Good Thinking

Tech companies fund initiative to help fight fake news

Tech companies fund initiative...
The mission of the News Integrity Initiative is to advance news literacy, increase trust in journalism, and better inform the public conversation. 
The mission of the News Integrity Initiative is to advance news literacy, increase trust in journalism, and better inform the public conversation. 
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The mission of the News Integrity Initiative is to advance news literacy, increase trust in journalism, and better inform the public conversation. 
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The mission of the News Integrity Initiative is to advance news literacy, increase trust in journalism, and better inform the public conversation. 

In an effort to battle the scourge of fake news and its effect on public attitudes toward the media, a group of tech companies, academic institutions, non-profits and other organizations have allied to create the News Integrity Initiative, dedicated to helping people make better choices about the news they read and share online.

The News Integrity Initiative is backed by a US$14 million fund, raised by founding backers like Facebook, Mozilla, Betaworks, AppNexus, the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the James S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Tow Foundation.

The funds will support the News Integrity Initiative's mission "to advance news literacy, to increase trust in journalism around the world, and to better inform the public conversation." To this end, the Initiative will fund applied research projects and organize global meetings between industry experts.

Expected News Integrity Initiative early participants include Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Polis London School of Economics, and several international journalist organizations in the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The Initiative will be administered by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Source: CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

In an effort to battle the scourge of fake news and its effect on public attitudes toward the media, a group of tech companies, academic institutions, non-profits and other organizations have allied to create the News Integrity Initiative, dedicated to helping people make better choices about the news they read and share online.

The News Integrity Initiative is backed by a US$14 million fund, raised by founding backers like Facebook, Mozilla, Betaworks, AppNexus, the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the James S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Tow Foundation.

The funds will support the News Integrity Initiative's mission "to advance news literacy, to increase trust in journalism around the world, and to better inform the public conversation." To this end, the Initiative will fund applied research projects and organize global meetings between industry experts.

Expected News Integrity Initiative early participants include Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Polis London School of Economics, and several international journalist organizations in the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The Initiative will be administered by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Source: CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

14 comments
KungfuSteve
Fake news Towards the "MEDIA" ???!!! THE MEDIA IS THE FAKE NEWS !!!
Daishi
A platform virtually guaranteed to be left leaning because left leaning views are generally viewed as more politically correct. Censorship can almost never be equally applied. Advertisers don't withdraw their support of platforms over people using them to express marxist views or expressing SJW rage against white males. Silicon Valley companies release diversity reports reporting 55% of their employees are white and are told by publications that this is a " dismal performance" and they aren't doing enough for diversity in a country that's 65% white and nobody bats an eye or gets outraged. Nobody used the word fake to describe the narrative that Mike Brown was just a kid minding his own business who was executed by police with his hands in the air. Gardly anyone talked George Zimmerman's 911 call that NBC faked to make it racist. They reported his race as white and lightened his skin color in photos to fit their narrative. The fact that Trayvon Martin was kicked out of school for having a burglary tool and backpack of stolen jewelry potentially from that neighborhood never even came into light in the media. We are permitted to speak of race when it comes to police shooting but looking at race and crime statistics is off the table in the conversation to better understand why. The right is not without their fake news and narratives too but there is a huge double standard in how censorship is applied and in what is called fake and all of these efforts will simply continue that trend of applying censorship policies unequally.
sk8dad
Daishi, you seem very passionate about your skepticism regarding censorship. It is unfortunate NBC edited the Zimmerman 911 call, but does that necessarily disqualify NBC as a legitimate new source? If so, then by the same token, one should also disqualify the likes of Breitbart and Fox on similar grounds of doctoring footage to suit their views. One could even go farther and disqualify all new sources that have ever either purposely or accidentally published any erroneous content. That means there are no new sources, so how does one obtain information? Blogs? Facebook? Twitter? Talk shows? The local bartender? The White House? The purpose of the consortium is not to dismiss all right-leaning information. It's purpose is to simply provide some basic fact checking--the kind that the average consumer of news has no time/skill/energy/patience/discipline to do. Fact is fact and should always remain just that--fact--regardless of what side of the ideological fence it happens to favor. This is not censorship because they are not proposing to hide/delete material. This is also not about being politically correct. This is simply and attempt to show distinction between hearsay, opinions, rumors, propaganda, and even lies from actual fact. Only fact belongs in the news. The "alternative facts", interpretations, innuendos, implications, bizarre adjective choices, references based on paid studies, and "it happened because I said so" have no place in news.
over_there
Daishi is on to it.Of course there are always different views to every story but our mainstream media does not in any way report the truth and onto the race thing here in australia its the same people are constantly told the leftard media view that every one (except white men) is a victim that they beleive it , any one that can read actual statistics knows its a load of rubbish but they are called racist. This is i guess because most journalists/actors/artists and bloggers are the leftard/have a cry/its all some one elses fault croud so they might be reporting what they beleive but it isnt in any way unbiased factual news.
Bob
This sounds more like "putting the fox in charge of guarding the hen house". All of the organizations listed above have their own agenda that they would like to promote. Far too many people in business and politics want to call the truth a relative thing. Lies and deception have always been the stock of politicians. Many of their actions would have been considered felonies or treason just a few years ago. With no one worthy of being the moral authority, fake news is here to stay and it will only get worse.
StuartMcGavin
This would be virtually impossible to ensure that there is no agenda in the long term. The company's involved are ultimately looking after their own interests. How many are going to be fair when the spotlight could turn on them if true honesty was applied. Who gets to decide what is "Fake"? And why should we believe them when we would just have to take their word for it? The only way to truly do this is to have a Fact checking group that verified each claim and where neutral and un-corruptible, is that even possible?
Cryptonoetic
I depend on the NYT, WaPo, The Atlantic, The Nation, HuffPo and several other publications & websites as well as CNN / CBS / NBC / ABC / MSNBC to affirm and validate my world view, and without them I would be in more despair than I am already. I very much fear that this initiative could potentially constrain these and other like-minded media outlets from collectively exercising their freedom to define truth as they see it and to selectively present supporting facts. If this initiative means I won't be able to get the news the way I want to get it, then I'd just as soon not have any media at all.
McDesign
Wow - such a diversity of viewpoints represented by the backers. I don't think this initiative will be particularly useful, except as SJW street cred.
bajessup
KungfuSteve and Daishi are correct. This initiative is intended to discredit non-leftist news. Currentlypro- conservative news is usually omitted by the MSM (omission is itself a powerful propaganda technique) or smeared with spin if it is reported. Brietbart news is a primary target of this initiative, because it publishes news that the leftist media suppress. http://www.breitbart.com/ What is particularly dangerous about this self-styled "fake news" initiative is that it intends to use the internet to automate pro-leftist news bias on the most massive scale in history. e.g. The Trust Project's participation: "We take advantage of our location at the heart of Silicon Valley to imagine technology that can bake the evidence of trustworthy reporting -- accuracy, transparency and inclusion –plainly into news practices, tools and platforms." Can anyone even imaging CNN including pro-Trump news for the sake of "inclusion?" Would the main stream media ever identify the sources of its government domestic surveillance leaks in the name of "transparency?" This initiative essentially moves partisanship into the non-transparent world of third party partisan organizations. Does their current list look like a group of "balanced and transparent" participants list to you? Arizona State University Center for Community and Ethnic Media at CUNY Journalism School Constructive Institute at Aarhus University Edelman European Journalism Centre Fundación Gabriel García Márquez para el Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano Hamburg Media School Hans-Bredow-Institut The Ida B. Wells Society International Center for Journalists News Literacy Project Polis, London School of Economics Ecole de Journalisme de Sciences Po (Sciences Po Journalism School) The Society of Publishers in Asia Trust Project Walkley Foundation Weber Shandwick Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Division for Freedom of Expression and Media Development headquartered in France Time to re-read George Orwell's "1984." It's here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four
ljaques
Right you are, Daishi. I'm quite skeptical but hope something like this does relieve the massive amount of crap and fake news 'they' spew onto the airwaves and Internet every second of every day. Let's hope they find some actually neutral and apolitical people to police this, eh? Otherwise, it'll just be less of the same.