BY Elizabeth Carlson (’17)
“Fake News” has been the topic of conversation for the past few weeks. How do we know what is real and what is fake? Here’s a little summary about what is going on with fake news. (I do encourage reading content from the websites that I have hyperlinked. l learned a lot from them.)
The Facebook Journalism Project is a way for Facebook to help decrease the amount of fake news that is published every day by working with journalists, researchers, and educators. According to Adweek, the Facebook Journalism Project is directed by Fidji Simo.
The News Literacy Project website says the Facebook Journalism Project is a broad initiative “designed to support quality journalism and news literacy.”
According to a Forbes article, Facebook is trying to achieve promoting higher quality journalism through three main objectives:
- Work with journalists to build storytelling tools and monetization options
- Train journalists to help them make the best use of Facebook as a tool
- Partner with third parties to promote news literacy on and off the social network
Facebook not only wants to achieve the objectives listed above. They are also teaming up with The News Literacy Project. The News Literacy Project’s mission outlined on its website is to work with educators and journalists to teach middle and high school students how to differentiate between facts and fiction in this digital age.
I believe this teaming up between this organization and Facebook is great news. Misleading information and outright falsehoods masquerading as news surround us every day. It is especially crucial for the younger generation to know the difference.
Facebook has shown it wants to make a difference in the news industry by helping educators, journalists and researchers to get correct information distributed worldwide. Forbes says Facebook and other social media platforms have become key mediums for reaching audiences. This is true considering most people turn to social media as a fast, continuously updating and convenient news source.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw the major problems with articles being placed on Facebook and thought of a solution. Zuckerberg was quoted in Forbes as saying that articles on Facebook which are reported enough times or flagged will now be examined by Poynter’s International Fact Checking Network. Using a “disputed” tagging system, the articles will still be able to be on Facebook but a warning will show up that the content is “disputed” once the article is accessed.
I think that this new project will be a success for Facebook, for journalists and for the future news industry.
Feature Image: Screenshot from Facebook Journalism Project Page
Elizabeth is a senior graphic design major and an advertising minor. When she is not in the classroom, she is Assistant Design Editor for The Wood Word, or she is playing for the women’s soccer team at Marywood.