Google Plans Massive Investment to Fight Fake News

REUTERS

Google already understands that it plays an important role in connecting us with the news we read, and a year ago we told you about changes Google was making to its search practices in order to combat the spread of "fake news", including new feedback tools for reporting misleading or offensive content.

Google is launching a new initiative to make it easier for users to subscribe to their favorite news sites, without leaving the service, or engaging in a lengthy sign-up process. "It's becoming increasingly hard to distinguish what's true (and not true) online", Google said in a blog post today.

"We have taken a fundamentally different approach from the likes of Amazon because we see ourselves as an enabler of retail", said Daniel Alegre, Google's president for retail and shopping, in an interview with Reuters. "This money will be used for several purposes but perhaps most importantly, it will be used to "[work] directly with news organizations" to combat misinformation through the "First Draft" program. So we've trained our systems to recognize these events and adjust our signals toward more authoritative content.

The blog post paints the effort as a culmination of Google's efforts to understand its place in the news ecosystem of today, and Apple has been considering them as well.

Google has made a decision to get serious about cracking down on the spread of fake news and the algorithms that enable its platforms to circulate these untrustworthy sources. The product, training and research offered as part of the Digital News Initiative will move under the GNI umbrella and the DNI Fund will continue to support innovative projects from European news organisations. Google says it's committing $10 million through Google.org on a global media literacy initiative, which will include partnering with the fun, harmless YouTube stars like John Green that that, you know, the teens love. It won't affect typical Google Search results, the company has confirmed.

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Google has partnered with ABC Sport, Fox, Rugby and AFL News for sports news bulletins, allowing you access to great news briefs which are updated once a day during the off-season, and twice a day in the regular season - simply by asking Google Assistant 'Ok Google, play the West Coast Eagles news'.

"We think that having to log in once can improve the user experiences in a small but important way", said Bonita Stewart, VP of global partnerships.

Finally, we're also launching today Outline, an open-source tool from Jigsaw that lets news organizations provide journalists more secure access to the internet.

"A lot of the solutions with come from the journalism industry and the tech industry working together", Ramirez said in the YouTube video.

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