The internet has more than its fair share of fake news. With the amount of freedom the online community has, it's all-too-easy to post and share information with just a click.
However, it is our responsibility to share what is true instead of click baits. Luckily, Google has the tools to make the process a lot simpler.
The search engine giant has taken steps to help users spot fake news and do fact-checking themselves, per Money Control. A general user can follow the steps provided by Google to verify if the story they are reading is accurate. Credible sources are essential in these recent times, where lifestyle is heavily dependent on the digital world.
Keep in mind that to verify your news, you would need to compare results with others sources. The real news is being reported repeatedly by other websites. Fake news have contents that do not match up with the facts reported.
Here are some of the tools that can help both authors and readers to verify their news and stop the spread of fake news.
Google Security Certificate
Websites must always have the security symbol at the start of their web address. This is the small padlock icon on your search bar. This tells you that the website has a security certificate and Chrome has a private connection with the site. You can click on the icon to view more information about the site.
Google Reverse Image Search
One of the handiest tools available in Google is the reverse image search. This can help you search for the source and any other website using the same image. Sometimes this tool could also be applied to videos by using their thumbnail icon in the search.
There are two ways to use this tool. You can navigate to https://images.google.com/ and drop the image you are searching by clicking the camera icon. On a mobile browser, you have to open the "request desktop site" settings option before searching the image.
The second way is more straightforward. On the desktop, simply right-click on the image and click "Search Google For Image." This will automatically bring out results using a similar image.
Cross-Verify With Google News
When a topic is trending, chances are multiple websites will have the news in coverage. Head to the "News" under the Google Search Bar and type in your topic. This will allow you to view other sources that have covered the same topic. A pro tip is to repeat search the story headline but excluding results from your source site. You can do this by typing the headline, then adding '- site:(insert IP address).' Excluding your source site results will provide you with fresh news about what others are saying about the related topic.
Google Fact Check Explorer
This tool is incredibly easy to use to check your news validity. It instantly provides related search trends and ranked searches for the news that day. Simply head to Fact Check Explorer and search your news story. The results will speak for themselves.
Google Street View
You can verify a story if it is valid by checking the location of the incident. By pinpointing the location and comparing it to other results, you can possibly see the incident's footage. The best part is, you can verify all this news while staying comfortably in your house! Be sure to take advantage of these tools to help you verify your news and stop the spread of fake news.
International Fact Checking Day 2021: Google's Instructions to Spot Fake News
Aside from the tools Google also provided a five-point guide to spot fake news online. This is part of their efforts for the International Fact Checking Day 2021.
As MoneyControl reported, here are the instructions Google provided:
- Check sources
- Check if the image is correct and used appropriately based on the context
- Cross-verify with multiple sources
- Use Google tool Fact Check Explorer
- Use Google Street View for location verification