There are thousands of fake news websites that deliberately publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation purporting to be real news. These websites are often using social media to drive web traffic and amplify their affect. The purpose of these websites is to mislead the readers, often for financial and political gains.
As reported by CNBC, the biggest tech companies and organizations are collaborating in order to launch a new $14 million nonprofit organization to promote news literacy and increase trust in journalism.
The nonprofit is called News Integrity Initiative and it is going to be based at the City University of New York. The nonprofit is intended to be an independent project of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
According to CBS News, American’s trust in the media to report news entirely, precisely, and adequately is at its lowest level since the early 1970s. The Pew Research Center published a study last year that showed that consumers are more likely to view press organizations as biased when it comes to political views.
It is no surprise that the distrust of the media has grown so much alongside the fake news and bogus reports that are written up to look like articles from genuine press outlets. During the 2016 elections, there were thousands of fake news stories that spread quickly on social media. The fake clickbait headlines of the news drew more readers than real articles during the last three months of campaign coverage.
Facebook’s Head of News Partnerships said in a statement that the CUNY group is bringing experts from around the world in order to work toward improving news literacy and building more informed communities.
Other contributors to this cause include Craiglist founder Craig Newmark and the Ford Foundation. During the 2016 elections, Facebook was criticized for failing to halt the spread of fake news. In order to remedy the situation, Facebook hired fact checkers to detect false news reports.