GOOD

Facebook Announces A Costly New Effort To Fight The Spread Of Fake News

“The initiative will address the problems of misinformation and disinformation”

Just twelve months ago, “fake news” would have sounded like the type of phrase a toddler would make up to avoid blame or discipline. But since the candidacy and election of Donald Trump, the term has emerged as a constant criticism by politicians and citizens on both sides of the aisle, predominately on social media, where stories are shared often because they align with philosophies, even if content is erroneous.

Facebook was seen by many as complicit in the rise of fake news, doing little to curb the mass sharing and buy-in from unscrupulous publications that are more interested in clicks than actual journalism. But now, realizing that the epidemic ultimately undermines the site’s value to its users, Facebook has announced it’s heading up the New Integrity Initiative to keep fake news off the social media site.


Steps have been taken and announcements have been made in the past, as the video below shows, but this initiative seems to be the most cohesive and permanent strategy put in place thus far.

The tech juggernaut is teaming up with the likes of web browser Mozilla, Craig Newmark of Craigslist, and several nonprofits and universities to address the problem of misleading or outright false news in the age of social media. The face of the effort is Campbell Brown, who was recently brought on by Facebook to head partnerships such as this one. Tasked with the daunting proposition of cleansing the internet of fake news, Brown said in a new blog post:

We’re excited to announce we are helping to found and fund the News Integrity Initiative, a diverse new network of partners who will work together to focus on news literacy. The initiative will address the problems of misinformation, disinformation, and the opportunities the internet provides to inform the public conversation in new ways."

While there’s little doubt that the focus here is on managing the fake news crisis that continues—real or imagined—in the media and on Facebook specifically, the hopes of those involved is that the New Integrity Initiative doesn't just eliminate the bad, but also improves the way real, honest journalism is both reported and shared on social media. To that end, journalism professor at CUNY, Jeff Jarvis, shared his goals for the future:

"My greatest hope is that this Initiative will provide the opportunity to work with Facebook and other platforms on reimagining news, on supporting innovation, on sharing data to study the public conversation, and on supporting news literacy broadly defined."

As it stands now, Facebook is the biggest platform for sharing news and information that the world has ever seen, so ridding it of something as subjective as “fake” journalism won’t happen overnight and will require the diligence of its users as well, but with $14 million invested in this program, it’s clear that the company’s taking it seriously, even if damage has been done.

Articles
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
"IMG_0846" by Adrienne Campbell is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In an effort to avoid a dystopian sci-fi future where Artificial Intelligence knows pretty much everything about you, and a team of cops led by Tom Cruise run around arresting people for crimes they did not commit because of bad predictive analysis; Bernie Sanders and other Democratic candidates have some proposals on how we can stop it.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

It's fun to go to a party, talk to strangers, and try to guess where they're from just by their accents and use of language. It's called 'soda' on the East Coast and 'pop' in the Midwest, right? Well, it looks like a new study has been able to determine where a Humpback whale has been and who he's been hanging out with during his awesome travels just from his song.

Keep Reading Show less
Science
Governor Grethcen Whitmer / Twitter

In 2009, the U.S. government paid $50 billion to bail out Detroit-based automaker General Motors. In the end, the government would end up losing $11.2 billion on the deal.

Government efforts saved 1.5 million jobs in the United States and a sizable portion of an industry that helped define America in the twentieth century.

As part of the auto industry's upheaval in the wake of the Great Recession, the United Automobile Workers (UAW) made sacrifices in contracts to help put the company on a solid footing after the government bailout.

Keep Reading Show less
via Jimmy Kimmel / YouTube

Fake news is rampant on the internet. Unscrupulous websites are encouraged to create misleading stories about political figures because they get clicks.

A study published by Science Advances found that elderly conservatives are, by far, the worst spearders of fake news. Ultra conservatives over the age of 65 shared about seven times more fake information on social media than moderates and super liberals during the 2016 election.

Get ready for things to get worse.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture