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Microsoft adds fact checks to searches on Bing
September 24, 2017, 4:31 pm
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Following Google’s lead earlier this year, Microsoft has now added fact checking tags to results on its search engine Bing.

A fact check label might now appear below results from Snopes, PolitFact, and other fact checking organizations, making it much easier to see their ruling on any given claim. Rather than having to click into the link, the site’s verdict — true, false, or somewhere in between — will now be pulled out into the search preview.

The feature should help to call out incorrect stories, but only to an extent. If an illegitimate news story makes it into your Bing search results (or Google, for that matter), it will still appear unadorned. The hope, however, is that a fact checking article might appear alongside it, and with the article’s verdict pulled out and bolded, readers might see and take heed before clicking through.

Like on Google, the fact checking labels are not limited to just the major fact checking sites — there is some common code that websites can embed to let search engines pull out their information. That leaves the tag open for abuse by, of course, the same people making these false stories in the first place. But Bing says it is not guaranteeing that all websites that include a fact check tag will have their fact checks displayed; instead, it will try to confirm that sites “follow commonly accepted criteria for fact checks” before showing them.

The spread of fact checking labels follows the tumultuous US election, which saw false articles and Russian propaganda reach voters to a shocking new extent. This happened most infamously over social media, like Facebook, and Facebook has since begun adding its own fact checking tools. Google, meanwhile, began rolling out fact checking tags to its news sections late last year, before bringing them to search in April.

 

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