Tech, media companies to combat fake news stories in France

Tech, media companies to combat fake news stories in France
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A network of media and technology companies are rolling out new fact-checking tools in France to combat the spread of viral fake news, the groups announced on Monday.

First Draft, a nonprofit coalition of news and social media outlets, announced the new initiative, called “CrossCheck,” to help verify online news stories regarding the French presidential election.

In addition to 17 news outlets, Facebook and Google will also be lending their expertise to the project, which goes live on February 27.

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Using analytics tools like Facebook’s CrowdTangle, French journalists will be looking to identify and fact-check news stories circulating on the internet. They will also work to verify stories flagged by social media users.

Facebook came under fire in the U.S. after Election Day, when critics accused the company of allowing fake news to spread on its platform during the campaign.

Since then, it has announced that it would be cracking down on the phenomenon by partnering with fact-checking organizations and giving users the option to flag articles.

Facebook announced last month that the new features will first be rolled out in Germany, and on Monday revealed that the tools will also be available in France in late February.

Both countries are headed for high-profile elections later this year: France will elect a new president, and German voters will cast ballots for the lower chamber in parliament, where Chancellor Angela Merkel is hoping to hang on to her seat.