Tech and Media Companies Are Teaming Up to Keep Brazil’s Elections Fake-News-Free

Facebook, Twitter, Google and NewsWhip are participating in Comprova

Comprova will kick off Aug. 6 and run through the Oct. 28 runoff election Comprova
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Voters in Brazil are set to go to the polls and choose a president starting Oct. 7 and running through Oct. 28, and the Comprova initiative was established to help ensure that the news those voters see is authentic.

Platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google and NewsWhip are teaming up with First Draft, a project based out of Harvard University’s Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center, and industry associations and news organizations across Brazil on Comprova.

Comprova will kick off Aug. 6 and run through the Oct. 28 runoff election, with the aim of verifying information being spread online that might influence voters.

Google News Lab lead for Brazil Marco Túlio Pires said in a blog post that Comprova will focus on misinformation circulating on the mobile internet, since Brazilians consume the majority of news on their mobile phones, adding, “Brazilians will be able to use their smartphones to send rumors and stories that they want to be verified by the coalition and sign up to receive notifications when fact-checked stories are available.”

Comprova will be coordinated by Brazilian investigative journalism association Abraji and supported by local journalism organization Projor, and news organization set to take part are: AFP, Band News, Band TV, Canal Futura, Correio do Povo, Exame, Folha de S.Paulo, GaúchaZH, Gazeta Online, Gazeta do Povo, Jornal do Commercio, Metro Brasil, Nexo Jornal, Nova Escola, NSC Comunicação, O Estado de S.Paulo, O Povo, Poder360, Rádio Band News FM, Rádio Bandeirantes, Revista Piauí, SBT, UOL and Veja.

Facebook head of news partnerships for Latin America Claudia Gurfinkel wrote in a blog post, “At Facebook, we are committed to curbing the spread of bad quality content, and one way we do that is by partnering with local news organizations behind projects like Comprova. We are funding this initiative and providing technical support and training through the Facebook Journalism Project. We are excited to join this initiative and are confident that this collaborative effort will help Brazilians make more informed decisions about the content they consume online.”

First Draft director Claire Wardle added in the Facebook blog post, “The amount of problematic content circulating in Brazil is too much for one newsroom to handle, and there is no sense in different newsrooms duplicating efforts by investigating the same pieces of problematic content.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.