Bing Adds Fact Checking to Search Results

Posted on September 17, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Bing + MSN, Microsoft Consumer Services with 10 Comments

Bing Adds Fact Checking to Search Results

Following a similar Google effort by several months, Bing now displays fact-checking data in its search results.

“Bing is adding a new UX element to the search results, called the ‘Fact Check’ label, to help users find fact checking information on news, and with major stories and web pages within the Bing search results,” an uncredited post to the official Bing Webmaster blog notes. “The label may be used on both news articles and web pages that Bing has determined contain fact check information to allow users to have additional information to judge for themselves what information on the internet is trustworthy. The label may be used on a broad category of queries including news, health, science, and politics.”

Microsoft’s post is geared towards webmasters and others who maintain websites, and as with Google’s efforts it comes far too late to have made a difference in last year’s seismic political dramas in the U.S., the UK, and probably elsewhere. But with more and more people blindly believing everything they read on the Internet, these efforts, however belated and futile, are of course needed necessary.

That said, I’m having trouble finding any fact-checking data in my own test searches. A Microsoft example, for “rick scott critical condition,” correctly tags articles as fake news in results. But then it still shows fake news as the top results, too. Worse, when I try similar fact-averse search terms, I don’t see any fact-checking data.

Anyway. Hopefully, this evolves.

Also, I didn’t write about Google’s initial stab at adding fact-checking data to the search results in its dominant search service, which largely happened across early 2017. But the firm has been extending that capability to its other services, like Google News, and to its mobile apps, like the Google app.

I found out about this news from The Verge.


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Comments (10)

10 responses to “Bing Adds Fact Checking to Search Results”

  1. SvenJ

    What is really needed is the option to allow me to cache my personal views so I am only presented results that are consistent with my current beliefs. It's annoying to get results that contradict what I know to be true. (/S if you couldn't tell.)

    • videosavant

      In reply to SvenJ:

      That's cute.

      I don't trust Snopes any more than I trust Google, Facebook, Twitter or the Southern Poverty Law Center when it comes to playing the role of filter/promoter/arbiter of truth. They all have their own agendas.

      If you care about being informed, and you care about what's actually true, it's going to take a sustained personal effort. That means not relying on single sources for anything. It means keeping track of who gets certain stories right and who gets them wrong. It involves noticing who ignores or soft-pedals stories that are inconvenient.

      In short, it involves using your own brain and making your own decisions, rather than sitting back and relying on others who are acting in their interests, not yours.

  2. PeteB

    Oh god, MS. Stop copying everyone else's homework. Maybe innovate something for a change, maybe improve bing/cortana to actually function outside the U.S., and people might eventually stop ignoring it.

  3. Bats

    I don't trust Snopes.

    The fact is, there are so many "fact checkers" out there and they don't even call out the fake news by the mainstream media like CNN and the New York Times. I remember the "Golden Showers" story that was advanced by Jake Tapper. That was fake news at it's core and Snopes did nothing. LOL...rather than call it "False", they just called it "Unproven." LOL...I'm like WTF?

    Snopes is a joke.

    • feek

      In reply to Bats:

      This is the dumbest comment I've seen on a Thurrott article. And that's saying a lot

    • videosavant

      Completely agree. Most of the fact-checkers have a political bias and agenda.

      In addition, the people who founded and manage Snopes have their own dirty laundry to worry about. Integrity and honesty doesn't seem to fit this picture.

  4. ianhead

    The only fact checker you can rely on is the one between your keyboard and your chair.

  5. maethorechannen

    it comes far too late to have made a difference in last year’s seismic political dramas in the U.S., the UK

    All the fact checking in the world would not have made a difference. Politics is based on belief and belief is not rooted in facts. Facts are adornments to belief - the ones that look good are attached to beliefs, the ugly ones either distorted until they look good or are simply discarded.

    But with more and more people blindly believing everything they read on the Internet, these efforts, however belated and futile, are of course needed necessary

    People will still believe in what they want to believe. And as this appears to be based on scraping open data, it's just a matter of time until Alternative Fact Checkers turn up and no one will have any reason to trust fact checking at all.

  6. Daekar

    Censorship by another name. The fact checkers aren't anyone I would trust with a puppy, let alone journalistic integrity. This feature is useless in determining truth, it's only good for seeing if a notoriously biased set of entities agree with something.

    MS would've done better to leave it out, and to provide pages on critical thinking, conflict of interest, etc.

  7. gvan

    Snopes and Politfact are among the biggest creators of fake news and fake fact checking. Using them as "the Minestry of Truth" is a bad idea.