Exclusive: Times Group launches Times Fact Check to bust fake news menace

Times Fact Check
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Fake news has emerged as a glaring concern for government, readers, and media. With the proliferation of social media and popularity of instant messaging app – WhatsApp, the phenomenon of fake new has thrived in the past two years.

Rumours and spurious pieces of information had triggered mobs in Jharkhand, Rajasthan, UP, Haryana, and Assam to take lives of fellow citizens.

About 40 people were killed in 2018 alone on the pretext of child lifting, eating beef amongst others. To bust fake news and rumours, several platforms such as ALT News, BOOM Live and Check4spam have come into play.

Sensing an opportunity in the fact-checking segment, Times Internet Limited is also launching a platform – Times Fact Check. Currently, the group is testing through handles on Twitter (link) and Facebook (link).

While Entrackr has checked the Twitter and Facebook handles ‘Times Fact Check’, it looks like it started operations last week.  So far, it had busted fake rumours including a claim that BJP MPs and ministers donated Rs 25 crore to Kerala CM’s relief fund.

Presently, Times Fact Check has been publishing stories across Times of India and Navbharat Times. The fact-checking section is visible on the Times of India’s app as well as on e-paper.

TIL’s recent media plays and a quick look at fact checking segment

Buoyed by the acceptance of subscription-based premium content, Times Internet had launched ET Prime in April this year. It covers a wide range of topics across segments such as finance, consumer markets, economy and policy, Climate, Pharma, and Healthcare amongst others.

Ever since taking over MX Player in January this year, Times Internet has been working to launch OTT service. Now, the company is all set to launch over the top (OTT) platform this month.

As we mentioned above, there are a handful of platforms including ALT News, BOOM Live and a few others have been operating in the fact-checking segment. While there is no defined market size for this segment, it appears as a lucrative opportunity as the scale of fake new is poised to become huge.

While we don’t know whether Times Internet wants to monetise this particular initiative or not, indeed it’s a welcome move as Times Fact Check would enlight many users not to trap into the nexus of fake news.

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