Was the birth certificate of former President Barack Obama fake, so that he could run an office? Every question depends on how you ask Google.
The world’s biggest search engine last week expanded a test fact-checking program worldwide to help stop the spread of misinformation. Google took the decision after it faced criticism for returning false and offensive information during search queries.
When USA TODAY tested this new feature, they found that Google answered some questions correctly which it earlier answered wrong.
Google called this new feature as “Fact-check snippet.” It works over how the questioner phrases the question and whether an organization in Google’s program checked the topic. These snippets do not depend on particular stories rather they search words or phrases that appear in the list of results.
When we search for Obama Kenyan Citizen, a snippet pops up from Snopes.com detailing reasons why the Kenyan Birth Certificate for Obama was fake. But when we search for Obama Birth Certificate Fake, no fragment turned up. Instead, the first link came from WorldNetDaily. It is a site ran by Birther proponent Joseph Farah. The site informed that Obama’s Hawaiian Birth Certificate was fake.
Hence, the responses highlight the problems that world’s largest search engine encounters to deliver users more authoritative and credible information after being tagged for providing false and offensive information items in return to some queries.
Since October, Google has run a limited test fact program in the US and UK, which consisted of articles on news.google.com. The new feature rolls out for the entire world using Google in all languages and every article, not just the news.
Google unveiled that internationally there are 50 to 100 groups that offer tags currently. The fact checking covers a large region including science and health but not politics.