News Outlets, Social Media Team Up to Qualify Credible News

Seventy-five news organizations teamed with social media giants Facebook and Twitter as well as Google and other tech firms Thursday in an initiative to identify “trustworthy” news sources shared online.

The “Trust Project,” a consortium of news agencies and tech firms meeting in Santa Clara, California, is creating a “trust indicator” to make readers aware of a news story’s credibility.

“In today’s digitized and socially networked world, it’s harder than ever to tell what’s accurate reporting, advertising, or even misinformation,” said Sally Lehrman of Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, the project leader. “An increasingly skeptical public wants to know the expertise, enterprise and ethics behind a news story.”

The new indicators will appear as “i” symbols alongside articles posted online and will indicate how a story was reported, the media company’s standards and the writer’s credentials.

Google, Facebook, and Twitter have been criticized for spreading fake news, particularly during the election in 2016, some of which was perpetuated by Russia.

In a Senate hearing earlier this month, Twitter said it has taken action against the suspected Russian trolls, suspending 2,752 accounts and implementing new dedicated teams “to enhance the quality of the information our users see.”

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