Here’s a list of initiatives that hope to fix trust in journalism and tackle “fake news”

There’s lots.

I’ve tried to collect an extensive list of projects, initiatives and tools created to fix trust in journalism and false/fake news and misinformation. This also includes efforts and initiatives around verification. Where possible I’ve also tried to attach where the funding has come from for each initiative.

UPDATE 13 July 2017: I have now given this post an extensive update and have included initiatives and tools created by individual and commercial platforms.

Fact Checking & Verification - Collaborations & Coalitions

Poynter International Fact Checking Network — United States

“The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) is a forum for fact-checkers worldwide hosted by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. These organizations fact-check statements by public figures, major institutions and other widely circulated claims of interest to society.”

Funding: Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Duke Reporters’ Lab, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Omidyar Network, the Open Society Foundations and the Park Foundation.

Faktisk — Norway

A new collaboration between Norwegian news organisations Dagbladet, VG, TV2 and the country’s public broadcaster NRK to focus on Fact Checking.

Funding: Fritt Ord foundation and as a co-ownership between Schibsted/ Tinius Trust, Dagbladet and NRK

WikiTribune — Global

“Wikitribune is a news platform that brings journalists and a community of volunteers together.

We want to make sure that you read fact-based articles that have a real impact in both local and global events. And that stories can be easily verified and improved.”

Funding: Crowdfunded

First Draft News — United States/Europe

“First Draft is dedicated to improving skills and standards in the reporting and sharing of information that emerges online.

We provide practical and ethical guidance in how to find, verify and publish content sourced from the social web.

First Draft formed as a nonprofit coalition in June 2015 to raise awareness and address challenges relating to trust and truth in the digital age. These challenges are common to newsrooms, human rights organizations and social technology companies and also their audiences, communities and users.”

Funding: Google NewsLab

CrossCheck — France

“[A] collaborative journalism project to fight misinformation online. The French presidential election is the project’s initial focus, and will combine the efforts of more than 34 newsroom partners as well as journalism students across France and beyond. Together, they will work to debunk rumours and false claims and accurately report confusing and misleading stories.”

UPDATE 13 July 2017: This project has now ended although research into the findings is ongoing and will be published in due course.

Funding: Google NewsLab (CrossCheck is First Draft Project), Research Funding: Knight Prototype Fund

Google Fact Check — Global

“For the first time, when you conduct a search on Google that returns an authoritative result containing fact checks for one or more public claims, you will see that information clearly on the search results page. The snippet will display information on the claim, who made the claim, and the fact check of that particular claim.”

Funding: Google

Stop Fake — Ukraine

“Initially the goal of the project was to verify and refute disinformation and propaganda about events in Ukraine being circulated in the media. Eventually the project grew into an information hub where we examine and analyze all aspects of Kremlin propaganda. We not only look at how propaganda influences Ukraine, we also try to investigate how propaganda impacts on other countries and regions, from Syria and Turkey to the European Union and countries which once made up the Soviet Union.”

Funding: Crowdfunding, reader contributions. Also supported by the international Renaissance Foundation, the Foreign Ministry of the Czech Republic, the British Embassy in Ukraine and the Sigrid Rausing Trust.

Indonesian Cyber Media Association, or AMSI — Indonesia

“More than 100 media representatives gathered on Tuesday (18/04) to announce the establishment of the Indonesian Cyber Media Association, or AMSI, whose primary mission is to verify tens of thousands of online news outlets, fight hoax, promote accurate journalism and make sure that journalists adhere to the code of professional ethics.”

Funding: Unknown

DFRLab — Europe

“The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) has operationalized the study of disinformation by exposing falsehoods and fake news, documenting human rights abuses, and building digital resilience worldwide.

We continually track global disinformation campaigns, fake news stories, covert military developments, and subversive attempts against democracy while teaching the public skills to identify and expose attempts to pollute the information space.”

Funding: Atlantic Council

Guides

Firstdraftnews.com, First Draft News Coalition —Global

“We provide practical and ethical guidance in how to find, verify and publish content sourced from the social web. The focus of our work includes:

  • Misattributed and manipulated images that circulate widely online
  • Eyewitness photographs and videos captured at the scene of a news event
  • Claims and content shared on social media and on private messaging apps
  • Hoaxes and fake stories generated for financial or political gain

Here on First Draft News we offer quick reference resources, case studies and best practice recommendations, authored by representatives from our nine founding partners.”

Funding: Google NewsLab

“The Verification Handbook”, European Journalism Centre — The Netherlands

“Authored by leading journalists from the BBC, Storyful, ABC, Digital First Media and other verification experts, the Verification Handbook is a groundbreaking new resource for journalists and aid providers. It provides the tools, techniques and step-by-step guidelines for how to deal with user-generated content (UGC) during emergencies.”

Funding: European Journalism Centre

“Finding the Truth Amongst Fakes”, Al Jazeera Media Institute — Qatar

“The main aim of this new publication is to guide journalists on how to incorporate user-generated content (UGC) in news coverage ethically and successfully. Case studies on how news stories such as the Madaya crisis or a Dubai hotel fire were verified, and how post-Arab Spring news platforms bought into social media, are combined with best practices and tools to monitor social media, and verify images and video. Also, the publication discusses the essential ethical considerations that a journalist should always take into account when dealing with UGC.”

Funding: Al Jazeera

“Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors”, Snopes — United States

“Snopes.com’s updated guide to the internet’s clickbaiting, news-faking, social media exploiting dark side.”

Funding: Unknown

“A Field Guide to Fake News,” Public Data Lab, First Draft & others — Global

“A Field Guide to Fake News explores the use of digital methods to trace the production, circulation and reception of fake news online. It is a project of the Public Data Lab with support from First Draft.

Funding: Unknown

“Social Media Handbook” Swedish Radio — Sweden

“We have chosen to divide this manual into three main parts: dialogue, research and sharing. These three parts are interlinked, however. For example, it is difficult to spread one’s material without a dialogue, since dialogue is the basis of all activities in social media. Still, the division corresponds to the needs we generally have: we want to talk to our audience, we want to find better approaches and new ideas, and we want as many people as possible to have access to our work.”

Funding: Unknown

PolitiFact’s Guide to Fake News Sites — United States

“Using our experiences, we’ve been able to create our own fake news almanac. We want to help readers sort out fact from fiction on your social news feeds, so we compiled a list of every website on which we’ve found deliberately false or fake news stories since we started working along with Facebook — 156 in all.”

Funding: Unknown

Restoring Trust

News Integrity Initiative — United States (with global partners)

“A group of tech industry leaders, academic institutions, non-profits and other organizations are jointly launching a $14 million fund to support the News Integrity Initiative, a global consortium focused on helping people make informed judgments about the news they read and share online.

The Initiative’s mission is to advance news literacy, to increase trust in journalism around the world, and to better inform the public conversation. The Initiative will fund applied research and projects, and convene meetings with industry experts.”

Funding: Facebook, the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Tow Foundation, AppNexus, Mozilla and Betaworks.

The Trust Project — United States

“The Trust Project explores how journalism can stand out from the chaotic crowd and signal its trustworthiness.

The project crafts tangible digital strategies to fulfill journalism’s basic pledge: to serve society with a truthful, intelligent and comprehensive account of ideas and events. We take advantage of our location at the heart of Silicon Valley to imagine technology that can bake the evidence of trustworthy reporting — accuracy, transparency and inclusion –plainly into news practices, tools and platforms.”

Funding: The Trust Project’s founding funder was Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist, as part of craigconnects’ Trustworthy Journalism Initiative. Google is contributing financial support to the Trust Project. The project is also supported by the Markkula Foundation.

Trusting News (Reynolds Journalism Institute) — United States

“How do people decide what news is trustworthy? And how can journalists influence what users consume and share? This site offers guidance on those questions, which are crucial in an era when journalists struggle to stand out in a minefield of misinformation.

With the help of 14 news outlets, we spent a year studying users’ reactions to social media strategies designed to enhance trust. What we’ve learned can help journalists influence what the public chooses to believe, and to pass along.”

Funding: Reynolds Journalism Institute

Accountability Journalism Program (API)—United States

“Through research and partnerships, API studies specific ways to make fact-checking and accountability reporting more effective, transparent and far-reaching. Recent projects have included an examination of best practices by some of the country’s top accountability journalists; a summit to determine the future of fact-checking; training sessions around the country as well as the creation of a free online course on fact-checking (with the Poynter Institute); and a weekly newsletter with Poynter on fact-checking, verification and accountability journalism. API’s ongoing research on trust and transparency — a project with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research — also augments accountability efforts through research and survey data on creating trustworthy and accurate journalism.”

Current funding: Democracy Fund. (Past funding: The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Rita Allen Foundation)

Funding Opportunities

Knight Prototype Fund (Open Call) — United States

“We’re looking for technologists, journalists, designers, teachers, researchers, and others who are eager to develop ideas to help ensure all people have access to accurate information. We understand issues of trust and misinformation are nuanced and complicated, and we are looking for ideas and collaborations that can help bring new voices and vision to these debates.”

Funding: Knight Foundation, Democracy Fund, and the Rita Allen Foundation

Omidyar Network— United States

The Omidyar Network has announced “a $100M commitment to tackle some of the root causes of the global trust deficit. The funding, which runs over the next three years, will focus on strengthening independent media and investigative journalism, tackling misinformation and hate speech, and enabling citizens to better engage with government on critical issues. The funding will support work across the globe.”

Funding: Omidyar Network

The Next Journalism Prize — Europe

Not directly fixing trust but an innovation initiative that could fund projects that will fix trust.

“The Next Journalism Award seeks to reward such long-term innovation and risk taking. In its content, form and development, this project — innovative, demanding, efficient and independent — must be in service of tomorrow’s quality journalism. The award is aimed at projects in their first stages, that have yet to be tested and prototyped. The winning project must be in the process of being created. A unique way of shedding light on the ongoing efforts and investments of pioneering media entrepreneurs as they reshape the future of journalism at the European level.”

Funding: Audiens, Fondation Varenne, Prisma Media

Projects

Pop-Up Newsroom, Dig Deeper Media & Meedan — Global

“Meedan and Dig Deeper Media launched Pop-Up Newsroom, an innovation framework for newsrooms that will change the way we collaborate, communicate and engage with audiences through the development of new tools and training. In partnership with leading newsrooms around the world, Pop-Up Newsroom will see a series of in-person collaborations designed to seed and nurture newsroom innovation across technology, editorial and sustainability.”

The first Pop-Up Newsroom focused on verifying social media and UGC on the day of the UK election.

Funding: Google News Lab (UK Election Project)

Inject Project

“Information now flows through our lives 24/7, but how much of it is unreliable? More than ever, Reporters must select, verify and account for their facts. Inject aims to make creative search techniques and explanatory background fast and easy to use for enriched reporting.”

Funding: Horizon 2020

Events/Conferences

MisInfocon — United States

This event has already happened and so far there have been no announcements about additional conferences but the first is already spawning lots of projects.

“One of the largest gatherings focusing on trust, verification, fact checking, and reader experience. We will bring together ambassadors from technology platforms, news organizations, as well as experts in social science, media literacy, policy, advocacy, cybersecurity and more. Software developers, designers, librarians, academics and actual, honest-to-goodness “real people” that are impacted by misinformation are all welcome.”

Funding: Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, Mozilla, Knight Foundation, Center for Civic Media, and Alley Interactive

Tools & Innovation

Sereley — United Kingdom

“We’re bringing ‘trusted digital media capture’ into the open, enabling mobile device users to capture photos and videos which can then be queried and verified for authenticity of both content (was it edited?) and metadata (where and when was it originally captured?). In parallel we are building for digital publishers and others a cloud based verification platform allowing automated ,real-time execution of the aforementioned checks.”

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Prototype)

AP Verify, Associated Press — United Kingdom

“AP Verify is a cloud-based newsroom tool that will combine machine learning and video recognition technologies with AP’s editorial expertise and market leading user generated content (UGC) verification process to automatically verify UGC.

AP Verify will automatically collect and assess the data needed to verify content, saving considerable editorial time and bringing trusted content to the news viewer quicker than ever before.”

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Large)

“Third Generation Fact-Checking,” Full Fact — United Kingdom

“Non-partisan factchecking needs to be available whenever and wherever people need it.

Increasingly it is. Full Fact and other factcheckers are publishing factchecks in reusable formats. Google for example is incorporating them into search results. Full Fact’s automated factchecking tools, pioneered with Google DNI prototype funding, are presenting relevant factchecks in real time in response to live TV. But how do we make sure that factchecking at internet scale is balanced and fair, when we don’t control when or where or how our factchecks appear? This project aims to tackle that problem through user research and editorial and technical innovation.”

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Medium)

LIVE & TRENDS, Full Fact — United Kingdom

“Both tools will be based on one powerful and modular factchecking engine. Key factcheckers from around the world will be able to plug in custom components that make their work more effective.

Three leading factchecking organisations, Full Fact, Africa Check, and Argentina’s Chequeado have agreed to share open standards to make sure these tools can have a global impact and encourage other factcheckers and researchers to get involved.”

Funding: Omidyar Network, Open Society Foundations

DEBUNK The News, DELFI — Lithuania

“This project by DELFI seeks to create a special platform for investigative journalism, which will help to detect fake news and reduce its harmful impact for the society. The innovative tool will allow debunking fake news permanently and stop spreading them out. In the long-term perspective, the project will contribute to the public awareness on disinformation techniques and fake news phenomenon, society’s ability to think critically, and development of the high-quality news industry.”

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Large)

“Fake news alert,” Wirtualna Polska — Poland

“An anti fake news system containing elements of big data and artificial intelligence. The system is automated from the very beginning — it pics fake news social media stories, roots them, and sends a fake news alert across WP.pl communications channels.”

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Medium)

KONKRET24, Scripps Networks Interactive — Poland

“KONKRET24 is crowd sourced solution for fake news.

The goal of KONKRET24 is to debunk false information, as well as actively influence and shape the discourse impacted by fake news.”

Note: Scripps Networks Interactive are the owners of TVN

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Medium)

Fake News Debunker, Polska Press sp. z o.o. — Poland

“The FND will work as an innovative platform to verify hot political news on their reliability and validity. Fake News Debunker will help the audience to identify the valuable news and to distinguish them from false stories, rumors or hoaxes and inaccurate reporting.

Using a professional experience combined with existing and innovative technological tools the FND will verify hot media materials circulating on web sites or social media platforms. The results of the cross checking will be published on a specially created new online platform linked to number of online media outlets in Poland.”

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Medium)

Transparent Journalism Tool (TJ Tool)

“The Transparent Journalism Tool (TJ Tool) will be an open source application that will allow citizens to see the back end of the editorial process, so they can trace the newsgathering and editing work in a radically transparent way. The audience will know why do we cover a story, where did we get the data, which sources did we talked to or how many people did we allocate to produce a story. It will also provide publishers with data about the cost to produce each story that can eventually be used to monetize content with different formulas like micropayments.”

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Medium)

Stealth Fighter, Independent Journalism Foundation, CIJ — Hungary

“Stealth editing is an unethical way of changing published online content. This project aims to develop a text-comparison tool called “Stealth Fighter” which will help identify the differences between the original and the subsequent versions of the content and make them transparent for the public. Users will be able to search for unnoticed alterations, browse and filter on the website of “Stealth Fighter”. The tool will provide so far non-existing statistics about stealth editing. These data will certainly reveal the good and the bad practices and contribute to a more accountable and ethical news media in Hungary.”

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Prototype)

“Eyewitness media verification,” Verifeye Media — United Kingdom

“Eyewitness media usage in news is still in its infancy, but it is maturing rapidly. Verifeye Media is committed to increasing the value of eyewitness media, both in the minds of the industry as well as the audience. By building a set of tools that facilitates verification at point of creation, we can increase the speed with which eyewitness media can be used, and we can amplify the voices of those who have a story to tell. We can also accelerate the exposure of fake stories, building more trust in eyewitness media, and trust in media as a whole.”

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Prototype)

VIS ( Veritas In Silico), Ced Digital & Servizi (Caltagirone Editore) — Italy

“VIS will develop and roll out to publishers the first full fledged system for assisted fact-checking, directly integrated in existing content management platforms but also accessible to individuals. Its aim is to maximise impact of fact checking. Based also on existing market ready solutions, VIS will develop a newsrooms-ready product. The core of the system is its Super Search functionality, using natural language processing technologies and Expert System’s Cogito engine to search a variety of sources, both open and proprietary, combined with social network analysis.”

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Large)

Fact Scan, SC Blue Insight — Romania

“Fact Scan is a project aiming to provide a solution for real-time fact-checking a variety of claims over a range of media such as written articles/news or broadcasting.

We have recently seen a raising interest for fact checking political claims. Misinformation is considered one of the biggest challenges a democracy can face nowadays.Fact Scan will use a range of artificial intelligence techniques to handle language understanding, speech recognition in audio & video streams, text recognition in image content. The aim is to turn fact checking from a hard and slow process into an ubiquitous process, which can deliver fast and accurate results to a variety of claims.”

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Prototype)

“Blockchain as a fact checker,” DUIC & DIG & MILVUM — Netherlands

“DUIC (De Utrechtse Internet Courant) in collaboration with Design Innovation Group & Milvum aim to set up an experiment in which we want to explore the possibilities of block chain for fact-checking by a design manner.

The innovation and advantage of our solution instead of a ‘standard’ reviews system lies in the traceability, transparency and the decentralized character of authority. One can always trace back what reviewers have reviewed and which articles have been accepted as truthful. As the participants of the ‘community’ decide on the credibility of an article, the authority on the credibility lies in the hands of these participants.”

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Prototype)

4Facts.org, The Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism Re:Baltica — Latvia

“There are several reasons why 4Facts.org can be an excellent way for enabling a scalable, well-coordinated effort for fact-checking. Firstly, it creates a set of incentives for fact-checking at a much wider scale. Fact-checkers are interested in validating content, since they can get financial rewards and also establish reputation for high quality work. The amount of rewards received increases as fact-checker improves his reputation. Content creators will be interested to submit their content for validation, since they want to build their reputation. This will be a way of demonstrating their credibility to users.”

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Prototype)

DOSSIER Sources, Dossier — Austria

“DOSSIER Sources is both, tool and platform allowing news organisations to organise sources efficiently, embed them into their stories to make otherwise hidden sources readily available for readers and give users the opportunity to fact-check stories themselves.

The goal of DOSSIER Sources is to strengthen and sustain news organisation’s credibility by handing over original sources to their readers.”

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Prototype)

Kendraio Verify, Kendra Foundation — United Kingdom

“The Kendraio Verify project is our method of combating fake news, not by trying to find fake news but by elevating the trustability of true news — thereby strengthening good journalism and checkable facts. Very few journalists personally witness the things that they are reporting on. We intend to create specifications and tools which will foster a culture of collaborative journalism, both for professional and citizen journalists. This specification is intended to allow the creation of tools which can be used to create a “chain of verifiable facts” and used to provide support for claims made in journalistic works.”

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Prototype)

“Fighting fake news and filter bubbles,” The Buzzard — Germany

“The team of journalists and web-developers from Leipzig, Germany, is training a machine-learning algorithm that can categorize political sentiments and orientations of journalistic texts. The first deliverable product will be a browser plug-in that will be later developed into an app. With this plug-in, readers can diversify their daily news reading by getting instant article recommendations that help them to burst their bubbles. And editors can cross-check sources and verify fake news more quickly.”

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Prototype)

DMINR, City University London

“DMINR is a research and verification tool to help journalists work with big data and conduct investigations in the digital era. It will act as a verification tool to quickly find information to help verify (or debunk) facts — particularly timely and important in the era of fake news. The tool will use highly advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to mine public data and make sense of results. It will utilise lateral search and API aggregation to find connections in big data and multiple lateral search locations. It will incorporate a highly-advanced search capability, AIML and a visual connection finder interface to then make sense, verify and visualise those connections.”

Funding: Digital News Initiative (Third Round — Large)

“Verification Plug-In,”InVID — Europe

“The InVID verification plugin allows media professionals to quickly get contextual information on Facebook and Youtube videos, to read video and image metadata, to fragment videos from various platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Daily Motion) into keyframes, to use the keyframes for performing reverse image search on Google, Baidu or Yandex search engines, to enhance and explore the keyframes and images through a magnifying lens, to query Twitter for related information, and to apply forensic filters on still images.”

Funding: Horizon202o


I’m aware that individual organisations have set up their own initiatives but for this post I decided to only include projects which are open or involve more than one organisation. //UPDATE: Due to overwhelming interest I have relaxed this rule.

I will definitely have missed some. Please let me know what I need to add. If I have made any mistakes in description or funding details, again let me know and I’ll update. You can reach me at fergus@digdeepermedia.com

I plan to keep this an up-to-date and live list of the efforts around the world.


EDITS:

27/04/17 — Spelling corrections. Adds additional initiatives: “Trusting News” (RJI) & Accountability Journalism Program (API).

13/07/17 — Adds additional initiatives, primarily those funded by the DNI third round.

Disclaimer: I am a founding member of the First Draft Coalition.