BBC joins fight against fake news with a dedicated team

The BBC has a team dedicated to debunking fake news.
Image: Clara Molden/PA Wire /Press Association Images

The uphill battle against fake news (and correctly using the term “fake news” in the first place) continues. The latest effort to debunk made-up information is British broadcaster BBC.

On Thursday, The Guardian reported the BBC was forming a debunking team to tackle false stories that often start on Facebook and other social media outlets.

This means segments such as the outlet’s Reality Check will become more than an occasional feature, but a persistent effort with a team tackling incorrect stories, posts and information.

BBC news chief James Harding told staff that The BBC cant edit the internet, but we wont stand aside either,” per the Guardian report.

The team will pull staff from across the BBC, build an “intelligence unit” within the international World Service and use more data journalism to find and debunk incorrect facts, according to the plan laid out at Thursday’s discussion.

The debunking effort comes only a day after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump called out CNN for being “fake news” at press conference after the cable news outlet alleged Trump had been briefed on Russia having sensitive information about him.

The BBC earlier Thursday carried a story titled “Things to think about before calling something ‘fake news'” which went into Trump’s labeling anything he dislikes as “fake news.” It also distinguished between unverified and fake news, of which the internet saw plenty during the U.S. presidential election.

In an email to Mashable, the BBC explained how they are building a “slow news” plan, especially focusing on and working with Facebook. Harding in a statement said, We also need to explain whats driving the news. We need slow news, news with more depth data, investigations, analysis, expertise – to help us explain the world were living in.”

He added, “Slow news means weighing in on the battle over lies, distortions and exaggerations in the news.”

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