Fake news has plagued social media for the past few years, and many think that it played a big role in the most recent U.S. presidential election. While fact-checking has become even more important than ever, Google is taking a big step forward in this fight.
Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) search giant is investing $300 million to support quality journalism and combat fake news. This plan is called the Google News Initiative, and it is looking to deepen Google’s commitment to the news industry as a whole.
Google is looking inward as well to elevate and strengthen the quality of journalism on its own site:
On our own platforms, we’re focused on combating misinformation during breaking news situations. Bad actors often target breaking news on Google platforms, increasing the likelihood that people are exposed to inaccurate content. So we’ve trained our systems to recognize these events and adjust our signals toward more authoritative content. There are comparable challenges on YouTube, and we’re taking a similar approach, highlighting relevant content from verified news sources in a “Top News” shelf.
At the same time, Google is working with news organizations to combat misinformation. The firm is launching Disinfo Lab, alongside the First Draft, to combat misinformation and disinformation during elections and breaking news moments.
The firm is also launching Subscribe with Google, a way for people to easily subscribe to various news outlets, helping publishers engage readers across Google and the web. Its goal with Subscribe with Google is to ease the subscription process to get more readers consuming publishers’ journalism, as quickly as possible.