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Sat Dec 03 04:24:49 SAST 2016

Google adds fact-checking to news articles

AFP | 2016-10-14 16:10:46.0
A logo is pictured at Google's European Engineering Center in Zurich April 16, 2015.
Image by: ARND WIEGMANN / REUTERS

Google is adding "fact check" tags to its news articles, introducing the feature amid a US presidential race roiled by heated disputes over the accuracy of information.

The move, announced Thursday, will allow readers on Google news applications and websites to click on links to check facts where claims have been evaluated by fact-check organisations.

The new feature is being introduced amid a war over facts between many major media outlets and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

It also aims to stem the spread of "fake" news that may spread through social media.

"We're excited to see the growth of the fact-check community and to shine a light on its efforts to divine fact from fiction, wisdom from spin," Google news chief Richard Gingras said in a blog post.

Google News "determines whether an article might contain fact checks" using an algorithm that evaluates claims and by seeking websites "that follow the commonly accepted criteria for fact checks," the statement said.

Bill Adair, a Duke University journalism professor and founder of the Pulitzer Prize-winning site PolitiFact, called the Google announcement "a huge step for fact-checking."

Trump has forced fact-checkers to work overtime with a seemingly relentless stream of untruths and exaggerations about his past, and he has hit back at the media for damning revelations.

On Thursday, Trump savaged US media for reporting "outright lies" that he groped and forcibly kissed women who came forward to tell their stories to news outlets.

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