(Photo credit: Patrick Leusch / DW)

From 11 to 13 June Deutsche Welle hosted the Global Media Forum, a conference attended by more than 2,000 participants. This year’s topic: global inequalities.

Three conference days were packed with a versatile programme. Speakers and attendees made it to Bonn, the former German capital, from all over the world. One of the highlights of Day 1 was the keynote of Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society.

After her keynote, Deutsche Welle’s Jochen Spangenberg had the unique opportunity to present Truly Media to the EU Commissioner.

Commissioner Gabriel was rather pleased with and interested in what she saw. She also inquired about possible uses of Truly Media in the EU context. All this also has to be seen in the context of the EU’s initiatives to fight misinformation, something that was initiated by Mariya Gabriel and her Directorate on the European level.

The fact that Truly Media is based on outcomes of the EU co-funded research project REVEAL made the Commissioner’s smile even brighter, as it showcases well how EU-funded research can lead to successful products and services that are appreciated by their respective user communities.

Our team, in turn, is very grateful in having had the opportunity to showcase Truly Media to the Commissioner in charge of the Digital Economy and Society.

Deutsche Welle, ATC’s Truly Media partner, was founded and started broadcasting in 1953. Consequently, Deutsche Welle is having its 65th anniversary in 2018. More than one reason to celebrate!

In addition to staff parties and looking back on 65 years of broadcasting in Deutsche Welle programmes, the occasion was commemorated with two formal, high profile events. Truly Media featured in both of them. Obviously, we are delighted!

Truly Media was chosen as one of nine Deutsche Welle ‘highlight projects’ that were presented and showcased at the German Foreign Office on 30 May 2018. Members of the German diplomatic services were introduced to the platform and then had the opportunity to see it in operation live. Julia Bayer and Jochen Spangenberg represented Truly Media on the day.


Julia Bayer and Jochen Spangenberg at the Truly Media stand at the German Foreign Office (Photo credit: DW)


The ‘big day’ was a week later, on 5 June. It saw the main event that celebrated 65 years of Deutsche Welle. More than 300 people, mostly Members of Parliament, Ministers, State Secretaries, DW Board members, current and former DW staff and invited dignitaries met at Paul-Loebe-Haus, which is part of the German Parliament or Bundestag, as we say in German. The guest of honour: German chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel.

Wilfried Runde and Jochen Spangenberg represented Truly Media. Not only did they show the platform and its features, and the concept behind it, to attendees of the celebrations. Jochen was also given the unique opportunity to give a brief Truly Media demo to chancellor Angela Merkel. Her comments at the end were smart and sweet: “well done – keep going”.

Jochen Spangenberg presenting Truly Media to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
With State Minister for Culture and Media Monika Grütters and DW Director-General Peter Limbourg (Photo credit: Jan Roehl)


Not much else we can add but that we will certainly keep going, and were delighted to be given the opportunity to present Truly Media at these high profile events. More than one reason to celebrate!

German Press Agency dpa and BR (Bayerischer Rundfunk), which is part of the ARD network of public service broadcasters, will use Truly Media to aggregate and verify UGC for their coverage about German federal elections in September. “We are using Truly Media to verify eyewitness content following the latest trends in technology. This helps us standardise and document all our verification efforts in a harmonised way across editorial departments“, says Stefan Primbs, Head of Social Listening and Verification at BR.
Our online collaboration platform allows journalists to aggregate and verify User Generated Content (UGC) for their reporting. The platform reflects the entire verification process of UGC. It allows the aggregation of UGC from several social media platforms as well as manual video and photo uploads. Journalists can then select the most important items for their story, and verify each item individually using a verification checklist and integrated third-party verification tools like Google Maps or TinEye.



With Truly Media journalists can verify photos, videos, or social media accounts in real-time. This can be done in collaboration within a single newsroom, across different media companies, or together with individual journalists working anywhere in the world. “Truly Media can help us to better coordinate our team efforts around verification. It thereby improves transparency along the workflow, for all teams involved,” states Stefan Voss, Head of the verification team at dpa.

 Truly Media is an integrated web application that is scheduled for full commercial release in October 2017. It has been co-developed by ATC (Greece) and Deutsche Welle (Germany). It builds on work carried out in EC co-funded research projects, in particular REVEAL, and is currently supported by Google’s DNI Fund (Digital News Initiative).Over the past months, and ahead of the formal launch later this year, dpa, BR and many other media organizations, including Deutsche Welle, have extensively worked with the Truly Media platform to test and further refine it. If you are interested in becoming a user of Truly Media you can request access down below.

On September 21st, 2017, Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) invited us to discuss fake news phenomenon, present Truly Media platform and our cooperation with DW. Truly Media, a collaborative platform that ATC (Greece) and Deutsche Welle (Germany) co-developed to support journalists in the verification of content residing in social networks, will be used by German Press Agency dpa and BR (Bayerischer Rundfunk, part of the ARD network of public service broadcasters), to aggregate and verify user generated content (UGC) for their coverage of the German federal elections in September. The platform has already been proven a useful tool for Deutsche Welle’s (DW) editorial teams for over 6 months period.

Amnesty International is now using Truly Media, during its every day operations, in order to verify information related to human rights violations. Mrs. Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Director pointed out the positive experience during testing the platform. DW Director Peter Limbourg welcomed the fact that the new software platform can support human rights organizations in their important work.

This partnership was formally announced during the STOA Annual Lecture 2017 in Brussels on November 21st.  Eva Kaili, Greek MEP and Chairwoman of the STOA Committee, is also full of praise for Truly Media and what ATC and DW are providing for the fact-checking community.


Related material


Truly Media, the online collaborative platform jointly developed by Athens Technology Center (ACT) with Deutsche Welle, was presented in the annual STOA Annual Lecture, an event organized by the European Parliament Panel for Scientific and Technological Option Assessment.

This year’s lecture, hosted on Tuesday November 21st at the European Parliament in Brussels, took an in depth look at “Media in the Age of Artificial Intelligence”. In their presentation, Wilfried Runde (DW) along with Yannis Kliafas (ATC) focused on Truly Media’s integrated verification features that support newsrooms to efficiently detect misinformation distributed on social media platforms. Watch the whole panel discussion here!

According to the organizing committee, the event aimed to “investigate the challenges associated with the design and application of AI algorithms in the media domain, presenting an opportunity to learn more about these questions and to participate in a debate with key experts in the subject.” For doing so, speakers and panelists from Google, Facebook, the MIT Media Lab, Elsevier, and the Univerity of Sheffield provided their expert views.

After 4 weeks of public voting for the Innovation Radar 2017 competition, and a long day with TOP 20 finalists pitching for their proposals, the people have spoken!

ATC , one of the TOP 20 organizations that were set to move into the Innovation Radar Prize final, and 1 out of 4 most dynamic innovators of the ‘Industrial & Enabling Tech’ category, has won the Public Award for Truthnest, a tool that the company created in 2016 to address the phenomenon of fake news.

For a whole month, European citizens participated in an open vote to showcase the TOP 20 companies and organizations that are pioneering innovation across the EU by sending them to the final of the competition, at the ICT Proposers Day event , held in Budapest.

Today, the process of the final awarding phase of the “cream-of-the-crop” came to its end, including short pitches of all 20 companies, in front of a jury of experts and live audience. The audience that attended all presentations (decision makers of the private sector, key research instintutions and EU executives) recognised ATC’s proposal to detect and verify fake news as the best!

Truthnest incorporates ATC’s many years of experience in the media field by providing the appropriate indicators to confirm the validity of news as they are published or reproduced in social media. For the production of these indicators, news analytics techniques have been utilized using technologies such as artificial intelligence, semantic analysis and network dynamics.

In the same spirit, ATC has worked with Deutsche Welle, a media institution, to develop Truly Media platform, also using resources from the Google Digital News Initiative (DNI) Fund. Truly Media is an online collaboration environment where journalists from around the globecan use advanced digital tools for verifying news, images and videos as they are shared directly by users of social media (USG).

Athens Technology Center (ATC) designs, develops and supports innovative technology solutions for news agencies and news organizations globally for over 20 years. Truly Media is an integrated web application that is scheduled for full commercial release in October 2017. It has been co-developed by ATC (Greece) and Deutsche Welle (Germany). It builds on work carried out in EC co-funded research projects, in particular REVEAL, and is currently supported by Google´s DNI Fund (Digital News Initiative).

Artificial intelligence can be used to create information and to counter fake news. But what are the challenges and opportunities within that? That question was at the heart of the annual science lecture of the Parliament’s scientific body (Science and Technlogy Options Assessment – STOA).

The phenomenon of fake news has taken on a global dimension and needs to be addressed through synergies with documentation and training, said Mr. Larkos Larkou, the Chairman of the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).

Mr. Larkou spoke during the presentation of Truly Media , an online colaborative platform that helps journalists and other organizations verify social networking in an attempt to counter the spread of false news.

Truly Media platform was developed by the Athens Technology Center (ATC), in cooperation with Deutsche Welle, to support journalists in verifying the content of posts.  The platform used the German news agency DPA and Bayerischer Rundfunk during the recent German elections last September to collect and verify subscriptions of social network users.

The platform is used, inter alia, by the Deutsche Welle editorial team, as well as by Amnesty International and is a subscription.

By incorporating a multitude of tools, the Truly Media platform allows journalists or journalists of an organization to verify the validity of real-time photos, videos, or social accounts.

Through mapping and 3D site mapping, comparison with other photos or weather information, journalists can check whether a particular post is true, and the possibility of collaboration between different organizations.

At the same time, the company is developing a system called “Truthness” which will be integrated at a future stage on the existing platform so that the information contained in the post text can be verified.

Mr. Nikos Pantazopoulos,  on behalf of the ATC said that since 2012, when the false news began, the company began to deal with ways to deal with it. At the same time, he added, the decision of large news organizations to set up social networking teams to protect themselves from relaying false news came.

Mr. Stratos Tzoannos, Head of the Truly Media development team, said the problem of fake news is getting bigger, with journalists looking for solutions by verifying posts and collaborating with other organizations.

By introducing the application, he also said that it operates in three stages, by searching for and extracting content from social networks, organizing content and verifying.

The presentation was held at the offices of the CNA, in the presence of the Director of CYPRUS Giorgos Pentetas. Also, leaders or representatives of organizations, including Personal Data Protection Commissioner Irene Loizidou-Nikolaidou, Director of the Press and Information Office, Sophia Michailidou, President of the Union of Government Editors George Frangos, Chairman of the Journalist Ethics Committee, George Pavlidis, the Cyprus Radio and Television Authority Rona Petri – Kasapi and the Police Spokesperson Andreas Angelidis.