Facebook spearheads $14M consortium to counter fake news

The social network is joined by Mozilla and a whole list of others to try and help people regain their trust in journalism.

Katie Collins
Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
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The reputation of journalism has been tainted by recent events.

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Facebook, Mozilla and Craigslist founder Craig Newmark want you to be able to trust the news again.

The three are part of a consortium of tech leaders, academics and nonprofits that are pouring $14 million into the creation of the News Integrity Initiative, they jointly announced on Monday.

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism will administer the initiative and will spearhead new literacy and aim to increase trust in journalism around the world. The hope is to create tools that will help people be discerning about stories they read online.

The issue of fake news surged into the public consciousness during last year's US presidential election. Facebook in particular was called out for allowing people to easily spread false news stories across its platform. In the wake of these accusations, the social network announced a number of projects, including tools alerting users to potentially problematic sources, as well as this latest initiative.

"The initiative will address the problems of misinformation, disinformation and the opportunities the internet provides to inform the public conversation in new ways," Facebook's head of news partnerships, Campbell Brown, said in a statement.

The full list of 19 partners is as follows:

  • Arizona State University, in the US
  • Center for Community and Ethnic Media at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, in the US
  • Constructive Institute at Aarhus University, in Denmark
  • Edelman, based in the US
  • European Journalism Centre, in the Netherlands
  • Fundación Gabriel García Márquez para el Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), based in Colombia
  • Hamburg Media School, in Germany
  • Hans-Bredow-Institut, in Germany
  • The Ida B. Wells Society, in the US
  • International Center for Journalists, based in the US
  • News Literacy Project, based in the US
  • Polis, London School of Economics, in the UK
  • Ecole de Journalisme de Sciences Po (Sciences Po Journalism School), in France
  • Society of Publishers in Asia, based in Hong Kong
  • Trust Project, based in the US
  • Walkley Foundation, in Australia
  • Weber Shandwick, based in the US
  • Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Division for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, headquartered in France

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