On February 2018, Data & Society published a reporttitled, “Dead Reckoning: Navigating Content Moderation After ‘Fake News’” whose aim was to clarify the current usage of the term “fake news” and analyze four specific strategies of intervention for managing it. One such strategy introduced is something they call“Trust and Verification.” This strategy is further broken down into three possible types: debunking and fact-checking, coalitions of trusted content brokers, and expanding content moderation programs and policies. Amongst the three solutions presented, debunking and fact-checking comes off as the most intriguing since fact checking has a long history within media, and has continued to address the spread of viral hoaxes over social media for the last several years, particularly during crises.
- In 2014 and 2015, blogs like Fake News Watch and columns dedicated to debunking false viral content began appearing in outlets like Gawker and The Washington Post.
More recently, a wide-spread of different organizations whose main objective is not only to debunk and fact check stories, but to build trust and credibility across several multimedia platforms.
- First Draft News, a nonprofit coalition which began in June 2015 and predated the more recent “fake news” explosion, is one such network, working with over eighty partners across news media, fact-checking organizations, and platforms to fact-check information for news STRATEGIES OF INTERVENTION Fig. 5: The Guardian’s coverage of Facebook’s new fact-checking alerts. Data & Society Research Institute datasociety.net 18 media.59 Their online verification collaboration project CrossCheck brought together thirty-seven newsroom and technology partners to collectively fact-check and debunk information trending during the French election.
- Politifact, is a nonprofit project operated by the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, with offices there and in Washington, D.C.. It began in 2007 as a project of the Tampa Bay Times (then the St. Petersburg Times), with reporters and editors from the newspaper and its affiliated news media partners reporting on the accuracy of statements made by elected officials, candidates, their staffs, lobbyists, interest groups and others involved in U.S. politics: A real case study is when Bernie Sanders claimed “white people do not know what it is like to be poor” and PolitiFact fact-checked his claim and proved his claim was false.
- Fact-Checking in Argentina: The Website Fighting Fake News in an Election Year: An interview with Laura Zommer, executive director and editor-in-chief of Chequeado.
The limitations of fact-checking and debunking:
- “…it is currently disputed whether
fact-checking decreases or increases trust in mis-and disinformation.”
- “audiences are likely to perceive content that has not been tagged as”disputed “ or”credible “ as more accurate.”