Google announces new Poynter partnership to train more news fact checkers globally

So-called fake news and the exploitation of Google, Facebook and Twitter for the promotion of false narratives during the 2016 presidential election have given these companies a black eye. All of them have now taken corrective measures, including deploying fact-checking mechanisms to identify false claims.

Adding to those efforts, this morning Google is announcing a partnership with the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), which was launched by The Poynter Institute in 2015. The nonpartisan entity seeks to promote fact-checking best practices, which other organizations adopt and abide by. These include The Washington Post, Associated Press, PolitiFact and Factcheck.org, among others.

The new Google-IFCN initiative will seek to do the following:

  • Grow the number of trained fact checkers globally.
  • Expand fact-checking capabilities to more countries around the world, “by translating the Code of Principles into ten languages and ensuring credible fact checkers can apply to participate in the IFCN community.”
  • Provide access to various fact-checking tools for free.
  • Offer engineering resources to develop new fact-checking software tools to improve efficiency.

The objective is to identify and weed out dubious or malicious claims online in general, but specifically in Google Search and on Google News. Fact checking is not a cure for the manipulation of the news, but it’s a critical tool in helping people recognize credible journalism.

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