On Monday, Google France and Agence France-Presse launched “Objectif Désinfox,” a program to fight “disinformation” ahead of the presidential election next year.
The purpose of the program, as reported by EURACTIV France, is to “better equip journalists against the risk of disinformation that could pollute the next presidential election.” The first round of the presidential election takes place in April.
Members of this alliance will have access to thematic training courses starting mid-January. The training will include digital investigation tools like monitoring and fact-checking.
“I call on newsrooms to take an interest in this program, the training aspect of which will enable their journalists to become more agile behind their screens and to devote the time thus regained to the field,” AFP CEO Fabrice Fries said in a statement.
There will also be a collaborative platform that journalists can use to exchange information, report misleading or false information, and share fact-checked stories.
According to EURACTIV France, that is similar to what Facebook, now Meta, does in a similar program involving 80 fact-checkers and media organizations, including AFP and France24.
Google is not the only BIG Tech interested in the French elections. Last week, Meta announced that it would extend its “Facebook Protect” program to other countries including France.
The program, first tested in 2018 and used again in 2020 ahead of the election in the US, among other things, requires political candidates to use two-factor authentication to secure their accounts.