With so-called ‘fake news’ on the tip of the tongue of seemingly every politician and social media user at the moment the team at NewsWhip have pulled together a new initiative to more full define the term and its implications for the uninitiated.
In doing so the phenomenon is boiled down to the creation of any ‘news stories without any basis in fact’ and goes onto explain how journalists and editors can play their part in addressing its insidious march online.
To help achieve this they have created a ‘Fake News’ panel which monitors websites with previous form in promoting false stories, enabling journalists to identify which stories are gaining the greatest social media traction and receive alerts if anything threatens to go viral.
Explaining this process Paul Quigley, NewsWhip chief executive and co-founder, wrote: “Our technology is designed to give media professionals a view into what content is engaging people now in any niche – including niches they may not encounter very regularly. We will adjust our training sessions with journalists to emphasize the importance of seeing other people’s perspectives and news feeds. We hope this helps journalists understand the language within different filter bubbles, and find ways to pop them.”
Armed with such data journalists can nip such articles in the bud by highlighting the true facts of the case, with particular effort being placed on France ahead of a vital presidential election in the spring.
NewsWhip's efforts form part of a wider bid to identify which stories are likely to go viral ahead of time.