The past couple of months have highlighted the major problem we face as internet users, and consumers of information online. The greatest responsibility in all of this lies with those companies that segregate, categorize and present information to us internet search engines. Also Read - Windows 11 could be a free upgrade for you provided you fall in this categoryAlso Read - Samsung and LG confirm presence at in-person CES 2022
On its official blog, Bing said that it’s adding a new UI element called the ‘Fact Check’ label to help its users in being able to ‘find fact checking information on news and with major stories and webpages within the Bing search results’. Citing an example, Bing highlighted news of Republican politician and businessman Rick Scott. Turns out, around the time of Hurricane Irma, news reports spread about Scott getting injured during clean-up operations. With the new feature active, as soon as you run a search query on Bing, you’d see fact-checking services such as Snopes throwing information that the information is false. Also Read - Honor phones to come with Google Mobile Services: Report
Earlier this year, Google announced the availability of the Fact Check label too. We tried out a local hoax on the two search engines as well. We weren’t left impessed. We ran a search query on actor Dilip Kumar’s death on both Google and Bing. As any novice on search would type out, our query was ‘dilip kumar dead’. Now, we wish the actor a long life, but for the sake of testing out this feature, we ran our query on a case that has found its way to online news and social media trends quite frequently off late. A similar case was Morgan Freeman. ALSO READ: Vodafone to pull advertisements from fake news websites
On Google, the first result was of a video that shows a thumbnail of a probable funeral. That was taking it a bit too far! Bing, on the other hand, has an outdated link, but at least the information it throws seems relevant.
The recent debate that erupted around the US elections, and the accusations that the electorate were influenced by biased political propaganda, a lot of which, gamed by Russia has pointed at the need to follow verified news sources. Unverified news, or fabricated news, popularly refered to as fake news is the cause of much opinion online.
It appears that internet search engines are waking up to their responsibility. After Google announced a couple of months ago the availability of the Fact Check tag on its search results, and Google News offering around the world, Microsoft has followed on the same lines for Bing.
The step taken by search engines is definitely a welcome move. But from the results we see, it’s going to be a long way ahead before we see fake news being curbed.