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News Organisations to be Benefitted; as Social Media Giant, Facebook Announces $4.5 mn Investment

A recent announcement made by Facebook to invest an additional $4.5 million towards helping the news industry globally.

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New Facebook tool lets journalists scrutinise political ads. Pixabay

Facebook has announced to invest an additional $4.5 million towards helping the news industry globally.

The social media giant, that reported more than $5 billion in profit in the second quarter this year, said it will give $3.5 million towards “Facebook Membership Accelerator”, a three-month pilot programme designed to help news organisations with membership models.

“We are going to continue to coach the group of metro news publishers from the pilot programme through the end of this year, and we will reconvene with them in 2019 to focus on subscriber retention,” Campbell Brown, Global Head of News at Facebook, said in a blog post on Thursday.

Facebook also announced to contribute $1 million to the 2018 “NewsMatch” campaign which matches individual donations to more than 100 non-profit newsrooms around the country.

News organisations to be benefitted from Facebook's recent announcement. VOA
News organisations to be benefitted from Facebook’s recent announcement. VOA

“Last year, ‘NewsMatch’ helped make 2017 a record-breaking year for giving to non-profit journalism and we are excited to help NewsMatch expand in 2018,” said Brown.

The “Facebook Membership Accelerator” will help non-profit news organisations and local, independent publishers with membership models build sustainable businesses, by providing supporters access to exclusive content and experiences through memberships.

An earlier “Local News Subscriptions Accelerator” programme from Facebook was designed to test strategies focused on growing digital subscription acquisitions for local publishers.

“We’re encouraged by the early successes of this programme, and proud of the tangible business results that publishers have accomplished so far,” Brown noted.

Facebook to invest an additional $4.5 million towards helping the news industry globally. Pixabay
Facebook to invest an additional $4.5 million towards helping the news industry globally. Pixabay

Facebook said it is also working with publishers across the US and Europe to test support for subscriptions in “Instant Articles”.

“Moving forward, we’ll also be exploring ways to support emerging models like membership directly on Facebook,” said Brown.

Also Read: Facebook announces huge investment to empower community leaders

On Thursday, Facebook announced its first partnership in India with Chennai-based Asian School of Journalism (ACJ).

Part of the Facebook Journalism Project, the partnership will establish a scholarship programme at ACJ and support five students in four career specialisations — print, new media, radio and television. (IANS)

Next Story

New Zealand, France Plan in Effort to Stop Promotion of Terrorism, Violent Extremism on Social Media

A lone gunman killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, while livestreaming the massacre on Facebook

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FILE - The Facebook logo is seen on a shop window in Malaga, Spain, June 4, 2018. (VOA)

In the wake of the Christchurch attack, New Zealand said on Wednesday that it would work with France in an effort to stop social media from being used to promote terrorism and violent extremism.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement that she will co-chair a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on May 15 that will seek to have world leaders and CEOs of tech companies agree to a pledge, called the Christchurch Call, to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

A lone gunman killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, while livestreaming the massacre on Facebook.

Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, has been charged with 50 counts of murder for the mass shooting.

christchurch attack, new zealand, facebook
Students light candles as they gather for a vigil to commemorate victims of Friday’s shooting, outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 18, 2019. (VOA)

“It’s critical that technology platforms like Facebook are not perverted as a tool for terrorism, and instead become part of a global solution to countering extremism,” Ardern said in the statement.

“This meeting presents an opportunity for an act of unity between governments and the tech companies,” she added.

The meeting will be held alongside the Tech for Humanity meeting of G7 digital ministers, of which France is the chair, and France’s separate Tech for Good summit, both on 15 May, the statement said.

Ardern said at a press conference later on Wednesday that she has spoken with executives from a number of tech firms including Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Google and few other companies.

“The response I’ve received has been positive. No tech company, just like no government, would like to see violent extremism and terrorism online,” Ardern said at the media briefing, adding that she had also spoken with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg directly on the topic.

christchurch attack, facebook, new zealand
Facebook, the world’s largest social network with 2.7 billion users, has faced criticism since the Christchurch attack that it failed to tackle extremism. VOA

A Facebook spokesman said the company looks forward to collaborating with government, industry and safety experts on a clear framework of rules.

“We’re evaluating how we can best support this effort and who among top Facebook executives will attend,” the spokesman said in a statement sent by email. Facebook, the world’s largest social network with 2.7 billion users, has faced criticism since the Christchurch attack that it failed to tackle extremism.

ALSO READ: Social Media Giant Facebook Announces First Browser API for Google Chrome

One of the main groups representing Muslims in France has said it was suing Facebook and YouTube, a unit of Alphabet’s Google, accusing them of inciting violence by allowing the streaming of the Christchurch massacre on their platforms.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said last month that the company was looking to place restrictions on who can go live on its platform based on certain criteria. (VOA)