Social networking site Facebook expresses its plan to invest $300 million in local programs related to news, The Economic Times reports. According to Campbell Brown, this development aims to aid local newsrooms and publications to recover from the decrease in profits, which is viewed as an effect of the internet. With this initiative, Facebook seeks to boost the presence of local information and stories on users’ feeds.
The Economic Times says that this move intends to combat its image as a “hotbed of misinformation and elections-meddling.” This is also meant to address request by users to have more relatable content on their newsfeeds. To deliver, the company implemented the ‘Today In’ feature that allows consumers to view more stories happening in nearby communities.
The investment offers a $5 million funding for the Pulitzer Centre which is set to introduce its ‘Bringing Stories Home’ project. It also provides $1 million to the Local Media Consortium and the Local Media Association.
Facebook and Fake News
A recent article by Global News consulted a study conducted by researchers at Princeton University, which revealed that individuals above 65 years old shared the greatest number of false news during the campaign period in 2016. Moreover, those leaning towards conservative values also exhibited the same behaviour of sharing fake stories.
In an announcement posted on Facebook for Media, Vice President for News Feed Adam Mosseri addressed the issue of fake information. Mosseri emphasized that the company is moving to avoid the dissemination of these stories through the creation of new products, offering options and cutting financial incentives proliferators of fake stories gain.
Regarding the effectiveness of these measures, Mashable reports that these initiatives seem to be working. Antonia Woodford, Facebook’s Product Manager was glad to share that their team is becoming more effective in spotting false stories. They are also seeing progress in addressing these issues. In fact, the company has fact checkers working to verify reported fake news shared through their platform. However, they continue to face challenges as misinformation remains rampant in their social networking site.