Reuters creates a team of fact checkers to highlight fake news and misleading photos on Facebook and Instagram
- The news agency will join Facebook’s external control program
- Two English speakers and two Spanish speakers will verify messages
- The program will contain both Facebook and Instagram messages
Today, Reuters has announced that it will create a new team of researchers to collaborate with Facebook’s external monitoring program.
The team will consist of two English speakers and two Spanish speakers, who view news headlines, user-generated photos, videos and other content shared via Facebook and Instagram.
The team will flag false or misleading messages and periodically add examples of unreliable messages to a blog called “Reuters Fact Check Case Studies.”
Reuters joins Facebook’s grown external fact-checking initiative, where two English-speaking researchers and two Spanish speakers are dedicated to assist in reviewing posts on both Facebook and Instagram
Facebook’s external fact-checking program was first launched in 2016, after the company was widely criticized for its role in driving political radicalization through the uncontrolled spread of propaganda and disinformation.
The Reuters Fact Checkers team will join a group that also includes researchers from the Associated Press, PolitiFact and FactCheck.org.
“Expanding our fact-finding program is an important part of our work to combat misinformation,” said Keren Goldshlager of Facebook in a prepared statement.
“We are delighted that Reuters is joining our US partnership and know that we will benefit greatly from their expertise in visual verification and user-generated content.”
Reuters previously worked with Facebook on a 2018 program to help local newsrooms identify artificially manipulated video, audio, and images to prevent them from being misled by unreliable sources.
“We firmly acknowledge the extent of misinformation around the world,” Reuters said, “Jess April said in a statement.
“It is a growing problem that affects society on a daily basis and it is a responsibility for news organizations and platforms to stop the spread of fake news.”
An example of the kind of posts that Reuters will judge came with a photo of police-attacking student protesters at Jamia Millia University in New Delhi in 2019 (pictured above). The photo turned out to be from a training exercise in 2017
Student protesters were injured in protests from Jamia Millia University – one person lost an eye, causing others to wrap their solidarity bandage around their heads. But false reports of real events create an atmosphere of confusion and uncertainty around real events
Some early examples of the types of information that the team will judge include a post from a photo of soldiers at Jamia Millia University in New Delhi firing on student protesters in December 2019.
The image used for the post was not actually taken in 2019, but came from a fake protest police from 2017 that was organized as a training exercise.
In another example, a Facebook user posted video footage of what they claimed was a Mexican military helicopter that opened fire on a drug cartel in October 2019.
After locating the original videographer, Reuters confirmed that the footage was actually taken from 2017 in another part of Mexico.
WHAT DOES INSTAGRAM DO WITH NAKE ACCOUNTS?
Instagram has launched a crackdown on fake accounts and has introduced a new feature that shows users information about who is really behind a username.
The photo sharing app – more than 1 billion users will now be able to evaluate the authenticity of accounts weeks after parent Facebook has rolled out similar measures in an attempt to remove fake accounts on its social media platform.
The ‘About this account’ feature allows users to see the ads on which an account is running, the country where the account is located, username changes in the last year, and other details.
For more information about an account, go to their profile, tap the menu … and then select “About this account.”
There you can see the date the account became a member of Instagram, the country where the account is located, accounts with shared followers, any username changes in the last year and all ads currently showing on the account.
Instagram also plans to significantly increase the number of verified accounts for public figures, celebrities, and global brands.
In addition to the account username, applicants must provide full real names and a copy of legal or business identification.
Instagram also said that using third-party apps, such as DUO Mobile and Google Authenticator, will allow for two-factor authentication to help users securely log in to their accounts.