With the world awash in fake news, much of it created and distributed via social media, the Associated Press is looking to ensure the integrity of user-generated content with the launch of its new AP Social Newswire, which uses human researchers and technology to find and verify content with news relevance posted on social media.
The AP launched Social Newswire in collaboration with SAM (short for Social Asset Management), a company specializing in social search and analytics, in which AP is a minority stakeholder.
The partners will work together to surface and review user-generated content from social platforms and other sources in order to verify its accuracy, before distribution for use by AP clients in their coverage.
The service offers trustworthy UGC for news organizations to include in their coverage of international and regional events, as well as trending topics, and is available to AP members for an extra fee, according to Poynter.
In a blog post announcing the new product, SAM founder and CEO James Neufeld explained: “Social is the first to the scene of every story and is now the conduit for politics, police, celebrities, athletes and more. In attempts to make sense of this new world, most newsrooms have no choice but to train and/or hire new staff to chase and vet UGC on their own. It can be expensive, cumbersome, a legal liability and damaging to their news brand if not done correctly.”
He added: “Demand to sift, verify and curate UGC has never been higher. Nearly every newsroom relies heavily on UGC to report on local and international events, yet it remains the most difficult and understaffed part of the newsroom.” He described the Social Newswire as “a real-time feed of status reports as UGC gets verified and cleared.”Social Newswire is the latest in a series of new products introduced by AP in response to the demands of the fast-changing media environment.
Last fall the news service joined forces with Nativo to launch an in-house native advertising studio, which offers branded content to subscribers along with news.