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The dangers of fake news recognised

In the run-up to the SA Elections next month, concern has been expressed over the use of fake news and trolls to influence the results. After all Cambridge Analytica, before it filed for bankruptcy last year, admitted to the US Senate that it had experimented successfully on its ability to influence elections, testing in a number of African countries, before going on to use over 97m Facebook profiles to influence the UK Brexit vote and US Presidential elections in 2016.  Google has said it will deploy some of its resources to train political parties, journalists and editors how to spot and fight fake news for the SA elections.  This is part of a $300m initiative Google announced in March last year which has 3 objectives:- to “highlight accurate journalism while fighting misinformation, particularly during breaking news events; to “help news sites continue to grow from a business perspective”; and finally to “create new tools to help journalists do their jobs.”

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