‘Lead Stories’ debunks misinformation as it trends

Debunking misinformation and disinformation online is now a point of focus for many news organisations across the world, whether the teams consist of specialised fact-checkers or reporters who are taking on a new task.

The small team behind Lead Stories, a website highlighting trending stories on social media, moved towards debunking popular articles online a couple of months ago.

Maarten Schenk, who developed Trendolizer, the search tool powering Lead Stories, spoke to Journalism.co.uk about his process of finding these articles and looking for red flags that might point out they have no basis in fact.

Trendolizer, which is backed by Alan Duke and Perry Sanders, tracks between 300,000 and 400,000 links per day, assessing the number of likes they receive per hour to determine their popularity.

Schenk set up a “fake news” dashboard designed with separate columns in a similar manner to Tweetdeck.

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