Best of the week: Fighting fake news in France
There is no shortage of media woe out there. Brands want to bring programmatic in house, but find there are significant challenges to achieving efficiencies. French newspaper Le Monde wants to combat the scourge of fake news — like so many newspapers do — so it built a searchable database of 600 disreputable sites. It is finding, however, that what constitutes “fake” news isn’t so cut and dry.
Millennial newspaper reporters, meanwhile, are waking up to the realities that the digital marketplace have wrought on their beloved print. And brands have the Super Bowl Spending Blues, so more legacy advertisers are sitting next Sunday’s game out. But hey, there’s a silver lining to all of this: As you read our best stories of the week, the weekend is mere hours away.
Set to release a suite of products designed to throttle the spread of fake news online, French publisher Le Monde says it has identified 600 unreliable sites responsible for the proliferation of falsehoods, lies and propaganda.
“Decodex” is the name for Le Monde’s three new open source fact-checking products powered by a database compiled by the publisher’s fact-checking unit, Les Décodeurs, over the last year.
“We don’t want to make this political at all,” said Samuel Laurent, head of Les Décodeurs. “You can be far right if you want as long as you respect the facts and don’t seek to manipulate them.”
A flurry of brands have been building up their in-house programmatic teams. Some see it as an opportunity to cut costs and take greater ownership of their customer data. For others, it is a way to leapfrog media agencies they no longer trust to give them a solution that’s best-in-class.
But getting programmatic on the agenda and being consistent with are challenges, according to one brand media chief we spoke to on the condition of anonymity:
While I’m convinced it’s the right thing to do in the long run, with everything in the communications industry, especially digital, everyone jumps in head-first without really knowing in many cases what their returns are going to be. We’re sheep.
Most advertisers are unaware of the complexity of it. Really, you need a clear goal about what you want to do and how. If I did it all over again, I’d dip a toe in the water first, maybe one country with two or three contrasting brands, and scale up over the course of a year.
Merriam-Webster’s Twitter account has become a delight in the months leading up to and following the election. Wryly speaking truth to power through cold, hard vocabulary, it corrected Trump’s usage of “braggadocious” and responded to Hillary Clinton’s usage of “demagogic.”
The woman behind the account — content and social media manager Lauren Naturale — insists she’s not being overtly political. While the new attention is strange, it’s also exciting. But, …read more