How to weed-whack through fake COVID-19 information

Colorado Springs Independent: Colorado Springs company Lead Stories is fighting the spread of misinformation on the internet. A reporter, a tech entrepreneur and a lawyer joined forces in 2015 to create a platform that wrote about trending internet items. Alan Duke met Perry Sanders, a Colorado Springs-based lawyer, while reporting in Los Angeles on cases that Sanders litigated for the families of murdered hip-hop artist Biggie Smalls and Michael Jackson.

A few years later, after many conversations concerning media literacy and the threat of tabloid journalism, the two persuaded Belgium-based Maarten Schenk, who designed the technology that Lead Stories uses to monitor trending items, to join them after flying him out to Colorado Springs. In 2016, the platform transitioned to finding false trending stories and disproving them as quickly as possible.

Their motto is “Just Because It’s Trending Doesn’t Mean It’s True.” In February 2019, Lead Stories partnered with Facebook as a third-party fact-checker, labeling false information shared on the site. 

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