Agence France-Presse (AFP) has become a major international actor in the war against disinformation with fact-checking operations now involving 70 journalists working in 30 countries and 10 languages to produce around 400 fact-checks every month. This work involves an important collaboration with Facebook and links to its fact-checks appear alongside original posts on Facebook.
From the "yellow-vest" protests in France to tensions between India and Pakistan or unrest in Hong Kong, fast-moving crises set the pace of daily work for an international agency like AFP. The duration, resonance and symbolic power of these disturbances make on-the-ground reporting more indispensable than ever. But it is impossible today to gauge these major events without also being on-the-ground in the digital sphere, where such movements grow. Disinformation and manipulation, from the most blatant to the most subtle, are getting stronger and better at covering their tracks. That means more traps for journalists, who must embrace new ways of working and be trained to operate on ground that they may not feel naturally at home on. This is a true challenge and one that AFP is rising to by expanding more and more its digital investigations and fact-checking. Covering the issue of disinformation and its many consequences for our societies – from health hazards to polarization and hate -- is a top editorial priority.