Media Insider: Facebook Starts Fact Checking Photos and Videos, Bustle Digital Group Acquires The Zoe Report, Snap in Talks to Open Office in Saudi Arabia

Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s round-up of media stories from the week.

Smartphone displaying social media apps

Facebook starts fact checking photos/videos, blocks millions of fake accounts per day

Facebook has announced its efforts to allow partners to fact check photos and videos beyond news articles. The company also is preemptively blocking the creation of millions of fake accounts per day. In a recent conference call with journalists, Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos outlined how the company is developing ways to address fake identities, fake audiences, and acts of spreading false information. Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook product manager for civic engagement, explained that “this proactive approach has allowed us to move more quickly and has become a really important way for us to prevent divisive or misleading memes from going viral.” Facebook first piloted this tool in the Alabama special election, where the proactive system successfully shut down a ring of Macedonian spammers interfering with the election to earn money.

In addition to fact checking on user’s news feeds: Facebook Scans the Photos and Links You Send on Messenger

Bustle Digital Group Acquires The Zoe Report

Bustle Digital Group announced adding Rachel Zoe’s The Zoe Report — the daily online style destination — to its portfolio. The acquisition of The Zoe Report presents Bustle the opportunity for expansion into the higher-end luxury and fashion space, reports WWD. The price of the acquisition was not disclosed. Zoe herself also will become a major shareholder of Bustle Digital Group and will retain the title of editor at large at The Zoe Report. “Strategically, for our business, it moves us into a new client base that helps us reach an additional set of readers who are a little more established, perhaps, in their careers and can consider a range of products including the high-end,” Bustle Digital Group CEO Bryan Goldberg told WWD.

More on Bustle’s plans to expand: Bustle plans UK expansion with 10 staffers

Snap is in talks to set up shop in Saudi Arabia

Snap reportedly is in advanced talks to open an office in Saudi Arabia, positioning it to be one of the first Western social media companies there. Additionally, a source of the company states Snap also is developing a content deal with the Saudi youth empowerment organization, MiSK Foundation. The partnership would provide Snapchat workshops and trainings to Saudi youth to help develop homegrown content for domestic audiences. The potential move to Saudi Arabia could help Snapchat expand its presence in the Arab world’s largest economy, where 70 percent of the population is younger than 30 years old. Only a few details about the possible move, including which city would host it, what the head count would be, and how many Western workers would staff the outpost, are available at this time.

ICYMI: Snap Cuts About 100 Employees in Latest Round of Downsizing

Google News Initiative Supports ICFJ’s Large-Scale Digital Program in Mideast

During Google’s News Initiative event in Dubai earlier this week, Google announced its effort to offer digital skills trainings to thousands of journalists across the MENA region. In partnership with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and its IJNet Arabic service, Google reports the trainings will focus on digital tools to gather and source information, support data-driven journalism and immersive storytelling, and enhance trust and verification. ICFJ reports the program will take place over the next 12 months and will seek to train 4,000 journalists in six countries: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Tunisia. The article states that in a recent ICFJ study, “The State of Technology in Global Newsrooms found that only 29 percent of newsrooms in the Middle East/North Africa regularly use multiple platforms to distribute stories – trailing those in the rest of the world.”

More on educating aspiring journalists to digital programs: How to Introduce Podcasting to the Journalism Classroom

YouTube Introduced TrueView for Reach Ads

Earlier this week, YouTube announced that brands now have the opportunity to purchase its TrueView ads and optimize them for reach. Ali Miller and Khushbu Rathi, product managers for video ads, wrote in a blog post that TrueView for reach ads combines YouTube’s existing in-stream format from its six-second Bumper ads with the simplicity of CPM [cost per thousand impressions] buying. Therefore, brands now can create ads as short as six seconds (or up to 30 seconds) that will run before or during videos, with the option for viewers to skip the ad after five seconds. “For YouTube’s current TrueView in-stream ads, advertisers only pay when viewers watch at least 30 seconds, or through the end of the video, or when they take actions such as clicking on cards or other elements within the ad,” Adweek reports.

Read the entire blog post on TrueView here: Sight, sound and scale: Introducing TrueView for reach

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Joanna Giannell is a Senior Customer Content Specialist with PR Newswire. She is also an animal lover and music enthusiast. Tune into her insights as a social curator at @PRNpets.

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