French voters fed up with fake news can now rely on real-life journalists when searching the web ahead of Sunday's presidential election.
LibÃ©ration, one of France's best-known daily newspapers, has teamed up with J. Walter Thompson Paris to create a human search engine called CheckNews as an antidote to the increasing dominance of algorithms and the bias of online echo-chambers.
CheckNews.Fr promises to sort fact from fiction, and aims to put journalists back in the driving seat. The staff behind the service will investigate readers' queries before coming back to them a few hours later with an answer backed up by real, not alternative, facts.
In France, as elsewhere, disinformation has been on the rise. Stories of Russian intervention and Saudi backing have dogged election coverage, while presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron has filed a lawsuit over rumors that he has a secret bank account in the Caribbean. A TV debate between the two candidates even descended into mudslinging as Macron called his rival Marine Le Pen "the grand priestess of fear."