Facebook, Mozilla, other tech corporations, and nonprofits joined to launch News Integrity Initiative program. It’s a $14-million fund that aims to advance news literacy.
The collaborative project came in the time of intense criticism about Facebook and other social networking sites’ role in spreading misinformation online. In this project, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in NY will administer the grants from the project, along with London School of Economics, Sciences Po, and other institutions in Germany, Netherlands, and Denmark.
The money accumulated will go to the research projects, as well as arranging meetings with experts in the industry. This project is part of the social networking site’s Journalism Project. The company wants to provide its users the tools that they can use to identify the information that they see online, whether or not it’s fake.
Currently, news literacy is a global issue. The initiative consists of a diverse group will assemble to bring experts around the world to work toward building a well-informed community.
Fake news inundated the world today. This initiative appears to improve the current state of affairs. Furthermore, it aims to provide a better understanding of what journalism must be about.
Denied as a Media Company
But Facebook’s participation is controversial. Its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, denied that it’s not a traditional media company. In fact, he rebuked claims that his social networking site might have influenced the result of last year’s presidential election in the US.
Furthermore, it received criticism when it censored viewpoints of the conservatives through its trending topics section. Even though Mark denied that it did happen, it still resulted in changes that took place.
The company also tried to strengthen its relationship with the journalists. It even embarked a roadshow just to meet the press.
Consumers want news that they can trust. Thus, Facebook should learn how to spot click bait and eliminate false report that appears on its website or app.
Currently, 19 organizations, companies and individuals signed up for this new project.
The social media group in Europe collaborated with Google, Buzzfeed, and other agencies to fight and prevent fake news.
News before was used to be reliable. Although false news already existed, we still enjoyed the fact that the news media produced true reality.
Some people disagreed with these reports. However, their opinion was based on credible facts being presented through a set of solid journalism standards.
When the social media arrived, we learn facts and ideas from hundreds to thousands of sources of varying reliability.
The tech industry acknowledged the problem. That said, companies are taking steps in fighting against it. Google, for instance, announced that it had banned 200 publishers from its Adsense network.
Facebook also updated its Trending feature that alleviated viral sharing fake news.
But creators of fake news are smart. They find it easy to game the algorithm of those social media sites that fight against fake news.
It’s time for these companies to get serious about fighting the spread of misinformation. It should be banned, identified and disempowered.