Google suspends flawed fact-check feature

20 January, San Francisco

 

Google has suspended its fact-check feature in its Search and news results after its algorithm wrongly linked a Washington Post fact check to a Daily Caller article about US Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation team, the media reported.

Noting that the feature proved to be too faulty for public use, Google attributed the decision to an investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation after it published a story lambasting the tech giant for wrongly appending a Washington Post Fact Checker debunk to one of its stories.

“We launched the reviewed claims feature at the end of last year as an experiment with the aim of helping people quickly learn more about news publications,” online news portal The Daily Signal quoted a Google spokeswoman as saying.

“We said previously that we encountered challenges in our systems that maps fact checks to publishers and on further examination it’s clear that we are unable to deliver the quality we’d like for users,” she added.

Google rolled out the fact-check tool last year in order to highlight articles in its Search and news results that have been fact-checked.

When a search query returns a result that has been reviewed, Google displays who made the claim and if a third-party organisation has found it to be true, false or somewhere in between.

A spokesperson for Google later clarified to Poynter news platform that the tech company was not ending its fact-checking efforts but just the “Reviewed Claims” section of its Knowledge Panel feature.

“Fact checks from independent organisations will still appear alongside articles in search and Google News,” the company was quoted as saying.

Google has removed that single purported fact check at the time of The Daily Caller News Foundation’s initial inquiries.

 

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