Reuters, the world’s largest multimedia news provider, announced today it is mobilizing and expanding its fact-checking unit to fight misinformation on social media by expanding its partnership with Facebook’s Third-Party Fact-Checking Program in the United Kingdom. The expansion comes at a critical time for audiences around the world, as misinformation about coronavirus is spreading widely on social media.
Reuters will now offer its media verification expertise in reviewing false or misleading content from U.K. users posted on Facebook and Instagram for its U.K.-based audience.
Hazel Baker, Head of UGC Newsgathering, Reuters said, “As the world faces up to the severity of the coronavirus outbreak, the need to stem the flow of misinformation has never been more critical. The Reuters Fact Check team is examining social media content closely in order to track viral claims made by users in the U.S. and now also in the U.K. By verifying or debunking these claims, we hope to play our role, aimed at the public’s interest, in reducing the rate at which inaccurate and potentially harmful posts are being shared at this time.”
Guido Buelow, Facebook Strategic Partner Development Manager, EMEA: “We’re committed to fighting the spread of misinformation online and building on our existing fact-checking programme in the UK through this additional partnership with Reuters. Our goal is to reduce the distribution of misinformation on our platforms, showing warning labels to people who come across fact-checked content and notifications before they try to share it.”
Last month, Reuters joined Facebook’s Fact-Checking Program to detect misleading user-generated photos, videos, headlines on social media for Facebook’s U.S. audience in English and Spanish. Reuters has documented its findings in a specially created blog, and in the last 6 weeks, its fact-checking unit has analysed over 40 pieces of viral content related to COVID-19 on Facebook. Content fact-checked in the United Kingdom will also be recorded on the blog.
Communications Manager, Americas