We have seen elections but we haven’t seen elections being easily influenced by what can only be described as fake news. Experts have argued that fake news had something to do with outcome of the November presidential elections.
But other countries don’t want their elections influenced by fake news at all which is why Germany was the first European country to start taking steps to stem the tide of fake news on social media. But a country can hardly fight this without the help of the Googles, Facebook and Twitters for example which is why Google and Facebook are teaming up with French new corporations to fight the scourge of fake news ahead of the country’s presidential elections.
In a blog post, Google says it is partnering with First Draft and Facebook to implement something called CrossCheck which is a news verification project. On Facebook’s side, they have started implementing a series of techniques on its site to combat fake news. Facebook also tweaked its Trending Topics section to include headlines to give you a clue as why the said news organisations is trending and this is based on popularity and comparisons. So for example, if you see CNN trending subject under it, you’ll be presented with alternative news in that category so that you can be better informed around that subject and what this does is that you will not get news from your preferred Pages or channels but others just like it.
Google says “with combined expertise from across media and technology, CrossCheck aims to ensure hoaxes, rumours, and false claims are swiftly debunked, and misleading or confusing stories are accurately reported,” said Dieudonné. “With the French presidential election approaching, journalists from across France and beyond will work together to find and verify content circulating publicly online, whether it is photographs, videos, memes, comment threads, or news sites.”
Social media has given just about everyone the opportunity to express themselves but sometimes the downside to that is that everyone can post even unverifiable claims that can be seen by billions of people around the world. In fact a Stanford University study says that more than 80 percent of students were unable to tell the difference between an advertisements put forward as a sponsored story and a news story. This then means that most students (a majority of the online population) don’t even take out the time to verify what it is they are reading online before they share those articles. Other studies say most people just share an article to their network of friends online before just from the title without even reading to see what the content of the article really is.
The problem has been around for a while but it looks like the world is now ready to do something about it maybe because it’s now able to change governments even against the will of the majority and this is a dangerous trend by itself.
CrossCheck partners will make use of the collective reporting in their own articles, television programs and social media content.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 (Les Décodeurs), Nice-Matin, Ouest-France, Rue89 Bordeaux, Rue89Lyon, Rue89 Strasbourg, Storyful and StreetPress.
The French elections come up on the 23rd of April 2017 and with CrossCheck Google hopes to provide news companies with fact checked sources.