Tech

New Facebook project to curb spread of fake news

Facebook has announced the creation of a journalism project aimed at fostering "a healthy news ecosystem" and curbing the spread of fake news.

The move comes as the world's leading social network faces intense pressure for allowing misinformation to flourish and sometimes go viral, with some critics claiming that fake news had affected the US presidential election.

While Facebook dismissed claims that it is a "media company", it said its new effort aims to boost credibility of the information it circulates.

"We know that our community values sharing and discussing ideas and news, and as a part of our service, we care a great deal about making sure that a healthy news ecosystem and journalism can thrive," project director Fidji Simo said.

"That's why we are announcing a new programme to establish stronger ties between Facebook and the news industry."

She said the project will mean "collaborating with news organisations to develop products, learning from journalists about ways we can be a better partner, and working with publishers and educators on how we can equip people with the knowledge they need to be informed readers in the digital age".

'STORYTELLING FORMATS'

One of the elements will involve the development of "new storytelling formats" and other ways to help news partners.

A second element will include "training and tools for journalists" that will help them use live video and other ways to connect with audiences.

The third element will be efforts to help people determine news credibility.

"We will work with third-party organisations on how to better understand and to promote news literacy both on and off our platform to help people in our community have the information they need to make decisions about which sources to trust," Ms Simo said.

Facebook will run public service ads in collaboration with the non-profit News Literacy Project and work on research with Arizona State University's school of journalism.

Ms Simo said Facebook will continue efforts announced last month to "disrupt the financial incentives" for websites that create fake news.

"This problem is bigger than any one platform, and it is important for us to work together to minimise its reach," she said. "This is just the beginning... we have much more to do." - AFP

technologyfacebookunited states