We’ve rounded up the best fact-checking tools for news publishers
Americans see fake news as a bigger problem than violent crime or climate change, according to surveys by Pew Research Center. For digital news publishers, even small errors can lead to distrust among readers and a reputation as an unreliable media outlet. Lacking the budgets to hire full-time in-house fact-checkers, many publishers feel like their backs are against the wall and their options are limited. Thankfully, that’s not the case.
The latest fact-checking tools for news publishers combine artificial intelligence and crowd-sourcing to help reporters confirm the accuracy and authenticity of all sorts of content.
Let’s take a look at few of the most popular fact-checking tools that news publishers are using right now.
6 Fact-Checking Tools for News Publishers
One of the newest digital fact-checking tools on the market is called Check. Made by Meedan, a software company that builds digital tools for journalism, Check automates responses to tipsters and helps reporters verify breaking news. One of the Check features that could be most beneficial to local reporters is the ability to directly forward messages received through WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or WeChat to outside fact-checking organizations. If the content has already been fact-checked, then the reporter receives an automated answer that’s extracted from the fact-checker’s article. If not, the reporter will need to hunt down the information for himself. Check is free for teams with up to 10 members.
RevEye is a reverse image search tool that’s available as a Chrome extension. Because edited, or “photoshopped,” images have become such so ubiquitous, many newsrooms are requiring reporters to confirm the authenticity of images before re-publishing them on any platforms. RevEye is a tool that media organizations can use to do just that. Right-click any image in a website, and the RevEye extension will perform an inverse image search. In addition to searching Google and Bing, RevEye searches image search engines like Yandex, TinEye, and Baidu. RevEye is free to use.
3. YouTube DataViewer
What do you do if a reporter at your publication receives an anonymous tip with a link to a YouTube video? How do you determine the authenticity of the video, and how do you make sure the anonymous tipster is really the person who posted the video online? YouTube DataViewer is a tool from Amnesty International that can help you learn more about YouTube videos. The tool extracts metadata from videos hosted on YouTube and lets users see when the video was uploaded and whether there are any other copies of the video posted on YouTube. With this information in hand, reporters should be better able to ascertain whether the videos they’ve received are original. YouTube DataViewer is free.
A tool for finding the real people behind online identities, Pipl is most frequently used by news organizations to track down the original source of newsworthy images and videos. Pipl searches the “social web”—including platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Spokeo—for information and contact details about users who’ve posted videos and images online. Reporters can search by name, username, location, phone number, and age range. Pro subscriptions start at $99 per month. An API is available for larger media organizations.
FakerFact is an artificial intelligence tool that was created to help reporters understand more about what they read online to avoid disseminating sensational or false information. When you’re researching a story, take research materials like past stories and content sent to you by sources, and plug those URLs into FakerFact.org. FakerFact’s algorithm will quickly generate a score for each article based on signals showing whether the pieces could be fishy, sensational, agenda-driven, or any other number of labels. While FakerFact doesn’t specifically determine whether the published content is accurate, its scores should give reporters a better idea of whether they can trust the content or not. FakerFact is available to users for free.
6. First Draft NewsCheck
Developed by First Draft, an organization dedicated to supporting journalists, First Draft NewsCheck is a Chrome extension that reporters can use to help investigate the legitimacy of the content they’re seeing online. When you have an image or video open in your browser, the extension will prompt you to investigate whether that content is original and how confident you are in that content’s authenticity. The NewsCheck extension will then calculate a verification score and puts that score on an embeddable button so others can see what is known about the content. The ultimate goal here is to prevent fake news from spreading further. First Draft NewsCheck is free to use.