Trendolizer & EzyInsights
Partners: VRT NWS, Trendolizer, EzyInsights
Tracking fake news or finding trending topics. With Trendolizer and EzyInsights you can do both!
Who are Trendolizer and EzyInsights?
Trendolizer is a news gathering tool developed by Lead Stories, a website that debunks fake news articles. The company was founded in Colorado by Maarten Schenk, Alan Duke, Perry R. Sanders and John C. Goede. The software automatically indexes links from sources on the internet and then measures the popularity of every link. The tool can be used for many purposes: research, tracking sources, alerts and autoposting. Their mantra is “Just because it’s trending doesn’t mean it’s true”.
EzyInsights also provides a tool that focuses on gathering and monitoring news. It gives you the possibility to see what news is emerging, when you should post and what your audience is consuming on different websites. The company is located in Helsinki, Finland. A country with a very active startup scene.
To test their products we gave it to two of our colleagues at VRT NWS who used the tools for about three months. They tried to integrate these tools in their daily routine as journalists. The main focus of the test was to find out if these tools were an easy way to indicate fake news while working on news articles for example: ‘British Palace confirms queen's christmas message will have Arabic subtitles for Syrian refugees’. The news had spread about possible Arabic subtitles on social media but proved to be a joke.
1. Straight away we noticed that these tools are already very powerful. However they asked for a lot of fine-tuning. There is no magic wand that you wave around to detect fake news. You have to tinker with the settings to make sure the tools detect fake news. The time required to do this is unfortunately not at hand as a journalist.
2. The main conclusion after testing was that the usability of these kind of tools is not yet where it should be for tracking fake news. It should be plug and play for journalist to use it regularly. For tracking trending topics and content the tools were very useful.