The threat of fake news, as in actual fake news and not the current White House's definition, is (unfortunately) alive and well. Ahead of the French presidential election, Facebook and Google are collaborating on a "verification project" to help guide readers to stories that are actually true and not just purely manufactured garbage. The CrossCheck platform will launch in France on Feb. 27, TechCrunch reported Monday.
"CrossCheck brings together expertise from media and technology industries to ensure hoaxes, rumors, and false claims are swiftly debunked, and misleading or confusing stories are accurately reported," First Draft News, a non-profit coalition dedicated to the improvement of online reporting, said when announcing the collab. "With the French presidential election as its primary focus, journalists from organizations across France will work together to find and verify content circulating publicly online, whether it is photographs, videos, memes, comment threads, or news sites."
Using a variety of tools, CrossCheck asks the general public to join the war against disinformation and related bullshit by hitting them up with links to "disputed sites." CrossCheck will then investigate these inquiries and reveal their results in a running list on their website. BuzzFeed News, AFP, Storyful, Les Echos, and additional outlets have also joined the CrossCheck initiative.
Since receiving criticism during the U.S. presidential election last year, Facebook has made continued efforts toward rewarding accuracy on the platform. In January, Facebook announced an update to its News Feed feature that would incorporate new universal signals for identifying and ranking what it calls "authentic content." Google, following its own wave of criticism, removed 1.7 billion ads from AdSense for various policy violations.