A screenshot of the front page of the AAP FactCheck website … the news agency has now partnered with Facebook in a bid to tackle fake news

August 23, 2019

Australian Associated Press (AAP) has expanded the scope of its fact-checking unit, partnering with Facebook to combat the spread of misinformation on the platform.

The news agency set up AAP FactCheck ahead of the NSW election in March, and after a second successful trial during the Federal Election, committed to running a permanent, independent and free fact-checking service.

AAP FactCheck will continue to scrutinise statements presented as fact by public figures via the mainstream media and will retain full editorial independence under its new editor, Peter Trute.

However, as Facebook’s first local Australian media partner, AAP FactCheck will now also apply its rigorous editorial practices to falsehoods circulating on social media.

Facebook uses a combination of machine learning, human review and community reporting to help identify potentially problematic text, video and images for review by third-party fact-checking partners across the globe.

AAP FactCheck will focus on the veracity of content most relevant to Australians, and after arriving at an evidence-based verdict, will apply one of nine designated ratings.

A false, misleading or mixed rating will result in that content being paired with the relevant AAP FactCheck article and reduced in Facebook’s News Feed. People who try to share the problematic content, or who have previously shared it, are also notified of the FactCheck outcome.

“AAP FactCheck has always been committed to improving accuracy and accountability in public debate. Now we are applying that standard to a whole new content set, reaching more people than ever before,” Mr Trute said.

Facebook users have been invited to get involved.

If you would like to suggest a submission for review, visit factcheck.aap.com.au

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