Facebook Releases New Plan to Combat Fake News

Facebook Journalism Project
(Image Credit: BeauStocker/Shutterstock.com)

In effort to combat fake news, Facebook has announced a new initiative, “The Facebook Journalism Project“.

On Wednesday, Facebook announced a new program to help disseminate real news and filter out fake news. The program features several different programs including development programs and training tools for both journalists and Facebook users.

In the 1,503 word blog post, Facebook’s Director of Product, Fidji Simo, explained that the company is focused on creating a healthy news atmosphere to allow for journalism to succeed. In their new initiative, Facebook plans on working with different news organizations to create tools to make people more informed in the new age of digital media.

Simo broke down a three point plan. The first plan consists of working with other news organizations. Simo explained that they are interested in partnering with journalists to build products that help news outlets. Facebook shares an example that includes using the social network’s ‘Instant Articles’ tool to share multiple news stories at one time and supporting news outlets that use subscription based revenue models. Another part of their collaborative effort includes focusing on assisting local news outlets.

Also, Facebook announced that they are working on helping their news partners monetize their videos by providing a live ad break in between regular videos.

Simo also explained that they will be using their hackathons to develop solutions to common problems people experience on the Facebook platform. Not to mention, during Facebook’s annual F8 conference, the company will be holding conferences on journalism and online publishing.

But, Facebook is not only working on collaborating with news organizations. The social media giant also explained that they will be providing online courses for journalists. The programs tailored for journalists include how news writers can utilize Facebook and Instagram to their advantage, how news outlets can connect and engage by using Facebook Live, and how to use Instant articles.

In addition, Facebook announced that their recently acquired platform, CrowdTangle is now free to their Facebook partners. CrowdTangle is a way for news outlets to find news content, compare how a news story is doing in comparison to other news outlets, as well as monitoring how a particular story is being shared online.

Simo also explained that they will also be informing Facebook users how to read the news. In an initiative called “Promoting news literacy” Facebook is going to release public service ads (PSAs) to help inform people how to think critically about the news they read.

Ultimately, Facebook explained that they are focused on ending fake news stories. In a previous report, the social media giant outlined a list of programs to stop the spread of fake news across the social network. In addition, the company partnered with fact-checking organizations to verify stories.

These new initiatives highlights Facebook’s new program to make it easier for journalists to share news on the social network while, eliminating fake news from the platform.

In saying that, Facebook has been caught in the middle a censorship controversy. The UK newspaper The Guardian posted a story on how Facebook’s inability to remove suicide videos is problematic. Then in Thailand, Facebook is reportedly censoring content that the government does not like.