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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

After this last election cycle everyone wants to battle fake news

Cats Against Fake News 

Jimmy Wales, a founder of Wikipedia, is launching a new online publication which will aim to fight fake news by pairing professional journalists with an army of volunteer community contributors. 

The news site is called Wikitribune. From a report: "We want to make sure that you read fact-based articles that have a real impact in both local and global events," the publication's website states.

 The site will publish news stories written by professional journalists. 

But in a page borrowed from Wikipedia, internet users will be able to propose factual corrections and additions. 

The changes will be reviewed by volunteer fact checkers. Wikitribune says it will be transparent about its sources.

 It will post the full transcripts of interviews, as well as video and audio, "to the maximum extent possible." The language used will be "factual and neutral."

Google said today it is taking its first attempt to combat the circulation of "fake news" on its search engine. 

The company is offering new tools that will allow users to report misleading or offensive content, and it also pledged to improve results generated by its algorithm.

From a report: 

 While the algorithm tweaks should impact on general search results, the reporting tools have been designed for Google's Autocomplete predictions and Featured Snippets which have been problematic in recent months. 

Updated algorithms should help to ensure more authoritative pages receive greater prominence, while low-quality content is demoted. 

Vice president of engineering at Google Search, Ben Gomes, admits that people have been trying to "game" the system -- working against the spirit of the purpose of algorithms -- to push poor-quality content and fake news higher up search results.

 He says that the problem now is the "spread of blatantly misleading, low quality, offensive or downright false information."


 Facebook wants you to think about whether a headline is true and see other perspectives on the topic before you even read the article.

 In its next step against fake news, Facebook today begins testing a different version of its Related Articles widget that normally appears when you return to the News Feed after opening a link. 

Now Facebook will also show Related Articles including third-party fact checkers before you read an article about a topic that many people are discussing.

 If you saw a link saying "Chocolate cures cancer!" from a little-known blog, the Related Article box might appear before you click to show links from the New York Times or a medical journal noting that while chocolate has antioxidants that can lower your risk for cancer, it's not a cure. 

If an outside fact checker like Snopes had debunked the original post, that could appear in Related Articles too.

 Facebook says this is just a test, so it won't necessarily roll out to everyone unless it proves useful. 

 It notes that Facebook Pages should not see a significant change in the reach of their News Feed posts.

 There will be no ads surfaced in Related Articles.

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