Google partners with fact-checking network to fight fake news

A training session a day keeps the trolls at bay.


Google is taking its battle against misleading information to the real world. The company has partnered with the International Fact-Checking Network, a nonpartisan organization run by The Poynter Institute that advocates across the globe for accuracy in online articles. The IFCN holds an annual fact-checking conference, funds fellowships and provides training for would-be fake-news detectives, plus it's the author behind a widely accepted code of principles for media organizations.

Google plans to work with the IFCN in three main ways: increasing the number of verified fact checkers in the world, expanding the code of principles into new regions, and offering free fact-checking tools. For that first goal, Google plans to hold workshops, and provide coaching and financial assistance to new fact-checking organizations.

"Ultimately, these partners can help make sure that the content on Google Search and Google News has been accurately fact checked," Google writes.

The company also plans on translating the IFCN's code of principles into 10 languages. On top of the free tools it'll give to IFCN members, Google will host training sessions and provide access to an engineering time bank. Volunteer engineers will have a chance to attend the IFCN's annual Global Fact-Checking Summit, on a mission to help organizations develop new lie-spotting software.

Google has previously partnered with sites like Snopes and Politifact to debunk false claims directly in search results. Though the war against fake news is on, Google, Facebook and other major sites are still struggling to contain misleading information. For example, after the deadly shooting in Las Vegas early this month, one of Google News' Top Stories was a troll thread from 4chan.

"Unfortunately, early this morning we were briefly surfacing an inaccurate 4chan website in our Search results for a small number of queries," Google said at the time. "Within hours, the 4chan story was algorithmically replaced by relevant results. This should not have appeared for any queries, and we'll continue to make algorithmic improvements to prevent this from happening in the future."