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BBC, tech giants will fight fake news with an 'early warning system'

Facebook, Google and Twitter are part of the alliance.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
September 7, 2019
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Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Tech companies know disinformation remains a major threat, and they're forming an alliance with a media giant to help fight the online spread of falsehoods. The BBC has partnered with Facebook, Google and Twitter on a strategy to fight fake news and other disinformation campaigns. The effort will include an "early warning system" that lets organizations tell each other when they find false content that "threatens human life or disrupts democracy." Ideally, this helps companies quickly neuter disinformation before it has much of a chance to spread.

The plan also involves a joint media education campaign, shared learning (with a focus on elections) and voting information. More details are coming "at a later date," the BBC said.

The timing of the collaboration likely isn't a coincidence. Internet giants know that the 2020 US presidential election is fast approaching, and they're already working with intelligence agencies to tackle disinformation and security risks. The companies don't want any risk of repeating the missteps from 2016, and that means forging pacts with anyone that can further their goals. While the BBC clearly isn't based in the US, its work could be useful for fighting election meddling in the country on top of any help it can offer abroad.

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