You can avoid fake news with the help of Google search. The tool allows you to check contents that are on the web, besides offering resources for the user to have more context about certain subjects. Also, topics related to health, news, politics, finance, and elections, for example, are classified by the platform as topics with a greater need for verification. Therefore, the search prioritizes information coming from relevant sources such as public agencies and communication carriers. The following are six tips for using Google search to avoid the spread of fake news.
1. Results at the top of the search
Google search helps you find relevant information on specific topics ranging from health and electoral questions to movies and games. To present reliable data, the tool prioritizes sites of official organizations in the search results.
Furthermore, in certain searches, there is a box at the top of the screen with guidelines on that theme, even before the user opens the links to the results. For example, in the case of the Elections, by searching “How to vote”, the voter can quickly access the guidelines of Electoral Justice and answer their questions. The same happens with health consultations, mainly about diseases, which bring data provided by specialists from Albert Einstein Hospital.
2. Data and Official Information
Some situations have a greater tendency to generate misinformation, with data that does not match with reality. In this sense, Google search can help the user by showing visual information, graphics, and data on certain subjects. By searching “coronavirus”, for example, it is possible to identify subjects on the subject, a map of cases, and the number of infected people in several cities, states, and countries.
There is also the “SOS Alert”, which shows these results directly at the top of the search. This way, it is possible to quickly access more important information, with links from official sources, phone numbers, maps, among others.
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In Google search, people can also find the fact to check the seal for news that has already been denied. This applies to both Google News and Google Images. This information goes through a tool’s checking system, which works together with news outlets and official sources. Thus, when the user searches for any controversial subject, they will see enlightening stories, which deny and explain the fact.
4. Contextualized Information
With the search tool, after consuming a news item and getting informed, the user can continue reading about that topic. The “Main news”, “Related news” and “Full coverage” sessions gather contents from different media so that the reader is contextualized on the subject. With this, people can migrate between news articles and understand the evolution of facts.
5. Original Content and Exclusive News
Google searches tend to value the exclusive news from news media. This makes the content appear for longer at the top of the results. Thus, the user can check the articles while being in contact with more recent articles on the same topic. On certain occasions, such as at major events, this can help in checking facts reported in real-time.
6. Identify Malicious Agents and Spam
Google’s algorithms try to identify who circumvents the tool’s policies and spreads false news. In this way, the contents with manipulative characters are barred. For example, a media outlet that can be identified as being from Dallas cannot present news related to only Midtjylland. The same goes for ads on the platforms: the advertising text cannot say one thing and the product page shows another because it will be considered fraudulent content. Furthermore, the search tool is prepared to identify and report behavior related to spam.
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