Facebook will use Reuters to identify and sort out the false information circulating on its social network. Four journalists will make up the team, which will have specific skills in detecting deepfakes.
Facebook is stepping up its fight against false information, but not on its own. The company announces that it has dispatched Reuters to, among other things, identify misleading images and videos circulating on its social network of the same name. Composed of four journalists - two in Washington DC ( United States ) and two others in Mexico City (Mexico) - the team in charge of flushing out this false information, even in the titles chosen by the media, will publish the facts verified on a new blog called Reuters Fact Check . As a reminder, Reuters is a press agency with 25,000 employees worldwide.
WALK THE FALSE INFORMATION
Reuters will check both English and Spanish-speaking content, which may be suggested or posted by Facebook. To deconstruct false information, the news agency will start from the false assertion and indicate throughout the text (or video) if the facts are "proven, false or partially false" . The social network will base itself on these conclusions to alert its users to publications containing false information and limit their dissemination.
"I can't reveal more about the financial terms of the deal, but I do confirm that Facebook is paying for the service we provide , " Jessica April, director of global partnerships at Reuters , told TechCrunch colleagues . The British press agency thus joins a whole series of publishing companies in charge of verifying information - among which are The Associated Press, PolitiFact, Factcheck.org. In France, such a partnership also exists with the Checknews of Liberation sections , the World Decoders , the Observers of France24 , as well as 20 Minutes . Note that Agence France-Presse has also been collaborating with Facebook since 2017.
THE FOLLOW-UP OF A FIRST PARTNERSHIP
Facebook's fact-checking service currently covers around sixty countries. Reuters user-generated content director Hazel Baker said "the ranks of the verification team could grow over time" , knowing that the partnership with the social network should extend to beyond the 2020 US presidential election. Facebook considers it possible, with the help of its various partners, to "reduce the spread of false news by 80%" .
The journalists of the media involved have additional tools and skills. Both can act at a different link in the chain. When some prefer to focus on simple misappropriation or manipulation of information, others will push at the technical level to detect digital special effects. For the record, deepfakes remain today among the most complex to spot. Facebook and Reuters had also announced a first partnership aimed at teaching journalists around the world to recognize them through a 45-minute online course , available free of charge.
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