Fake news is a problem and a major one. It has become a regular feature in politics and there are entire cottage industries dedicated to churning out fake news stories at an alarming rate. It is getting to the point where you might well be questioning whether you can believe anything that you read. Thankfully there is a glimmer of light in the darkness. The excellent Storyzy has already been making waves with its innovative quote verifier. NowStoryzy has bought a new tool to the fight against fake news with the world’s first automated fake news blacklist.
Programmatic advertising allows fake news to affect big brands
The overwhelming majority of advertising you see today is served up to you by a machine. This machine automatically buys advertising spots from a host of different websites without involving the advertiser in the decision. It is difficult to match the sheer efficiency of programmatic advertising campaigns. They allow advertisers to buy a lot of ad space very quickly and very cheaply without the hassle of hundreds of emails and phone calls.
Yet there is a huge flaw with programmatic advertising. Its automated nature gives advertising platforms and big brands very little control over what content their adverts appear alongside. There is the potential for your company to appear on a website that is the antithesis of what you stand for. On top of this, you risk inadvertently funding extremists or misleading organizations through your ad campaign.
Many advertising platforms have woken up to the reality that their brand may appear next to inappropriate or misleading content. This has led to many advertising looking for alternatives and it risks costing companies like Youtube, Facebook and Google millions of dollars.
Storyzy automated fake news blacklist solves the problems of automation with more automation.
This is the problem that Storyzy is hoping to solve with their automated fake news blacklist. The aim is to allow allow advertisers to keep using the efficient programmatic advertising method while also protecting their brand from appearing next to websites purveying fake news.
Storyzy’s automated fake news blacklist works by using a similar technique to their quote verifier. It uses a database of quotes and natural language processing to identify websites that are using fake quotes. The offending websites are then added to a blacklist which prevents them for being able to buy ad-space. The blacklist updates in real time and currently contains 700 separate websites.
It is theoretically possible that more savvy websites may attempt to game the Storyzy’s automated black list in order to get their site taken off. CEO and co-founder Stan Motte does not believe it would be that simple. “We are using a highly advanced technology that is able to detect editorial line changes, thereby lessening down the means to be bypassed” This means that even if they change the wording of their editorial line or their quote they will still be picked up. Storyzy can even detect cross-links between sites, making it easier to catch a large number of websites in one net.
Unfortunately algorithms will never be perfect and there is a risk that an innocent website could get caught up. If this does happen there is a whitelist in place, allowing clients to remove any site they chose from Storyzy’s fake news blacklist. There is also the possibility for a dubious website to contact Storyzy directly and request information upon how to be removed from the black list.
Storyzy’s efforts will help starve fake news sites of their income
If Storyzy’s automated fake news blacklist takes off then it will have a positive effect. Fake news sites will be starved of ad revenues which will eventually kill them off. People will no longer produce it if there is no money in it. Fake news has the potential to completely distort our perception of the world so we can only hope that Storyzy’s blacklist helps to strike a blow in the crusade against fake news.