Reuters is joining Facebook’s fact-checking program in the US to help stymie the spread of misinformation in the run-up to the election.
The news agency will verify content posted on Facebook and Instagram and identify where media is false or misleading. As part of the partnership, it will assess the authenticity of user-generated photos, videos, headlines and other content on social media. It will only verify content for Facebook's US usersbase, and will do so in English and Spanish. It will publish the findings of its fact-checking on a blog.
Of course, political mis- and disinformation will still be able to exist unchecked in Facebook ads, after the company ruled out regulating political advertising on its platform.
“We are steadfastly recognizing the magnitude of misinformation taking place around the world," said Jess April, director of global partnerships, Reuters. "It’s a growing issue that impacts society daily and it’s a responsibility for news organizations and platforms to halt the spread of false news. 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.”
Keren Goldshlager, Facebook Integrity Partnerships, added: “Expanding our fact-checking program is an important part of our work to fight misinformation. We are thrilled that Reuters is joining our US partnership, and know we'll benefit deeply from their expertise in visual verification and user-generated content."
As well as fact-checking news, Reuters has also been working to educate the industry about 'deep fakes' and how to spot them. Most recently, it partnered with Facebook Journalism Project to develop an e-learning course to help newsrooms around the world identify and reject manipulated video, pictures and audio, available in four languages including English, French, Spanish and Arabic.