Muna Al Fuzai

Google and Facebook announced that they are teaming up to fight fake news on social media. CrossCheck is the name of the initiative, which was announced by Google. The company said it is working in tandem with a total of 17 newsrooms to provide a platform for rapid fact checking, and expects more partners to be onboard soon. This is a great project. It is time to stop this disease on social media today because its impact goes very deep into the ideas, opinions, attitudes, decisions and ways of thinking and living of ordinary people.

The fake news epidemic on social media has serious repercussions on public ideas and decisions regarding all matters. I am conservative about the effects of social media, which turned some stupid and trivial people rich and famous, and they became role models. Worst, they used this power and money to shape and spread false ideas about life, family, marriage and values.

For example, false news had a bad role in influencing people, as we saw in the US election. Another example is of Facebook, which provoked the revolution in Egypt. This should be an indicator of the power of social media on people today, especially the youth. In Kuwait, I personally do not trust all news on social media because it is often exaggerated or untrue and fabricated, which leads to social damage, especially related to security and the country’s status.

My problem with news on social media is that there is no way to investigate its accuracy or authenticity immediately. For example, when you receive the news of a possible devaluation of a country’s currency, you can’t easily deny or confirm such a report at once, because it may seem to appear as official. Until the emergence of contrary information, it could be too late, and people will already have been affected.

CrossCheck will act as a ranking tool to track and curate the most popular posts across social networks. I think this is a difficult mission, but it is not impossible. This operation is a collaborative tool to stop the spread of disinformation online and to improve the general public’s access to verified information. Preventing fake news from gaining attention and being shared by others is crucial to Facebook’s goal of providing accurate information to its users.

Google said in a blog post that CrossCheck aims to ensure hoaxes, rumors and false claims are swiftly debunked, and misleading or confusing stories are accurately reported, and with the French presidential election approaching, journalists from across France and beyond will work together to find and verify content circulating publicly online, whether it is photographs, videos, memes, comment threads and news sites. This project aims to protect the society from falling victim to false information. It is a wonderful effort and I hope more news agencies will join this team.

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