Facebook Starts Fact Checking Photos and Videos in This Country

Facebook has started to fact-check photos and videos to thwart the spread of fake news.

The social media giant said Thursday that it has partnered with the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news service to scrutinize photos and videos in France for accuracy in addition to conventional news stories distributed on its service.

Facebook did not describe how it and the AFP would determine whether a certain picture or video warrants a fact check or how many people would be involved in the effort. Although the new fact-checking is limited to Facebook’s French users, the company said it would eventually debut similar initiatives in other countries with the help of other partners.

While Facebook (FB) did not say what type of photos or videos it would scrutinize, they are likely to be manipulated pictures or videos involving current political or global affairs, rather than baby pictures.

Facebook has been criticized for not doing enough to prevent users from sharing misleading news on its service, particularly in prelude to the 2016 presidential election.

Some of Facebook’s recent steps to curtail misleading information includes reducing the amount of news on its service —whether fake or real— and asking users to list the news sources they trust.

In March, Facebook began enlisting the help of news outlets to help its efforts to flag fake news, and partnered with the Associated Press to fact-check news related to U.S. midterm elections in each state.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year about the difficulty companies like Facebook and Google have detecting manipulated photos that are designed to mislead citizens and stir discord.

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In an illustration of the difficulties Facebook faces, researchers were able to use artificial intelligence technologies to create doctored videos of politicians like one involving former President Barack Obama giving a convincing looking speech. Some human rights activists, prominent universities, and AI researchers are worried that more people will use cutting-edge technology to create propaganda that is difficult or impossible to distinguish from reality.

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