In an office in London, fact checkers part-funded by Google and Facebook are hard at work attempting to stem the endless flow of fake stories.
In cramped offices just a few hundred metres from Buckingham Palace, the crack troops of the war against fake news are on high alert.
Professional fact checkers, economists and statisticians are among 25 staff being part-funded by Google and Facebook to protect the UK general election from fake news in an initiative run by Full Fact and First Draft, two fact-checking organisations, the latter battle hardened by tours of duty in the US and French elections.
One night this week they scanned the internet as usual for false reports and misleading claims about the election gathering traction on social media. A piece being shared thousands of times on Facebook about Jeremy Corbyn rang alarm bells.
“Corbyn confirms a Labour government would pay £92bn Brexit bill in full,” ran the headline on an apparent news site called YourBrexit.co.uk.
The team’s software was predicting the story would get strong traction in the coming hours. It was predicted to hit 12,000 shares and was already up to 4,000 shares on Facebook. Only the most popular articles go that viral.