Reuters will fact-check Facebook and Instagram posts ahead of 2020 election

Reuters will fact-check Facebook and Instagram posts ahead of 2020 election

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Reuters has joined Facebook‘s third-party fact-checking program

Angela Lang/CNET

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s full coverage of the 2020 elections.

Reuters has announced it will help Facebook and Instagram identify fake news posts. As part of Facebook’s third-party fact-checking program, Reuters will comb through photos, videos, headlines and other posts in English and Spanish on Instagram and Facebook to identify and review stories, and determine whether they’re fake. Reuters will be posting its findings on a special blog.

The fact-checking process will help find “the magnitude of misinformation taking place around the world,” Jess April, Reuters director of Global Partnerships, said Wednesday. “It’s a responsibility for news organizations and platforms to halt the spread of false news.”

Facebook is “thrilled” to have Reuters help it “fight misinformation,” Keren Goldshlager, Facebook Integrity Partnerships, said.

Some of the posts already on Reuters’ fact-checking blog include determining a video, purporting to be footage of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight other people, as false; a video on Twitter showing a family escaping the Australian bushfires to be true; and images on Facebook showing dead fish in an Australian river to be true.

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The news comes ahead of the 2020 election, as social media companies deal with fake news posts and deepfakes. 

Deepfakes, video forgeries that make people appear to be doing or saying things they didn’t, are the moving-picture equivalent of bogus images created with programs like Photoshop. Deepfake software has made manipulated videos accessible and increasingly harder to detect as fake.

In the past month, Twitter has said it will start labeling deepfakes, Facebook is banning deepfakes but has faced criticism for not removing edited videos, YouTube is cracking down on voter misinformation and Google’s parent company Alphabet has said it will address deepfakes with a bogus photo detector. You can also report misleading election information on social media.

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