Facebook is directing $4.5 million toward helping the news industry, by donating to a fund for nonprofit newsrooms and kicking off a program to help publishers that need memberships to make money.
The world's largest social network, which earned more than $5 billion in profit in its latest three-month quarter, said earlier this year that it would renew its focus on things like . But in the last month, the company has faced a wave of criticism about how it handles fake news and . Much of the latest outcry has stemmed from Facebook's about whether outlets like and and need to be removed.
Facebook also has a long history of antagonizing traditional news outlets. Publishers have complained that the company has built a flourishing business thanks in part to social sharing of journalism but that it doesn't shoulder the expense of producing that content or share much of the reward.
In its latest announcement, Facebook said Thursday that it's launching a $3.5 million Facebook Membership Accelerator, which is a three-month pilot program designed to help news companies with membership models.
It's also contributing $1 million to NewsMatch, which fund-raises for nonprofit newsrooms in the US.
Facebook also provided an update about its Local News Subscriptions Accelerator, which started as a $3 million, three-month pilot program to help metropolitan newspapers with digital subscriptions. The company has dedicated another $500,000 to it, and it will continue to coach the group of metro news publishers from the pilot program through the end of this year.
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