BBC reveals how it will combat fake news amid coronavirus pandemic

The broadcaster is part of the Trusted News Initiative a collaboration between a number of major news and tech organisations

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 29: General View of BBC Broadcasting House on January 29, 2020 in London, England. The BBC announced today that it is to cut 450 jobs by 2022 in an effort to save GBP 80 Million. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)

The BBC has revealed its plans to combat fake news and disinformation during the ongoing coronavirus, as part of the Trusted News Initiative (TNI).

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The TNI was first set up last year and is comprised of a number of major news and tech organisations, including the BBC, Facebook, Google/YouTube, Twitter, Microsoft, AFP, Reuters, European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Hindu, CBC/Radio-Canada, First Draft and Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

The partnership has outlined plans to extend its efforts when it comes to identifying false and potentially harmful coronavirus information by putting in place a shared alert system.

According to TNI, the system—which launches today—will allow partners to alert each other to disinformation to ensure that publishers don’t unwittingly republish false news.

Meanwhile, alerts will flag up content that undermines trust in partner news providers by “identifying imposter content which claims to come from trusted brand identities or sources.”

The BBC’s director-general, Tony Hall, said “The BBC and all our partners feel an urgent sense of responsibility to give everybody the very best, most accurate information we can during this time of crisis.

“It’s vital that we all have access to the facts so we know how to protect ourselves, our friends and families.

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“These are challenging times for each and every one of us. We’ll do everything we can, working together, to stop disinformation about coronavirus in its tracks.”