantee of the safe governance of such organizations in the future.
Here are five key ways Google can deal (or already is dealing) with fake news right now. They are:
- Manually reviewing websites
- Algorithmically demoting fake news
- Removing incentives to create fake news
- Signaling when content has been fact-checked
- Funding fact-checking organizations