With fake news, conspiracy theories and politically-motivated misinformation campaigns becoming a way of life, many social media services have already rolled out ‘fact-check’ labels on their respective platforms. It is now the turn of Google Images to join the cavalcade.
The search giant on Monday said it will start identifying some misleading photos in its image search tool. The feature, however, will only be available for images with a fact-check tag on the source website. The label will be available with photos drawn from articles which are fact-checking that particular image or another claim.
As part of the plan, Google Images will start showing a ‘Fact Check’ label under the thumbnail image results. When users click on one of these results to enlarge the image, they’ll see a summary of the fact-check that appears on the underlying web page. “These labels may appear both for fact check articles about specific images and for fact check articles that include an image in the story”, the company said.
According to Google, fact-check labels will offer information from independent, authoritative sources on the web. These sources rely on ClaimReview, a tagging system used by publishers to indicate fact-check content to search engines. The technology is used by leading media outlets like Politifact.
As mentioned already, fact-checking from social media and other tech companies has become common over the past few years. Facebook, Twitter and Google, as well as their subsidiaries, like Instagram and YouTube, all do it to some extent already. So it’s definitely good to see Google finally expand the scope of its fact-checking to its image search tool.