Google searches now provide more context and viewpoints for news stories
New features could help you avoid media bubbles and verify sources.
Google already provides some context around search results to help you understand the news, and now it's adding more tools to make sure you see the broader picture. To start, there's a new Perspectives carousel that provides viewpoints from experts, journalists and "other relevant voices" for a given news topic. You may see actors and critics' takes after the Oscars, for instance. Perspectives will be available soon in the US for English users.
You can also learn more about the writers behind news stories. An "About this author" feature tucked inside "About this result" will show creators' backgrounds and encourage the use of trustworthy sources. Google is rolling out the author info worldwide in English, and you'll also find it in the Perspectives carousel.
The company is simultaneously upgrading some of its existing features. "About this result" will be available for all search languages in the days ahead. Advisories for rapidly developing stories are coming to French, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese users, too. And if you put an organization's web address into a search, you'll now get "About this page" info toward the top. You'll have a better sense of whether or not that organization's site is worth visiting.
The extra features help flesh out Google's larger bid to fight misinformation and promote news literacy through education, fact-checking and supplemental info. Ideally, searchers will both look for more reliable info and escape media bubbles that reinforce biases. It's not clear how well the additions will help in practice (it requires a desire to double-check content, after all), and this won't fend off bias accusations against Google itself. However, they may be especially useful to students wanting to verify the quality of their sources for essays and research papers.