Google has suspended its recently-rolled out “fact check” feature, which displayed messages from a range of partisan fact-checkers next to “disputed” stories in search results, after it was revealed that it almost exclusively targeted conservative news sites.
The widget, which was rolled out late last year, added a “reviewed claims” tab to search results for news outlets. For example, a search for Breitbart News would bring up a range of allegedly “reviewed” stories.
Research from the Daily Caller found that the widget, which included a range of partisan fact-checkers including the Washington Post and Snopes, displayed the “reviewed” tab next to a wide range of conservative sites while largely ignoring leftist and mainstream outlets.
In addition to bias in their targeting, the feature also made false claims about stories from conservative outlets.
For example, the fact-checker claimed that Breitbart incorrectly reported that an illegal alien had been charged with starting a California wildfire, when in fact the story claimed that an illegal alien was arrested on suspicion of arson — a completely different claim.