Alphabet has a 60-person division called Jigsaw that's helping to fight fake news

  • Jigsaw calls itself an incubator that tackles the "toughest global security challenges facing the world," including curbing online harassment and censorship.
  • Alphabet's efforts to mitigate misinformation will be front and center this week, as technology company representatives testify before congressional committees over the next few days.
Eric Schmidt
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Eric Schmidt

Jigsaw — one of the many mini-companies inside Alphabet — is helping to lead the search giant's charge against so-called fake news, according to profiles published in Fast Company.

Jigsaw calls itself an incubator that tackles the "toughest global security challenges facing the world," including curbing online harassment and censorship. The group is led by Jared Cohen, a well-known international relations scholar and diplomat, and of late, protege to Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt, Fast Company reported.

Cohen appears to be at the fore of Google's fake news battle: his team has even gone to Macedonia to "meet with trolls," Fast Company said. Hacking to spread misinformation was "not something we anticipated strongly enough," Schmidt told Fast Company, saying he was worried about the tools that would be available to hackers by 2020.

Alphabet's efforts to mitigate misinformation will be front and center this week, as technology company representatives testify before congressional committees over the next few days.

"We also have teams at Google of thousands of people focused on security and policy enforcement," the company told CNBC on Monday.

Jigsaw has 60 employees, though "only a fraction of whom are actually working on issues related to disinformation," Fast Company reported.

"I always tell the team that we're not reactive, otherwise, one year we'd be working on Ebola, and another year we'd be working on fake news," Cohen told Fast Company.

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