Tech giants Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) have joined with news organizations to launch new fact-checking tools aimed at rooting out “fake news” stories in France ahead of the country’s presidential election. Recent cyber-attacks on social networks occurred during the U.S. presidential vote that conveyed false news reports.
Facebook announced that it would work with eight French news organizations. The social network giant has over 24 million users in France, which is over a third of the current population. It will rely on users to report fake news on the network so that they may be fact-checked by partner organizations.
If two of its partners flag the news report then it will have an icon indicating that the content is contested, Facebook said. Facebook has a separate deal with Google named “CrossCheck” that requires users to submit links to contested content to a chosen website to be investigated. Seventeen French newsrooms have joined the project, including the French public national television broadcaster and the AFP.
Facebook also has a hand in the project to combat fake news in Germany, government officials have concerns that false stories and hate speed on the web could influence an upcoming federal election in September where Angela Merkel will seek a fourth term in office.