Australian Associated Press (AAP) has expanded the scope of its dedicated fact-checking unit, partnering with Facebook to combat the spread of misinformation on the platform.
The Australian independent news agency set up AAP FactCheck ahead of the NSW state election in March this year, 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 retains full editorial independence under the unit’s newly appointed editor, Peter Trute.
As Facebook’s first local Australian media partner, AAP FactCheck will now 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 focuses on the veracity of the content most relevant to Australians, and after arriving at an evidence-based verdict, applies 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.
Having worked for more than 20 years in the media in roles covering general news, science, the environment and business, Mr Trute was a senior writer for AAP’s National Bureau before his promotion to AAP Finance Editor. Mr Trute’s extensive experience is complemented by his commitment to AAP’s core principles of accuracy, impartiality and fairness.
AAP FactCheck is published through AAP Newswire, Apple News and on a dedicated website, factcheck.aap.com.au.