CrossCheck Case Study
CrossCheck Case Study
CrossCheck Combats Fake News with Comprehensive Coverage of Online News
CrossCheck is a recently launched startup led by a team of college students from Providence, RI, whose stated mission is to rid the world of fake news.
The initial product offered by CrossCheck is a browser extension which allows user to see the ‘CrossCheck score’ of any article they’re reading. A high score indicates that this content matches up with multiple, trustworthy sources, and a low score means that no matching content was found – giving context to web content. After the release of it’s browser extension, CrossCheck plans to leverage the same technology to develop products that will help businesses, journalists, and students verify content.
The goal: a scalable, reliable infrastructure for crawled news data
CrossCheck’s core technology is built on cross-referencing a given story against a real-time database of thousands of other news articles, then using proprietary algorithms to assess the content’s reliability and calculate its CrossCheck score. Early in the development process, the team realized one of its main challenges would be around building this database.
In order to ensure the robustness of their software, it was clear they would need a reliable source of news stories at massive scale, in a format that enabled algorithmic analysis. Achieving this result through in-house development would require CrossCheck to crawl thousands of sites on the open web, convert it into machine-readable format and store the data – and as an early-stage startup, they lacked the resources to needed build this infrastructure.
Realizing the need for on-demand access to structured web data and the challenge in procuring it lead the CrossCheck team to explore the Webhose.io News API. After some initial testing, they quickly realized it would prove to be the ideal solution for their fake news detection tool.
The results: powerful real-time news verification, powered by comprehensive web data
By integrating the Webhose news data feed into its software, CrossCheck can now source thousands of articles from the Webhose.io API, in real-time. The system then extracts key text, quotes and statistics – data which can then easily be cross-referenced against the existing CrossCheck database and run through their algorithms, with the numeric CrossCheck score returned in seconds.
The entire platform is built on the Webhose.io news data feed and RESTful API. It leverages the broad, automatic access to structured news content that Webhose enables, in order to perform algorithmic analysis of news content and produce the relevant insights as to a particular source’s trustworthiness. Having this data available, via a freemium model, enabled a small startup to build an innovative product that’s trying to solve a pressing global problem.
In March 2018 CrossCheck announced the first commercial release of its software, which is now available to purchase. In the future the company plans to expand its offering to various other areas and platforms, including media monitoring and the public sector. The company is actively raising capital in it’s convertible note round.
“Webhose.io provides us with unmatched real-time access to an enormous swath of news data. The outstanding API, documentation and support were integral to helping us build and scale our business.” Jay Khurana, CEO, CrossCheck