fake news

Facebook adds ‘trust indicators’ to its news to fight misinformation

In the wake of “fake news” and the age of online journalism, where the dissemination of falsehood runs rampant, Facebook has made an effort to intervene. By implementing “Trust Indicators” — that go live on the site today — when users click on a news story, they will be provided with additional context regarding the article’s reporter and publisher. The reader will have the option of reviewing the publisher’s ethics policy, reporting standards, and ownership structure, as well as the individual journalist’s reporting history and credentials.

According to a statement from Facebook, these efforts to provide news stories with background are to help people “make more informed [news] decisionsadvance news literacy and education, [by] working to reinforce indicators of publisher integrity on our platform.”

This decision comes in the wake of several other media platforms and news outlets joining The Trust Project, including Twitter, Google, and The Washington Post. The Trust Project is a nonpartisan effort to restore public faith in the media. It was created by award-winning journalist, Sally Lehrman of Santa Clara University’s Applied Ethics Department, and is being funded by Craigslist founder, Mark Newmark.

“An increasingly skeptical public wants to know the expertise, enterprise and ethics behind a news story. The Trust Indicators put tools into people’s hands, giving them the means to assess whether news comes from a credible source they can depend on,” said Lehrman.

Google has yet to apply its own version of Trust Indicators, though it has agreed to participate in the cause. On November 16, Google Product Manager Jeff Chang said in a blog post that Google is still sorting out how precisely the indicators will appear next to the article. Chang said Google plans to utilize Trust Indicators within Google News, Google Search, as well as “other Google products where news can be found.”

Photo Credit: Mediaite

H/T: Tech Crunch

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