Ahmed El Gody

Information manipulation and false content has been perceived and defined differently over time. In the Arab media context, fake news is not a new dilemma, and is more likely to be used as an instrument of content control, influence and public opinion manipulation. This is related to the issue of news dis/misinformation. Audience trust and credibility in Arab media outlets – especially government-owned – is at an all-time low (under 20 percent in various countries). Controlling fake news is becoming a primary concern for the Arab media industry. Source verification and managing organisational resources is an acute dilemma. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and NLP to automate the process of identifying fake news is looked upon as the cornerstone to separate the ’truth’ from ‘fake’ in the news field. This study aims at assessing the efforts of the Al Jazeera network in controlling fake news in its newsrooms. The study is based on qualitative structured and semi-structured interviews with Al Jazeera newsroom teams and artificial intelligence technology developers. The results showed a variety of efforts being conducted by various Al Jazeera teams to control fake content and prevent Al Jazeera content from being misused. They also showed the importance of the role of artificial intelligence, especially anticipation technologies, in detecting fake sources and managing newsroom operation.

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