Facebook Launches Journalism Project to Battle Fake News
By Scott Sims
As we all know, Facebook is one of the primary platforms where people connect with each other to catch up and be entertained. Because of its audience’s interest in a variety of media, Facebook by default has become the largest worldwide distributor of information. The big problem is that there is no mechanism in place for fact checking the millions of stories that flow through its site.
This may change with the launch of “The Facebook Journalism Project.” The social media giant is using a combination of technology, tools, and partnerships to roll out this new initiative in the hopes of creating new projects, improving ethics, and eliminating fake news. This initiative will impact both the people who provide the news and those who consume it.
To fully understand the project’s impact, you must look at it piece by piece.
Say Goodbye to Fake News
Facebook has received a great deal of bad press due to its fake news problem. The company hopes to fix that with platform updates. These updates will allow people to report fake news stories and posts as they occur. In addition, Facebook is partnering with fact checking organizations that can quickly fact check posts and stories to find out if they are true or fake. In addition, Facebook will utilize some other measures to determine the validity of news stories. These actions should help build trust with users around the globe.
New Collaborations to Boost Engagement
Engagement is always important on Facebook, and the company hopes to use new collaborations to boost engagement, while delivering the news stories that readers want. In order to do this, Facebook’s product and engineering teams will work directly with publishers to create new storytelling formats. These formats will be based on consumption patterns, meaning publishers can expect to deliver the news in ways people want to read it.
Along with building new formats, Facebook will help publishers to improve their packaging for existing news formats. New packaging will help publications deliver multiple news stories to interested readers.
Growing Lists with Subscriptions
Subscription-based news is a growing trend, and Facebook hopes to get on board. The idea is to let publishers include a subscription box within Instant Articles. People can check the box to sign up for a free trial. Then, readers will have the option to stay on and pay after the trial runs out. This should help readers and publishers form long-lasting relationships with one another.
More Support for Local Publications
It can be hard for local news to compete in the global economy. Facebook wants to make it easier. The idea is still in the infancy stage, but the company intends to get input from local journalists and publications in order to help them reach their intended markets. This should make local news publishers more competitive in the global marketplace.
Ethical Guidance for Eyewitness News
Eyewitness news is an important part of Facebook and journalism. Journalists often turn to civilians for live videos when stories unfold, however, many overlook the ethical and legal standards that govern using civilian content.