This project aims at monitoring, investigating, exposing and responding to the spread of dubious and nefarious content in main big platforms including Youtube, Twitter, Reddit, Google News and more.
The core idea of the project is to simulate users of 8 big platforms either by browsing these services, or looking up keywords and collecting the search results. Both these approaches give us accurate data on what content is displayed to users. The strength of CrossOver lies in the fact that data collection occurs from residential addresses, and not from data center as most research is typically conducted from. This allows our data collection to be less noticeable, if at all, by platforms and mitigates risks of the platforms altering the results of our data collection.
The project is currently active in 8 countries:
The current stage of CrossOver was made possible by the Mozilla Fund, through a grand awarded through the Mozilla Technology Fund.
A first part of the project was led during 15 months thanks to funding from the European Union. The geographical scope of this pilot project was Belgium, with monitoring conducted both in French and Dutch. The overall aims of the projects were:
The initiative brought together EU DisinfoLab, the Dutch-language media outlet Apache, the French media education association Savoir Devenir, and the Finnish start-up Check First, all of which specialise in developing solutions and methodologies to combat disinformation.
CheckFirst’s main task is to develop dashboards of automated content spread in Belgium. This means that we are developing tools to monitor social media platforms, starting with Google search’s auto-complete and Twitter trends and observing which content they recommend to their users. This data are publicly available, as well as the full methodology, so that anyone can see which topics appear to be the most recommended algorithmically.
CheckFirst also conducts open source intelligence investigations together with media partners and NGOs, providing our skills to support their quality journalistic work
In 2021 CrossOver has received funding from the European Union’s programme on the financing of Pilot Projects and Preparatory Actions in the field of “Communications Networks, Content and Technology” under grant agreement LC-01682253. This project was leaded by EU DisinfoLab with partiticipation of CheckFirst, Apache and Savoir-Devenir
In 2022 CrossOver have received the support of the Mozilla Technology Funds to experiment to continue expanding the CrossOver project to 7 new French speaking regions and countries.
We empower the fight against disinformation. Check First is a software and methodologies company founded by a developer and two journalists. We focus on creating the best tools and practices for the peculiar job of countering and monitoring fakes and influence campaigns, and gain time in the process by fostering collaboration. Our best asset is the complementarity of our founding team, making us approach problems in a comprehensive and innovative way.Our story