Rabat - The proliferation of fake news during the 2016 US presidential elections played a key, in not nefarious, role in determining its results. To counter the spread of false news stories in the upcoming French elections, Google and Facebook are now planning a pre-emptive strategy in collaboration with French news media.
Rabat – The proliferation of fake news during the 2016 US presidential elections played a key, in not nefarious, role in determining its results. To counter the spread of false news stories in the upcoming French elections, Google and Facebook are now planning a pre-emptive strategy in collaboration with French news media.
Google and Facebook want to stop fake news from spreading in France, with new fact-checking tools that will help ensure an “alternative facts”-free presidential election this spring. The two Internet giants seem to have learned lessons from the run-up to the U.S. race last year, whose outcome was greatly affected by the growing circus of falsehoods.
Developed from ideas initially shared at a First Draft Partner Network meeting in September 2016, Google introduces CrossCheck; a collaborative journalism verification project that aims to help the public “make sense of what and who to trust in their social media feeds, web searches and general online news consumption,” according to David Dieudonne, Google’s News Lab lead in France.
“With combined expertise from across media and technology, CrossCheck aims to ensure that hoaxes, rumours and false claims are swiftly debunked and that misleading or confusing stories are accurately reported,” Dieudonne wrote in a communiqué published by Google this morning.
CrossCheck has been designed in collaboration with local and national newsrooms in France. Seventeen newsrooms have already joined the project, and early partners include AFP (Agence France-Presse), BuzzFeed News, France Médias Monde (via les Observateurs de France 24), France Télévisions, Global Voices, Libération, La Provence, Les Echos, La Voix du Nord, Le Monde, Nice-Matin, Ouest-France, Rue89 Bordeaux, Rue89Lyon, Rue89 Strasbourg, Storyful, and StreetPress.
Each participating newsroom will contribute their own experience, resources, and regional knowledge to speed and strengthen the verification process and to ensure that accurate reports reach citizens across the country and beyond.
Facebook will also support CrossCheck by extending fact-checking tools already available in the US and Germany to France, with media literacy efforts that will help explain the verification process and keep relevant audiences up to date with confirmed and disputed information relating to the election. In addition, Facebook is planning to collaborate with the French local media, which will be in charge of spotting and flagging questionable content.
As it is impossible to fact-check all information published in the media or circulating on the internet, CrossCheck will be using CrowdTangle, a content discovery and social monitoring, to discover social media content relevant to the election, and Spike a tool developed by NewsWhip to predict which posts will go viral.
This new measure is not just about France. Bellingcat, one of the CrossCheck partners, will map patterns in misinformation as part of a wider project to cover upcoming European elections.