Reuters to fact-check fake news and more for Facebook
Wednesday 12 February 2020
Reuters launched of a new fact-checking initiative aimed at identifying misinformation on social media, in partnership with Facebook.
A new four person fact-checking unit will verify content posted on Facebook and Instagram and identify where media is false or misleading. Two fact-checkers will be based in Washington and two in Mexico City.
Photos and videos distributed by Reuters already go through an exhaustive media verification process. Now Reuters will assess the authenticity of user-generated photos, videos, headlines and other content on social media in the run-up to this year’s US general election and beyond, verifying for Facebook’s American audience in both English and Spanish and publishing findings on a blog.
“We are steadfastly recognising the magnitude of misinformation taking place around the world. It’s a growing issue that impacts society daily and it’s a responsibility for news organisations and platforms to halt the spread of false news,” said Jessica April, Reuters director of global partnerships.
“Reuters has a superior track record in sourcing, verifying and clearing user-generated content for distribution to thousands of clients globally and we are best placed in using our in-house expertise to fact check social media content.”
Reuters has played an increasing role in researching and identifying various forms of synthetically generated media.
Since 2018, it has been working to educate the industry and the world about the ways in which images and videos can be distorted and how to spot them. Most recently, it partnered with Facebook Journalism Project to develop a course to help newsrooms around the world identify and reject manipulated video, pictures and audio. It is available in four languages - English, French, Spanish and Arabic. ■