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Does fake news impact how you are perceived?

Dr. Andrew Fletcher  Director, Thomson Reuters Labs™ – London

Dr. Andrew Fletcher  Director, Thomson Reuters Labs™ – London

Do you care how you are perceived? The answer is almost certainly yes; perhaps it’s simply human nature. For companies and high-profile individuals, tracking and understanding how they are perceived can have real business value.

And that’s exactly what Alberto Lopez-Valenzuela had in mind when he founded Alva, a global platform analyzing content to understand a company’s perceived reputation and its impact.

Alva takes a variety of inputs (such as traditional media, social media, broadcast media, and financial analyst reports) — all in multiple languages — and automatically filters them to look for movement. This movement can include things like whether sources are being amplified and by whom, and whether the company’s reputation is trending as positive or negative over time.

And their technology can be tuned to any entity, not just company reputation. For example, using their technology, they were able to predict the outcome of the 2015 Labour party election in the UK.

So, what happens if it’s fake news?

In light of the proliferation of fake news and its potential impact on the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election, I wondered: Does Alva take fake news into account?

According to Alberto, all news — whether real or fake — will make an impact. “We look for amplification. Unless it gets picked up, it doesn’t really move the dial.”

So, is there anything you can do if your organization becomes a victim of fake news, or if your organization has a negative perception?

Alberto was clear that what Alva offers is not about taking control; you can’t control how people think. Or at least, that is not something Alva is looking to do. But mining and understanding perception can deliver tangible value by driving business decisions. That is the language Alva speaks.

Learn more

For more about Alva and the impact of fake news on a company’s perceived reputation, watch the highlights video below (2:22), and our full discussion with Alberto here (41:49).

About the series

Thomson Reuters Labs™ partners with Cass Business School to bring you EntrepreneursTalk@Cass in London. These interview-based evening events feature founders of successful start-ups from London and take place at Cass Business School. EntrepreneursTalk@Cass are designed to inspire students, entrepreneurs and anyone interested in tech.

The talks are hosted by Axel Threlfall, Editor-at-Large, Reuters. Prior correspondent experiences include: Reuters TV, Wired UK, CTV News, and CBC Undercurrents.

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