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RTLGroup | Cologne, 02/16/2017

Alliance against Fake News

Subject: Society, Media & Services
Country: Germany

Last week, representatives from several RTL Group divisions met at Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland for the first-ever user-generated content (UGC) verification workshop. Participants were trained on the methodology used by Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland for verification of UGC and exchanged views on how their companies could cooperate in this field and respond to the challenge of fake news.

Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland is one of the first RTL Group companies to assign an internal team of experts to verify the authenticity of news content. The members of this virtual Verification Team, who come from various departments and companies in Cologne, receive common training on the latest tools and techniques for video, pictures and social media verification. They use a common email address for verification requests and a platform for sharing knowledge, tools and case studies.

The idea of Group-wide collaboration came from discussions on the News Synergy Committee. As a result, news editors responsible for UGC across the different divisions were connected to exchange views and experiences and were later invited by Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland executives to join the Verification Team training in Cologne.

After the common training, the participants agreed to gradually pool their resources in a joint UGC Verification Team that will continue to serve local needs but also focus on stories of international importance, sharing the workload. They also agreed to continue the common training and to setup a knowledge hub as well as a common process for handling requests in future.

“This is one of the most exciting new initiatives within the synergy framework of the RTL Group. This project is dealing with one of the biggest problems of our times – fake news content – and trying to transform it into an opportunity to showcase the strength of our journalism. At the same time this is a truly group-wide project with tangible benefits for every local news division”, says Christos Schizas, Senior Manager Business Development and Group Synergies at RTL Group.

"Through an international team, we will be able to reveal wrong content quickly and share the research results across the Group immediately”, adds Simon Hof, Head of Content Management Info Network and in charge of the ‘Fake-News-team’ of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland.

The workshop was attended by employees from RTL Nederland, RTL Belgium, M6 and Enex as well as by Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland employees.