Monday, February 6, 2017

Facebook and Google launch their tools against misinformation in France – Le Figaro

The two web giants want to fight against the spread of “fake news” and help users to be better informed.

in the Face of misinformation, the giants of the Web are the choice of cooperation. Facebook and Google announced Monday the launch of several initiatives to combat the fake articles and the information non-verified. The first, CrossCheck, is driven by Google. It is a collaborative platform to help users to check the veracity of an article, a photo, a video or a comment online. The project relies on a network of 16 essays in France, including the AFP, BuzzFeed, France Télévisions, the Voice of The North or The World. Visitors will be invited to send information of which they are doubtful on the platform so that they can be controlled. All issues will be recorded on a dedicated website. CrossCheck is also supported by Facebook, which will give access to its members with a tool dedicated to real-time monitoring of content with high virality, CrowdTangle. The platform will be launched on 27 February, before the French presidential election. Google was already a pa rtner of an audit program information, First Draft, which brought together a number of web giants, associations, and the media.


Facebook, for its part, announced Tuesday the launch of its own tool for fact-checking in France, after they had already tested in the United States and Germany. The French users of the social network will be able to report information that they believe, which will then be analysed by our media partners. If at least two of them decide that this information is questionable, the content will be indicated as problematic with the help of a pictogram. Users will be invited to visit the site of one of the media partners to get more information. If they wish to share a information problematic, a warning will appear on their screen to warn them that it has been declared as unreliable.

The social network also wants to tackle the financial bonanza of the misinformation online. “Their writers are earning money by pretending to be media and redirecting users to their site via the promotion of false information,” says Facebook in a press release. “That is why information labelled challenged will not be able to be converted into advertising or be the subject of a post is sponsored.” The algorithms of Facebook will ensure that the article is less visible on the news feed.

Media and associations

In France, Facebook is joining forces with the media to address the misinformation. In Germany and the United States, she preferred to choose partner organizations, such as the information sites of non-profit Correctiv, Snopes or Politifact. “Facebook is satisfied that a collaborative approach, with all actors involved, will effectively combat the false information,” says the company. This collaboration also allows the company to delegate its responsibility to control the misinformation. Facebook has repeatedly said do not want to be “the arbiter of the truth”, expressing his desire to fight against this kind of content.

This initiative is the result of several months of discussion on the development of false information online. Facebook has been accused of having indirectly promoted the election of Donald Trump by helping to spread contents which are false and going in the direction of the speech from the republican candidate. Now elected, the american president and his team are regularly relay information to be questionable. Thursday, Kellyanne Conway, one of his advisors, has denounced “the silence of the media” around the “massacre of Bowling Green”. Problem: this event never took place. Kellyanne Conway has since acknowledged his error, saying that it was a reference to the arrest of two Iraqis in the city of Bowling Green, Kentucky. They were convicted in 2013 for attempting to send money and weapons to al-Qaeda to target american soldiers. But they have not committed any “massacre” in the United States.


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