Category Archives: Google Europe Blog

Google’s views on the Internet and society Europe

Improving our brand safety controls

From our founding days at Google, our mission has always been to make information universally accessible and useful. We believe strongly in the freedom of speech and expression on the web—even when that means we don’t agree with the views expressed.

At the same time, we recognize the need to have strict policies that define where Google ads should appear. The intention of these policies is to prohibit ads from appearing on pages or videos with hate speech, gory or offensive content. In the vast majority of cases, our policies work as intended. We invest millions of dollars every year and employ thousands of people to stop bad advertising practices. Just last year, we removed nearly 2 billion bad ads from our systems, removed over 100,000 publishers from our AdSense program, and prevented ads from serving on over 300 million YouTube videos.

However, with millions of sites in our network and 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, we recognize that we don't always get it right. In a very small percentage of cases, ads appear against content that violates our monetization policies. We promptly remove the ads in those instances, but we know we can and must do more.

We’ve heard from our advertisers and agencies loud and clear that we can provide simpler, more robust ways to stop their ads from showing against controversial content. While we have a wide variety of tools to give advertisers and agencies control over where their ads appear, such as topic exclusions and site category exclusions, we can do a better job of addressing the small number of inappropriately monetized videos and content. We’ve begun a thorough review of our ads policies and brand controls, and we will be making changes in the coming weeks to give brands more control over where their ads appear across YouTube and the Google Display Network.

We are committed to working with publishers, advertisers and agencies to address these issues and earn their trust every day so that they can use our services both successfully and safely.

Code Jam returns: Do you have what it takes?

Today we invite anyone with a passion for coding—from students to professionals, and newbies to pros—to sign up for Code Jam, Google's largest, most challenging programming competition.

Last year, Code Jam welcomed 60,000 Code Jammers from more than 130 countries. The competition features multiple online rounds of intense, algorithmic problems, a track for coding in a distributed environment, an on-site World Finals and the opportunity to win a cash prize of up to $15,000. While we’ve changed and grown from our humble beginnings in 2007, much of the essential ingredients that make Code Jam beloved by so many remain the same.

Here’s what you need to know:

The languages are many. Code Jam allows competitors to use any coding language throughout the competition—everything from C++ to JavaScript to INTERCAL, LOLCODE, and Whitespace. We’ve even heard of a competitor who solved the 2015 Dijkstra problem using only a spreadsheet. Whatever language you speak, you’re part of a broader Code Jam community. This global community of current and former participants (and fans of the competition) has grown to more than 200,000 across our Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Facebook channels. And on any given day, you can participate in discussions about competition puzzles or get tips and tricks from past competitors.

The problems are memorable. The quality of the problems keeps many of the world’s best programmers coming back each year. All Code Jam problems are written by Google engineers. Hundreds have dedicated their time over the years to make every problem rewarding and fun for Code Jammers, from the easiest Qualification Round problem to the most fiendish challenge in the World Finals. You can check out past problems here and try your hand at them for practice. A lesser known fact is that the engineers who authored the problems in last year’s World Finals were actually competitors before they were teammates: all four were finalists in Code Jam 2005.

The stakes are high. In addition to receiving the limited edition Code Jam t-shirt (given to the top 1,500  performers), the top 26 finalists will be invited to compete in the World Finals at Google’s office in Dublin, Ireland for the chance become the Code Jam Champion and a cash prize of up to $15,000. As always, we’ll livestream the World Finals on YouTube so that thousands of fans can experience the magic from home. Can’t wait until then? Check out this behind-the-scenes look at Code Jam in the meantime.

Register today. We hope to see you jamming with us in Code Jam’s Online Qualification Round on April 7 — you can register here. Join our community on social media, follow us at #CodeJam2017 and help us spread the word.

Visit our website g.co/codejam to learn more about Code Jam spin-offs and other opportunities to test your coding skills while having fun with Google.

One million trained! But the task of getting Africa digital is just beginning.

"It's all about helping young people start new careers and create opportunities for themselves," says Segun Abodunrin. He’s one of 1 million young Africans who have taken advantage of Google’s digital skills training program, and who are finding their way in the world of digital.

Last April, we set out to help bridge the digital skills gap in Africa when we pledged to train 1 million young people in the region. Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve met that target. One million Africans have now been trained and equipped with the skills they need to navigate and take advantage of the opportunities of the web.

But that’s not the best part of the story. Through these new digital experts, the continent is seeing an increase in the number of young people equipped with digital skills—a domino effect of sorts.

In 2016, Segun Abodunrin hired his first two employees in Lagos. Just a year before Segun had never thought about opening his own business. But after taking our digital skills training program, he went on to start Tway Media, a digital consulting and training company credited to have trained 5,000 young Africans in 2016 alone.

DigitalSkills_Africa_Segun.jpg
Segun Abodunrin at one of his trainings

When we announced our commitment to provide digital skills training, we believed that more needed to be done to empower more young people in Africa to succeed. The web is at the heart of economic growth across the world, and it presents opportunities for anyone to create connections and access opportunities that will positively change their lives and boost economies.

As a result of this training and other similar initiatives, we’ve discovered a new generation of Africans who are eager to explore how to take better advantage of the internet and the opportunities it offers. But the task of helping more Africans to leverage the growing digital market is one that requires continuous support from organizations, companies and also from governments. We’ve been glad to see the rising number of government-led initiatives focused on helping to train more young Africans on how to use online tools.

But there’s more to be done by governments—policies and laws still need to be passed to create the right conditions for digital entrepreneurs and businesses. Everyone needs to play a part.

So what’s next for us?

We’re now extending our commitment to help more communities outside urban centers of Africa acquire digital skills. We’ll focus on relationships at the regional, country and local community levels through partnerships that lead to jobs and business growth. We’ll do this in a variety of ways:

  1. We will  provide offline versions of our online training materials to reach individuals and businesses in low access areas where we were unable to hold physical trainings. Our goal is to ensure that everyone, regardless of location and online status, is able to access these trainings.
  2. We will  deliver our offline trainings in Swahili, IsiZulu and Hausa. We understand the role of local languages in communicating with rural communities of Africa and want to ensure that more non-English speaking Africans get an opportunity to take these trainings.
  3. Our offline training effort to reach students, job seekers and business owners will continue through face-to-face trainings managed by our partners.
  4. We will hold regular meet-ups to drive engagement around the value of the web at the community level with those trained, Policy makers and influencers within those communities.
  5. Finally, we’ll continue to focus on achieving gender balance by ensuring that at least 40 percent of the people trained are women.

We’re committed to helping Africans make the most of the digital revolution. There’s never been a better time to be in Africa.

Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund: Call for third round applications

In 2016, the Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund, our €150 million commitment to supporting innovation in the European news industry, offered EUR 51m to 252 ambitious projects in digital journalism across 27 countries. Today, we’re thrilled to open the Fund for a third round of applications

From the outset, we designed the Fund to provide no-strings-attached awards to those in the news industry looking for some room (and budget) to experiment. Why are we doing this? Because at Google we know from experience that the biggest, boldest ideas often start small. Through the DNI Fund we want to give new approaches the freedom to experiment--and maybe even to soar.

We’ve been impressed by both the number and the quality of the applications we’ve received in the first two rounds of funding, and are proud to have funded hundreds including many committed to the important challenges around fact-checking and verification of content. More on past projects can be found on our NEW website, launched today at digitalnewsinitiative.com. To give time for aspiring applicants to prepare, this season’s application round will be open for the next six weeks, ending 20th April.

We’re looking for projects that demonstrate new thinking in the practice of digital journalism; that support the development of new business models, or maybe even change the way users consume digital news. Last round we issued a call for collaboration--across industry and across the region--and of course we’d love to see this trend continue. As a focus for this round, we’d also encourage applicants to explore new areas of monetisation to potentially unlock new revenue streams for the industry.

The Digital News Initiative, which began as a partnership between Google and a small handful of  European news organisations, has grown into an ecosystem of more than 180 now working together to support high quality journalism through technology and innovation, including the open-sourced Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, and the dedicated YouTube Player for Publishers, being used on news sites across Europe. The DNI  initiative is open to anyone involved in Europe’s digital news industry, large or small, established or newcomer.

DNI Family

Here’s a quick reminder of how the Fund works:

Projects

We’re looking for projects that demonstrate new thinking in the practice of digital journalism; that support the development of new business models, or maybe even change the way users consume digital news. Projects can be highly experimental, but must have well-defined goals and have a significant digital component. There is absolutely no requirement to use any Google products. Successful projects will show innovation and have a positive impact on the production of original digital journalism and on the long-term sustainability of the news business.

Eligibility

The Fund is open to established publishers, online-only players, news start-ups, collaborative partnerships and individuals based in the EU and EFTA countries.

Funding

There are three categories of funding available:

  • Prototype projects: open to organisations - and to individuals - that meet the eligibility criteria, and require up to €50k of funding. These projects should be very early stage, with ideas yet to be designed and assumptions yet to be tested. We will fast-track such projects and will fund 100% of the total cost.

  • Medium projects: open to organisations that meet the eligibility criteria and require up to €300k of funding. We will accept funding requests up to 70% of the total cost of the project.

  • Large projects: open to organisations that meet the eligibility criteria and require more than €300k of funding. We will accept funding requests up to 70% of the total cost of the project. Funding is capped at €1 million.

Exceptions to the €1 million cap are possible for large projects that are collaborative (e.g., international, sector-wide, involving multiple organisations) or that significantly benefit the broad news ecosystem.

How to apply

Visit the new Digital News Initiative website for full details, including eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, and application forms. Applications must be made in English and the submission deadline for the first round of funding is 20th April, 2017.

Governance

We’ve consulted widely to ensure that the Fund has inclusive and transparent application and selection processes. Confidentiality is critical; applicants should not share business-sensitive or highly confidential information. Full details can be found on the DNI website.

Initial selection of projects will be done by a Project team, composed of a mix of experienced industry figures and Google staff, who will review all applications for eligibility, innovation and impact. They’ll make recommendations on funding for Prototype and Medium projects to the Fund’s Council, which will have oversight of the Fund’s selection process. The Council will vote on Large projects.

Council members:

  • Joao Palmeiro, President of the Portuguese publishers association and Chair of the DNI Innovation Fund Council

  • Alexander Asseily, Founder & CEO of State, Founder of Jawbone

  • Miriam Meckel, Editor-in-Chief of WirtschaftsWoche

  • Arianna Ciccone, Co-Founder and Director of the Perugia International Journalism Festival

  • Bartosz Hojka, CEO of Agora S.A.

  • Veit Dengler, CEO, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

  • Rosalia Lloret, Head of Institutional Relations, Online Publishers’ Association Europe

  • Bruno Patino, Dean of Sciences-Po Journalism School

  • Murdoch MacLennan, CEO of the Telegraph Media Group

  • Bart Brouwers, Professor in Journalism at Groningen University

  • Madhav Chinnappa, Director of Strategic Relations, News and Publishers, Google

  • Torsten Schuppe, Director of Marketing EMEA, Google

  • Ronan Harris, Vice President, Google

We will announce the next funding recipients before the start of the summer holidays. We look forward to receiving your https://digitalnewsinitiative.com/dni-fund/apply-for-funding applications!

A technological Renaissance for cultural institutions

Editor’s Note: Last week in Florence, we joined the Uffizi Galleries for a two-day summit to discuss the preservation and accessibility of cultural heritage in the digital age. In this post, Eike Schmidt, the Director of the Uffizi Galleries, shares his thoughts on how technology can enable access to cultural heritage. You can explore over 70 masterpieces from the renowned collection of the Uffizi Galleries on Google Arts & Culture, including the Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli in ultra-high resolution.

People’s ability to access cultural heritage in the future will rely on technology, and on our ability to work together across disciplines.

Last week in Florence we hosted Digital Meets Culture, a two-day summit organized in partnership with Google. We welcomed leaders of cultural institutions, academics, representatives of UNESCO, the European Commission and national governments from 23 countries. Together we discussed the preservation and accessibility of cultural heritage in the digital age, as well as the potential digital technology offers for the cultural sector to grow. These discussions are reflected in a paper titled “Recommendation for the future of digital and culture” which you can read here in full.

Digital Meets Culture Global Summit
Participants of the Digital Meets Culture Global Summit. Credit: Luca Parisse

The recommendation highlights the importance of digital tools and skills cultural institutions need to share their riches with an even wider audience and allow everyone to explore the world’s cultural heritage. Our  commitment to preserve culture in all its forms with the latest available technology is crucial, so that often fragile pieces of heritage can continue to be appreciated and enjoyed by all.

In today’s global world, more than ever, it is critical to embrace the diversity of our social and cultural identities. And technology can help us in our work protecting this diversity. Digital platforms are undoubtedly powerful tools in nurturing mutual understanding across cultures.

As one of the first partner museums of Google Arts & Culture, it was my honor to host the meetings in Florence, engage in the discussions and be part of the first Digital Meets Culture Summit. I hope some of these findings will serve as basis for further discussions on technology and culture. What is clear to me is that by working collaboratively, across disciplines, we can move a step closer towards making arts and culture universally accessible. I believe that it is through harnessing the latest technology and combining that with our love of culture will bring about a Renaissance for our institutions for the benefit of all who care about our cultures.

About the author: Dr Eike Schmidt was appointed Director of the Uffizi Galleries in 2015. Born in 1968 in Freiburg (Germany), he is an art historian and international expert in Florentine art. Former curator and researcher at among others, National Gallery of Art in Washington, J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, he was the Director of the Department of European Sculpture & Works of Art at Sotheby’s, London.

A technological Renaissance for cultural institutions

Editor’s Note: Last week in Florence, we joined the Uffizi Galleries for a two-day summit to discuss the preservation and accessibility of cultural heritage in the digital age. In this post, Eike Schmidt, the Director of the Uffizi Galleries, shares his thoughts on how technology can enable access to cultural heritage. You can explore over 70 masterpieces from the renowned collection of the Uffizi Galleries on Google Arts & Culture, including the Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli in ultra-high resolution.

People’s ability to access cultural heritage in the future will rely on technology, and on our ability to work together across disciplines.

Last week in Florence we hosted Digital Meets Culture, a two-day summit organized in partnership with Google. We welcomed leaders of cultural institutions, academics, representatives of UNESCO, the European Commission and national governments from 23 countries. Together we discussed the preservation and accessibility of cultural heritage in the digital age, as well as the potential digital technology offers for the cultural sector to grow. These discussions are reflected in a paper titled “Recommendation for the future of digital and culture” which you can read here in full.

Digital Meets Culture Global Summit
Participants of the Digital Meets Culture Global Summit. Credit: Luca Parisse

The recommendation highlights the importance of digital tools and skills cultural institutions need to share their riches with an even wider audience and allow everyone to explore the world’s cultural heritage. Our  commitment to preserve culture in all its forms with the latest available technology is crucial, so that often fragile pieces of heritage can continue to be appreciated and enjoyed by all.

In today’s global world, more than ever, it is critical to embrace the diversity of our social and cultural identities. And technology can help us in our work protecting this diversity. Digital platforms are undoubtedly powerful tools in nurturing mutual understanding across cultures.

As one of the first partner museums of Google Arts & Culture, it was my honor to host the meetings in Florence, engage in the discussions and be part of the first Digital Meets Culture Summit. I hope some of these findings will serve as basis for further discussions on technology and culture. What is clear to me is that by working collaboratively, across disciplines, we can move a step closer towards making arts and culture universally accessible. I believe that it is through harnessing the latest technology and combining that with our love of culture will bring about a Renaissance for our institutions for the benefit of all who care about our cultures.

About the author: Dr Eike Schmidt was appointed Director of the Uffizi Galleries in 2015. Born in 1968 in Freiburg (Germany), he is an art historian and international expert in Florentine art. Former curator and researcher at among others, National Gallery of Art in Washington, J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, he was the Director of the Department of European Sculpture & Works of Art at Sotheby’s, London.

When computers learn to swear: Using machine learning for better online conversations

Imagine trying to have a conversation with your friends about the news you read this morning, but every time you said something, someone shouted in your face, called you a nasty name or accused you of some awful crime. You’d probably leave the conversation. Unfortunately, this happens all too frequently online as people try to discuss ideas on their favorite news sites but instead get bombarded with toxic comments.  

Seventy-two percent of American internet users have witnessed harassment online and nearly half have personally experienced it. Almost a third self-censor what they post online for fear of retribution. According to the same report, online harassment has affected the lives of roughly 140 million people in the U.S., and many more elsewhere.

This problem doesn’t just impact online readers. News organizations want to encourage engagement and discussion around their content, but find that sorting through millions of comments to find those that are trolling or abusive takes a lot of money, labor, and time. As a result, many sites have shut down comments altogether. But they tell us that isn’t the solution they want. We think technology can help.

Today, Google and Jigsaw are launching Perspective, an early-stage technology that uses machine learning to help identify toxic comments. Through an API, publishers—including members of the Digital News Initiative—and platforms can access this technology and use it for their sites.

How it works

Perspective reviews comments and scores them based on how similar they are to comments people said were “toxic” or likely to make someone leave a conversation. To learn how to spot potentially toxic language, Perspective examined hundreds of thousands of comments that had been labeled by human reviewers. Each time Perspective finds new examples of potentially toxic comments, or is provided with corrections from users, it can get better at scoring future comments.

Publishers can choose what they want to do with the information they get from Perspective. For example, a publisher could flag comments for its own moderators to review and decide whether to include them in a conversation. Or a publisher could provide tools to help their community understand the impact of what they are writing—by, for example, letting the commenter see the potential toxicity of their comment as they write it. Publishers could even just allow readers to sort comments by toxicity themselves, making it easier to find great discussions hidden under toxic ones.

Perspective_1.gif

We’ve been testing a version of this technology with The New York Times, where an entire team sifts through and moderates each comment before it’s posted—reviewing an average of 11,000 comments every day. That’s a lot of comments. As a result the Times has comments on only about 10 percent of its articles. We’ve worked together to train models that allows Times moderators to sort through comments more quickly, and we’ll work with them to enable comments on more articles every day.

Where we go from here

Perspective joins the TensorFlow library and the Cloud Machine Learning Platform as one of many new machine learning resources Google has made available to developers. This technology is still developing. But that’s what’s so great about machine learning—even though the models are complex, they’ll improve over time. When Perspective is in the hands of publishers, it will be exposed to more comments and develop a better understanding of what makes certain comments toxic.

While we improve the technology, we’re also working to expand it. Our first model is designed to spot toxic language, but over the next year we’re keen to partner and deliver new models that work in languages other than English as well as models that can identify other perspectives, such as when comments are unsubstantial or off-topic.

In the long run, Perspective is about more than just improving comments. We hope we can help improve conversations online.

When computers learn to swear: Using machine learning for better online conversations

Imagine trying to have a conversation with your friends about the news you read this morning, but every time you said something, someone shouted in your face, called you a nasty name or accused you of some awful crime. You’d probably leave the conversation. Unfortunately, this happens all too frequently online as people try to discuss ideas on their favorite news sites but instead get bombarded with toxic comments.  

Seventy-two percent of American internet users have witnessed harassment online and nearly half have personally experienced it. Almost a third self-censor what they post online for fear of retribution. According to the same report, online harassment has affected the lives of roughly 140 million people in the U.S., and many more elsewhere.

This problem doesn’t just impact online readers. News organizations want to encourage engagement and discussion around their content, but find that sorting through millions of comments to find those that are trolling or abusive takes a lot of money, labor, and time. As a result, many sites have shut down comments altogether. But they tell us that isn’t the solution they want. We think technology can help.

Today, Google and Jigsaw are launching Perspective, an early-stage technology that uses machine learning to help identify toxic comments. Through an API, publishers—including members of the Digital News Initiative—and platforms can access this technology and use it for their sites.

How it works

Perspective reviews comments and scores them based on how similar they are to comments people said were “toxic” or likely to make someone leave a conversation. To learn how to spot potentially toxic language, Perspective examined hundreds of thousands of comments that had been labeled by human reviewers. Each time Perspective finds new examples of potentially toxic comments, or is provided with corrections from users, it can get better at scoring future comments.

Publishers can choose what they want to do with the information they get from Perspective. For example, a publisher could flag comments for its own moderators to review and decide whether to include them in a conversation. Or a publisher could provide tools to help their community understand the impact of what they are writing—by, for example, letting the commenter see the potential toxicity of their comment as they write it. Publishers could even just allow readers to sort comments by toxicity themselves, making it easier to find great discussions hidden under toxic ones.

Perspective_1.gif

We’ve been testing a version of this technology with The New York Times, where an entire team sifts through and moderates each comment before it’s posted—reviewing an average of 11,000 comments every day. That’s a lot of comments. As a result the Times has comments on only about 10 percent of its articles. We’ve worked together to train models that allows Times moderators to sort through comments more quickly, and we’ll work with them to enable comments on more articles every day.

Where we go from here

Perspective joins the TensorFlow library and the Cloud Machine Learning Platform as one of many new machine learning resources Google has made available to developers. This technology is still developing. But that’s what’s so great about machine learning—even though the models are complex, they’ll improve over time. When Perspective is in the hands of publishers, it will be exposed to more comments and develop a better understanding of what makes certain comments toxic.

While we improve the technology, we’re also working to expand it. Our first model is designed to spot toxic language, but over the next year we’re keen to partner and deliver new models that work in languages other than English as well as models that can identify other perspectives, such as when comments are unsubstantial or off-topic.

In the long run, Perspective is about more than just improving comments. We hope we can help improve conversations online.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau documents the changing landscape of Greenland

Editor’s note: Today’s post comes from Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, “Game of Thrones” star and newly-appointed U.N. Goodwill Ambassador. Nikolaj partnered with our Street View team to collect imagery of Greenland's beautiful and changing landscape, where the impact of global warming can be seen firsthand.


Year after year we’ve seen record high temperatures across our planet due to global warming. And Greenland, which I consider my family's second home, is changing faster than anywhere else on Earth. Here the effects of climate change are easy to see: as sea ice melts and glaciers crumble, places once covered in ice are now bare land.


Greenland Glacier

See Greenland Glacier in Timelapse

Late last year, the Google Maps team came to visit and we went on an adventure to collect Street View imagery of Greenland. Statistics, scientific reports and graphs can be bewildering, but I hope seeing these images will help people understand the drastic changes taking place in Greenland, and inspire you to fall in love with it the way I have. Unless we change these climate trends, the next time we bring the trekker to Greenland the landscape may be unrecognizable from what you see today.

Nikolaj Trekker

Our first stop is the town of Igaliku. With a population of just 27, Igaliku is one of Greenland’s most idyllic villages—a smattering of brightly colored houses and hillsides dotted with sheep. As the landscape has changed, so too has the local economy. Alongside new opportunities to mine precious metals that were previously inaccessible, the changing patterns of freezing and melting glaciers have dramatically disrupted the fishing and hunting lifestyles that have sustained the local Inuit population for centuries.

Igaliku

Greenland is also known for its hot springs. The geothermal springs on the remote island of Uunartoq are one of my favorite destinations, with views of icebergs and towering snow-capped mountain peaks.

Hotspring

Our final stop is the majestic glacial-covered Qoorog Fjord, where the second largest ice sheet in the world terminates into the sea. The ice sheet is melting at an increased pace—pouring 300 billion tons of ice into the ocean each year. This melting harms important coastal ecosystems, local food and water supplies and is a major contribution to rising sea levels.

Ice

We have a responsibility to protect this beautiful planet we live on, and I’m starting at my own front door. But everywhere and everyone is vulnerable to the effects of our warming planet. Let’s band together and do something about it—learn about global efforts to combat climate change and discover ways to take action.

CrossCheck: Partnering with First Draft and newsrooms in the leadup to French elections

At today’s News Impact Summit in Paris, in partnership with First Draft, the Google News Lab is proud to support the launch of CrossCheck, a coalition news verification project. With a goal of helping the French electorate make sense of what and who to trust in their social media feeds, web searches and general online news consumption in the coming months, we’re working with 17 newsrooms and counting, and technology partners including Facebook’s CrowdTangle and others .

After successfully joining forces with First Draft and many other news organizations and technology platforms on the Electionland project during the US election, launching CrossCheck in France is a natural next step.  We’re excited to be a part of such a uniquely effective and collaborative approach with newsrooms across France to cover one of Europe’s most-watched elections. We’re incredibly proud of this partnership and the new model of collaborative journalism it’s pioneering.

With combined expertise from across media and technology, CrossCheck aims to ensure hoaxes, rumours and false claims are swiftly debunked, and misleading or confusing stories are accurately reported. 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. CrossCheck partners will make use of the collective reporting in their own articles, television programs and social media content.

Early partners include AFP (Agence France-Presse), BuzzFeed News, France Médias Monde (via les Observateurs de France 24), France Télévisions, Global Voices, Libération, La Provence, Les Echos, La Voix du Nord, Le Monde (Les Décodeurs), Nice-Matin, Ouest-France, Rue89 Bordeaux, Rue89Lyon, Rue89 Strasbourg, Storyful and StreetPress.

For more information, including how you, your newsroom or your classroom can get involved in the efforts to debunk myths, visit First Draft or sign up to the CrossCheck newsletter.. For more on the Google News Lab, including trainings, trends and tools for journalists, visit newslab.withgoogle.com.