Facebook, Mozilla and Craigslist Craig fund fake news firefighter

Facebook, Mozilla, Craig Newmark, others launch $14 million fund to support news integrity

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism will administer the initiative and will spearhead new literacy and aim to increase trust in journalism around the world.

The 10 companies contributing to this fund include AppNexus, Mozilla and Betaworks, as well as Facebook and the Ford Foundation. Facebook recently launched a journalism initiative that included an outreach campaign to newsrooms across the USA, and its participation in this project marks its latest contribution to the news industry since a tide of fraudulent stories inundated its platform during the run-up to the 2016 election. "The initiative will address the problems of misinformation, disinformation and the opportunities the internet provides to inform the public conversation in new ways", she wrote in a blog post.

The money will be invested in the News Integrity Initiative with the goal of increasing trust in journalism worldwide and better informing the public conversation. To this end, the Initiative will fund applied research projects and organize global meetings between industry experts. Currently, close to nineteen organisations and individuals have signed up to carry out research projects under this initiative.

The reputation of journalism has been tainted by recent events.

While there's still ample provenance of fake news, it helps that major tech companies like Google and Facebook are facilitating their own measures to stop its ascent, with the former committing to efforts in flagging false and offensive content in search results, and with the latter rolling out a "disputed" tag for known fake news.

Two-thirds of Facebook users (66%) get news on the site, almost six-in-ten Twitter users (59%) get news on Twitter, and seven-in-ten Reddit users get news on that platform.

Just how the organisation plans to improve news literacy hasn't been explored. The rise of filter bubbles, the metastasis of hyperpartisan news and other factors have caused trust in the media to sink to an all-time low.

There are thousands of fake news websites that deliberately publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation purporting to be real news. "We want to go beyond the fake news discussion and get to what I hope is a flight to quality", said Jeff Jarvis, who heads CUNY's Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, as quoted by Business Insider.

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