2016 has seen an increase in fake news stories, especially on Facebook where posts can go viral and spread like wildfire. The social media network has received its fair share of criticism regarding fake news, one of which is that fake news on Facebook influenced last year’s U.S. election results.
Since then, Facebook has implemented several measures to address the issue. Facebook has also banned fake news sites from its ad network.
In addition to these measures, Facebook has now introduced the Facebook Journalism Project in an effort to support journalism and promote a healthy news environment. According to an announcement made by the social media giant, the program aims to build stronger ties with news publishers:
“We will be collaborating with news organizations to develop products, learning from journalists about ways we can be a better partner, and working with publishers and educators on how we can equip people with the knowledge they need to be informed readers in the digital age.”
How the Facebook Journalism Project Works
Facebook has identified three ways for its journalism project to work:
- Collaborative news development: Facebook’s product and engineering teams will work with news organizations to create news stories in new storytelling formats such as Instant Articles, Live video, and 360 video. Facebook is also committed to supporting local and independent news outlets, and will meet regularly with publishers across the globe.
- Tools and training for journalists: Journalists can learn more about Facebook’s products and services through a series of e-learning courses and newsroom training in partnership with established news and media institutions such as the Knight Foundation, Local Independent News Online, and Institute for Journalism in New Media, among others. Facebook has also announced new Live features that would greatly help publishers.
- Tools and training for everyone: Users can now report suspected fake news stories that appear on their News Feed and Facebook will send these stories to third-party fact checking organizations. If these stories are found to be fake, they will be flagged as disputed. Facebook will also be promoting news literacy through a series of public service ads.
Hopefully, the Facebook Journalism Project is a step forward in helping curb fake news and fostering genuine journalistic efforts.