SAN FRANCISCO — Fact checking, an essential element in this year's presidential race, is coming to Google News.

A fact-check feature will appear as a tag among Google news search results, alongside established labels for "highly cited," "in-depth" and "opinion." Sites deemed nonpartisan and meeting the criterion of a fact-checking service can apply for the label.

“We’re excited to see the growth of the Fact Check community and to shine a light on its efforts to divine fact from fiction, wisdom from spin,” Google said in a blog post Friday.

No shortage of claims and counter-claims have plagued the veracity of comments on a wide range of issues in the general election pitting Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump. Most major media outlets now routinely run fact-check boxes and some networks, such as CNN, parenthetically insert headlines verifying or challenging a candidate's claims.

For Google, which has tinkered with the idea for years, it's been "an ambition of the founders to be able to provide instant access to fact to respond to statements or claims being made by politicians and public figures," says Greg Sterling, a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

Facebook, which holds considerable sway in how Americans receive their news, has yet to employ a fact-checking feature. The social-networking giant recently landed itself in hot water when its algorithm promoted fake news.

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