Maybe we should have thought of this ...
It's still unclear whether the vat of "fake news" that circulated on Facebook during election season 2016 swung the presidency to Donald Trump. Either way, the people of France, it seems, aren't interested in placing their own election into a similarly dubious position.
Facebook and Google, Reuters and Le Monde have reported, will be working with news agencies in France to vet online articles ahead of the French presidential election, which begins in April.
Labeling 'false news' items on French Facebook
Similar to the system Facebook is working on in the U.S. (which began after the election wrapped up) and Germany, social networkers in France will be able to tag stories that seem false. The content will then be presented to eight news partners, including AFP, BFM TV, and newspapers L'Express and Le Monde. If two or more partners can verify that the information is false, the story will show a "Disputed by ... Fact-Checkers" alert and be ranked lower in News Feeds when shared.
French news site Le Monde shows what fake news will look like when shared on Facebook in France, which is the same as it appears on Facebook in the U.S.
Google News Labs is also working with 17 newsrooms to combat fake news in France ahead of its election. The program, called CrossCheck, will have a dedicated website where users will be able to find sussed-out details about questionable reports floating around the web and request information on new reports that need vetting.
CrossCheck -- set to launch on Feb. 27 -- at this point looks to be a program specific to France, with no word yet on whether it will come to the U.S.
These are the partners Google is working with for CrossCheck.
Getting ready for 2018 and 2020?
With Facebook simply rolling its U.S.-based anti-fake news system into Germany and France ahead of its elections, some valuable info could be gleaned on how to battle misinformation on the internet. Americans could benefit if those findings are implemented on Facebook and other social networks in time for the midterm elections and the next presidential elections.
Who knows, maybe we'll get this internet news thing figured out after all!