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AFP adds more countries to its fact-checking collaboration with Facebook
AFP, which already has a fact-checking contract with Facebook in France, is expanding the collaboration to Mexico, Colombia and Brazil, and will announce agreements for a further three countries in the near future. The Agency will produce fact-checking articles that will be made freely available via blogs that will go online in June.
The sites in English, Spanish and Portuguese will be based on the current Factuel (factuel.afp.com), a site dedicated to verifying and debunking fake news and disinformation spread online. AFP journalists fact-check potentially false content and provide the necessary context where it is lacking.
The contract includes the verification of images, an area in which AFP has particular expertise.
Under the agreement, AFP has full independence when it chooses what content needs to be checked. A selection of its fact-checks is posted on Facebook and flagged to users by the social network.
The expanded collaboration between Facebook and AFP is a continuation of the contract signed in 2017 between the social media platform and five French news organisations, including AFP. Additionally, the work carried out by the newly-created fact-checking teams will benefit all of the Agency’s production - text, photo, video and graphics - as verification becomes an increasingly important element for news organisations in the face of the tide of disinformation.
The new contract comes in addition to numerous initiatives and partnerships set up by AFP in recent years:
- Participation in CrossCheck, a collaborative journalism project launched by First Draft for the 2017 French presidential election;
- Recognition by the IFCN (International Fact-Checking Network), which has accepted AFP as one of the 50 media who signed its Code of Principles;
- A partnership with Reporters Without Borders (RSF) through its “Journalism Trust Initiative”, an innovative approach designed to combat disinformation;
- Collaboration with Africa Check, a non-profit organisation that has gained global recognition for its news-verification efforts in Africa and which AFP helped to set up.
“We are delighted with this new contract which is testament to AFP’s expertise and credibility in the verification of information. At a time when false news and misinformation is proliferating widely, this project with Facebook touches directly on the agency’s founding mission and the work being done by our network of journalists every day to provide a reliable and high quality verified news service,” said AFP Global News Director Michèle Léridon.
Facebook’s Product Manager Tessa Lyons said: “At Facebook, we’re taking action to reduce the spread of misinformation on our platform, but we know we can’t do it alone. AFP is a well-respected news organization with a deep understanding of local contexts in many countries around the world, and the expansion of their fact-checking efforts to new countries as part of our third-party fact-checking program bolsters our efforts to combat false news.”
AFP is a global news agency delivering fast, accurate, in-depth coverage of the events shaping our world from conflicts to politics, economics, sports, entertainment and the latest breakthroughs in health, science and technology. With 2,400 staff spread across almost every country, AFP covers the world 24 hours a day in six languages. AFP delivers the news in video, text, photos, multimedia and graphics to a wide range of customers including newspapers and magazines, radio and TV channels, web sites and portals, mobile operators, corporate clients as well as public institutions.