Berlin – Reports of fraudulent news stories continue to dominate headlines and several companies have recently launched solutions to combat the problem and help restore trust in media sources.
Google News Initiative
In October, the Google News Initiative launched the beta version of a tool that’s specifically for fact-checking content. The feature uses the same signals as other Google products, such as Google News, to surface work from fact-checkers like Snopes and (Poynter-owned) PolitiFact.
“The goal here is to have fact-checking journalists have an easier job of locating all the work that fact-checkers have done on a specific topic,” said Cong Yu, a research scientist at Google. “For users, it’s if you want to know more about a certain topic.”
Ingenta unveils Truly Media
At IFRA Expo, Ingenta, a technology solutions provider that operates from the U.K., Boston and New Jersey, unveiled Truly Media, which provides a fake news verification solution.
“Truly is a web-based collaborative platform which enables journalist and newsrooms to evaluate the validity levels of user-generated digital content shared across a variety of social media networks in real-time. Journalists can select the most important items for their story and verify each item individually, completing a verification checklist with the help of integrated third-party verification tools,” said Manish Popat, senior sales executive for Ingenta, which has a reseller partnership with Truly Media’s Greece-based developer, Athens Technology Center (ATC).
Verification can be done in collaboration within a single news site, across different media companies, or together with individual journalists working anywhere in the world, he said. One of the first adapters of the solution is Amnesty International, which uses Truly to validate reports they receive globally.
The European Parliament is currently in the process of implementing Truly.
In developing Truly Media, software solution developer Athens Technology Center blended its industry-related experience and aggregation/ analysis technology with German news agency Deutsche Welle’s expertise in industry needs.
The tool is fully scalable and can be used to find (aggregate content from multiple social media sources), organize (build content collections and share with colleagues in real time) and verify (use built-in verification tools to validate sources and make decisions), Popat said.
According to IDC, a provider of market intelligence, the average adult in the U.S. spends approximately 1.5 hours per day accessing social media apps, being bombarded by videos, ads and stories from uncertain sources. In addition, content produced by publishers and social media users grows exponentially, with that digital universe doubling in size every two years, to reach 44 zettabytes by 2020.
“With trust in media plunging to all-time lows globally, journalists are deeply alarmed and eager for tools to enable them to distinguish between fact and fiction,” Popat said.
In September 2015, the Poynter Institute launched a unit focused on fact-checking solutions. The International Fact-Checking Network monitors trends, promotes basic standards, funds fellowships and grants and convenes fact-checkers in a yearly conference, Global Fact.
IFCN also provides training in person and online and hosts an annual International fact-checking day.