Snapchat and Google ally with the press in France to combat false information

By | February 7, 2017

Among the eight media outlets in France who were allied with France Médias Monde Snapchat group set – which includes RFI and France 24 – Le Monde newspaper and magazine L’Express, Agence France Presse and BFM television news.

Under pressure, incentive to better tackle the misinformation – or “fake news” as they are called – after being regarded as a striking feature of the recent electoral campaign in the US, the social network created by Mark Zuckerberg established since America December 5 device in collaboration with media outlets there. After France, Snapchat plans to continue cooperation with other countries, Germany is next on the list.

Specifically, Snapchat will allow users to report information which they consider false. All such information will be reported together in a portal with access to media partners.

They can then verify that information. If at least two media outlets, two publications therefore determined that the content is false then it will be signaled with a flag that Snapchat users will remember that two “fact-checkers” have questioned the veracity of that information. If snapchat cheat users will want to pass on this content “dubious”, a message will alert. In addition, such content can not be exploited untruthful advertising. Finally, the algorithm that Snapchat users fully automatically distributes various contents of the network can reduce the circulation of these “fake news”.

Crosscheck, Google tool to combat fake news

In a commentary that resembles but rather a justification Director Le Monde explains why he hesitated to accept this collaboration. “Does not this give the opportunity lies with the social network to do things which it rests, which is to hunt false news? To accept this formula, it will not allow the network to come away with and to facilitate communication? “Everything so many questions that were eventually abandoned to advance toward more pragmatism. The eight media outlets engaged in this operation, however, insists on its experimental nature. A first assessment will be done in two months but already it is assumed that job sharing will be extended.

In parallel with this collaboration Snapchat with eight media outlets in France, First Draft News Network in collaboration with Google will launch in late site “crosscheck”. 16 editorial partner – again including AFP, Le Monde, France Médias Monde and France Télévisions – will work together to identify and verify the content circulating online – news, photos, videos or comments.

As in the previous case, the public is invited to attend signaling suspicious content. A team of journalism students, formed by Google, will summarize and then be put back in context every rumor or allegation unfounded photomontage. The flow thus created will be supervised by Agence France Presse. “Competition between media is not stake when it comes to combat misinformation and manipulation.

Another change announced Wednesday is that internet users a “region” (in reality the country, regardless of its size) will have the same topics displayed in the “trending”. Thus, all Americans will see the same thing in this section, while all Romanians else.

After the scandal last year, Snapchat has dismissed editors and hired a team to communicate with the press bodies so that risk of false news to be posted on the social network to be lower. Which will mediate the relationship with the press is Campbell Brown, former NBC journalist.


What happened in summer extent of false news promoted through Snapchat, was an unprecedented phenomenon, important information is determined by the number of votes of the users and not by the value and quality.

Snapchat is currently working with independent teams verify information as it Snopes or The Snapchat Journalism Project.

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