Google Unveils Plans to Fight Fake News
Google has said it will invest $300m in helping news organisations to fight fake news and grow their businesses.
On Tuesday, Google announced new efforts to support the media industry by fighting misinformation and bolstering journalism, which will live under a newly announced umbrella called the Google News Initiative. The search giant says its previous efforts may not be enough to combat the spread of fake news. “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish what’s true (and not true) online,” Google said in a blog post. “Business models for journalism continue to change drastically. The rapid evolution of technology is challenging all institutions, including the news industry, to keep pace.
The three specific goals of the Google News Initiative are to: highlight accurate journalism while fighting misinformation, particularly during breaking news events; help news sites continue to grow from a business perspective; and create new tools to help journalists do their jobs. Google is serious about supporting these goals, too, pledging to invest $300 million over the next three years.
Google is working to actively combat fake news, teaming up news organizations like First Draft to launch a new “Disinfo Lab” to combat fake news during elections and breaking news, although Google hasn’t yet provided any details as to where it will live or what form it will take. The search giant is also working with the Poynter Institute, Stanford University, and the Local Media Association to launch a new program called MediaWise for younger readers to improve digital media literacy.
Google’s announcements were met with a mix of predictable optimism and cynicism among journalists.
Additionally, Google is also launching a program called “Subscribe with Google” that will make it easier for people to subscribe to online news sites like The New York Times or the Financial Times. Users will be able to subscribe directly from news pages using their existing payment information from their Google account.