AAP partners with Google to launch fact-checking program

AAP X Google

The program aims to tackle mis- and disinformation across Australia and New Zealand.

Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Google have partnered to combat misinformation and disinformation in Australia and New Zealand.

The new program, launched on International Fact-Checking Day, aims to increase the news wire service’s capacity to provide fact-checks, ensuring accurate and reliable information is provided to over 380 publications across both countries to benefit all online users.

AAP FactCheck is an editorial unit of the national newswire, Australian Associated Press and has been debunking misinformation and disinformation in Australia since 2019.

It will also analyse global misinformation trends and produce video explainers. The editorial unit will also translate fact checks into different languages (Arabic, Simplified Chinese, and Vietnamese) for distribution to local news outlets and social media.

The new partnership increases the speed and quantity of the work, which will also anticipate misinformation trends that have appeared in other parts of the world before they emerge in Australia and New Zealand.

Lisa Davies, AAP CEO, said the information environment has never been more challenging for journalists, newsrooms and audiences alike.

“This partnership with Google will see AAP FactCheck’s capacity expand significantly, reducing the harmful mis and disinformation Australians are encountering every day,” she said.
This new agreement will also see AAP produce social media content aiming to build broader media-literacy skills online.
Uma Patel
, Google AUNZ’s News Lab Lead, said the initiative builds on an important partnership between the two organisations. She noted that Google’s partnership with AAP is leading the way against misinformation and disinformation.
“AAP has a strong record of calling out false and misleading claims in Australia and New Zealand, we’re excited to see their work grow and reach more people.”

This is not the first time AAP and Google partnered up. Last year, the news wire service and tech giant teamed up to give Indigenous publications free, fact-based journalism addressing referendum falsehoods.
See also:
Google and AAP partner to support First Nations media address referendum myths

The launch of AAP and Google’s fact-checking program comes as Meta revealed its plans to shut down its monitoring tool, CrowdTangle, after August 14.

The decommissioning of the tool comes ahead of the US presidential elections in November and is set to be replaced by a lacks the same functionality and which news organisations will not have access to, according to The Australian.

Melanie Smith, director of research at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, to the publication that restricted access to CrowdTangle will severely limit independent oversight of harms and “represents a grave step backwards for social media platform transparency.”

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