Facebook Spending Millions To Make You Trust News Again

04 April, 2017, 02:09 | Author: Patsy Dennis
  • Facebook Spending Millions To Make You Trust News Again

Facebook, Mozilla, the City University of New York (CUNY), and other tech industry leaders and nonprofits are jointly launching a $14-million fund dedicated to advancing news literacy. It will run as an independent project of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

The "New Integrity Initiative" is a research project that aims to help people make informed judgements about news stories and make them better equipped to call out clickbait. Among these participants are Arizona State University, Edelman, the European Journalism Centre in Netherlands, Hamburg Media School in Germany, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, and more. Companies like Facebook were trying to address the issue.

The non-profit initiative comes at a time when public trust in the media is at an all-time low.

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Campbell Brown, Facebook's recent addition as head of news partnerships, also welcomed the news.

"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", Jarvis wrote in a blog post about the initiative.

False news and misinformation veiled as true stories became a serious issue during the USA election campaign and the presidential elections a year ago.

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This move follows the criticism Facebook received for not doing enough to identity and filter fake news following the U.S. election.

"We're in good company with over 25 funders and participants, including the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Tow Foundation, AppNexus, Mozilla and Betaworks", according to Facebook's statement. Once Trump had won the election, op-eds claiming Hillary Clinton's loss stemmed from the failure to halt fake news propagation circulated around the web. This phenomenon - just one of many examples from last fall - was fueled by the new ubiquity of sites like Facebook as a source for news.

Over the past few months, Facebook has tried to strengthen its relationship with the press, even embarking on a roadshow to meet journalists and offering mea culpas to those in attendance.

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