Facebook, Twitter join hands with media companies to filter ‘fake’ news stories

Facebook, Twitter join hands with media companies to filter 'fake' news stories
Hoax story about 9/11 attacks. Image Courtesy : Seth Fiegerman

Social media giants Facebook and Twitter have joined a network of more than 30 international media companies and organisations in a bid to filter out fake news stories and to improve the quality of information found online.

“First Draft Coalition, an Alphabet-backed venture, said it would create a voluntary code of practice, attempt to increase news literacy among social media users and will launch a collaborative verification platform,” tech website CNET reported on Tuesday.

The members of the coalition include New York Times and CNN.

“The First Draft partner network represents an important opportunity for the news industry to work together on best practices, trainings, research and more,” said Áine Kerr, Manager of Journalism Partnerships, Facebook.

For both Facebook and Twitter, fake news has been a crucial problem. Most recently, Facebook’s news trending algorithm put a hoax story about 9/11 at top of its list, linking to an article by The Daily Star which claimed that controlled explosions destroyed the World Trade Centre Towers in 2001.

Facebook currently has more than a billion monthly active users, and its Trending Topics is prominent section for views, whether stories are true or not. Twitter on the other hand boasts of around 140 million daily users and plays a crucial role in breaking news.

According to the report, social networks have become a popular source of news for many, trailing only TV as a top source of information.

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