In a bid to quell misinformation on the internet in India, Google has announced an "About this result" feature to help users know the sources of particular information on Google search results. Noting that search trends on misinformation in India were at an all-time high in 2023, Google said that this search feature will be available internationally, including in nine Indian languages--Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu or Punjabi.
To counter misrepresentation, impersonation, or health disinformation, Google said they are working to enforce their internal policies "proactively." Google said that the 'About this result’ feature will provide more context to users so that "they are exposed to diverse perspectives before deciding what to explore in depth."
"We help users find reliable information on Search and YouTube by bubbling up information from authoritative sources," it said.
In the blogpost, Google also said that it is working with journalists and media literacy experts to fight misinformation, adding that keeping users safe is a top priority in view of new and evolving challenges. "Teams across the company work in a variety of roles to help develop and enforce our policies, monitor our platforms for abuse, and protect users from everything from account hijackings and disinformation campaigns to misleading content and inauthentic activity," it added.
What is 'About this result'?
With the 'About this result' feature, three dots will appear beside most results on Google search. Clicking the three dots will unveil a dropdown box with information about the source of that information. "Tapping those three dots gives you a way to learn more about where the information you’re seeing is coming from and how our systems determined that it might be useful for your query," Google said in a blog post, adding that users can make a "more informed decision about the site" that they visit.
In December 2022, Google's subsidiary Jigsaw had come up with a new anti-misinformation project in India to prevent misleading information spread. Fake news and misinformation in India have incited violence on several occasions. According to Reuters, the project was designed to "prebunk" videos and counter misinformation before they are shared widely on social media platforms such as YouTube. It was launched in three languages--Bengali, Hindi and Marathi.
Reuters quoted Jigsaw's head of research and development Beth Goldman as saying that this project would be an opportunity to research "pre bunking" in a "non-western, south market".
How does the tool work?
We tried to see how Google's tool works. For example, we searched for 'Indian monsoon' on Google. The search result page showed several results from news updates to websites of weather departments, such as the Indian Meteorological Department. Besides the search result all three dots which open to the source of the information. "Indian Meteorological Department is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of Government of India," the 'About this result' showed.
Take a look:
Similarly, we also looked for 'Delhi Weather' on Google. Here is what 'About this result' showed:
Do you always want to share the authentic news with your friends?