Facebook And Google Fight Fake News Surge In France With Filtering Software

The battle against fake news is being waged not only in North America, but on the European front as well. Google, Facebook, and a group of French news media outlets recently launched initiative “Cross Check” to squash fake news in France. The program is in response to the upcoming presidential election in France.

facebook newsroom

How will this program work? Readers will be able to upload and report news they believe to be false. The reported links are gathered in a portal that Google and Facebook -- as well as Le Monde, Agence France-Presse (AFP), BFM TV, France Télévisions, France Media Monde , L'Express, Libération, and 20 Minutes -- will be able to access and review. If two or more media partners are able to establish that the link is false, a little flag will appear next to the link of warn readers of its lack of veracity. 

Facebook and Google set up a similar program in the United States this past December. ABC News, AP, FactCheck.org, Politifact and Snopes joined the tech giants in their efforts to eliminate fake news. Facebook in particular worked with third-party sources to fact check their stories and provide training and tools for journalists. The program will also soon launch in Germany, where there will be another presidential election this year.

google headquarters

Facebook has continuously tweaked its news algorithm after coming under fire this year for its role (or lack thereof) in the United States presidential election. Facebook recently altered its Trending feature so that the algorithm now chooses topics based on the number of publishers posting articles and the engagement surrounding them on Facebook. This will hopefully prevent false, yet viral articles from gaining clout. Facebook has also made it easier to report fake news and it flags stories whose accuracy has been disputed.