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Wikitribune: Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales Launches Site to Fight Fake News

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The founder of Wikipedia has launched a new website to fight fake news. VOA
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April 25, 2017: The founder of Wikipedia is starting a website he says will fight so-called fake news.

Jimmy Wales says his Wikitribune site will bring journalists and volunteer fact checkers together to stop the spread of false news stories.

“We want to make sure that you read fact-based articles that have a real impact in both local and global events,” according to the group’s website.

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The volunteer fact checkers’ role will be similar to how editors work on Wikipedia. Any changes will be reviewed by other fact checkers.

The site will also carry stories by professional journalists.

Unlike most news sites, Wikitribune says it will post full transcripts of interviews “to the maximum extent possible.”

“It takes professional, standards-based journalism, and incorporates the radical idea from the world of wiki that a community of volunteers can and will reliably protect the integrity of information,” said Wales, according to CNN.

Money to fund the site will come from contributions as opposed to advertisements or subscriptions.

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“[Fake news] is literally designed to show us what we want to see, to confirm our biases, and to keep us clicking at all cost,” Wales said. “It fundamentally breaks the news.”

Some experts as skeptical, saying the site may only appeal to journalists and people who read a lot of news.

“I wonder whether it will be able to scale up to make a significant impact on the information sphere, especially on social networks such as Facebook where the main problems of fake news and misinformation occur,” saidCharlie Beckett, a professor at the London School of Economics, in an interview with CNN.

Wales’ Wikipedia has long battled criticism that it contains misleading or false information. (VOA)

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EU Authorities Direct Tech Giants To Submit Reports Regarding ‘Fake News’

U.S. technology giants have committed millions of dollars, tens of thousands of employees and what they say are their best technical efforts into fighting fake news

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European Commissioner for Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip, left, and European Commissioner for Justice Vera Jourova participate in a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels. VOA

European Union (EU) authorities want internet companies including Google, Facebook and Twitter to file monthly reports on their progress eradicating “fake news” campaigns from their platforms ahead of elections next year.

Officials from the EU’s executive Commission unveiled the measures Wednesday as part of an action plan to counter disinformation in the lead up to the continent-wide vote in the spring.

The internet companies will have to submit their reports from January until May, when hundreds of millions of people in 27 EU member countries are scheduled to vote for 705 lawmakers in the bloc’s parliament.

The Commission singled out Russia.

Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech, Russia, Sheryl Sandberg, EU
An advertisement in The New York Times is displayed on Sunday, March 25, 2018, in New York. Facebook’s CEO apologized for the Cambridge Analytica scandal with ads in multiple U.S. and British newspapers. VOA

“There is strong evidence pointing to Russia as a primary source of disinformation in Europe,” said Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip.

Many EU member countries have taken action to combat disinformation, but now “we need to work together and coordinate our efforts,” he said.

Russian authorities have repeatedly rejected Western accusations of sponsoring disinformation campaigns and described them as part of Western efforts to smear the country.

Other measures include a new “rapid alert system,” beefing up budgets, and adding expert staff and data analysis tools.

Google, Facebook, Twitter and browser maker Mozilla are the companies that so far have signed up to a voluntary EU code of conduct on fighting disinformation.

Fake News, EU
We don’t remove content for being false: Facebook. Flickr Common

They’ll be expected to report on how they’re carrying out commitments they made under the code, including their work on making political advertising more transparent and how many fake and bot accounts they have identified and shut down. They’ll also provide updates on their cooperation with fact-checkers and academic researchers to uncover disinformation campaigns.

Google, which declined to comment, has tightened up requirements for political ads in the EU, including requiring information on who paid for them and for buyers to verify their identities. Facebook, which did not respond to a request for comment, did the same for political ads in Britain.

Also Read: WhatsApp Partners With DEF To Train Community Leaders in Order To Tackle Fake News

U.S. technology giants have committed millions of dollars, tens of thousands of employees and what they say are their best technical efforts into fighting fake news, propaganda and hate that has proliferated on their digital platforms.

“We need to see the internet platforms step up and make some real progress on their commitments,” said Julian King, the EU security commissioner. If there’s not enough headway, the Commission would consider other options including regulation, he said. (VOA)