Facebook Journalism Project to rebuild trust

Facebook Journalism Project to rebuild trust

Facebook’s new Journalism Project is being marketed as a way to recover ties with news organisations and the public in the midst of growing mistrust of the platform.

Allegations of inflated post analytics, censorship, rampant fake news sources and conservative bias brought Facebook much criticism in 2016.

Director of product Fidji Simo said Facebook would collaborate with news organisations “to develop products, learning from journalists about ways we can be a better partner, and working with publishers and educators on how we can equip people with the knowledge they need to be informed readers in the digital age.”

Facebook has partnership with journalism school the Poynter Institute, with education a significant aspect of the project. Other noteworthy organisations the company plan to collaborate with are are Institute for Journalism and the Knight Foundation.

To better interact with journalists and improve news accuracy on the site, Facebook has implemented its plan in three stages:

1) Collaborative development of news products
2) Training & Tools for Journalists
3) Training & Tools for Everyone

Collaborative development of news products will result in Facebook engaging business and journalists, with the introduction of new formats and ways to monetize content.

While pushing already established formats such as Live, 360 and Instant Articles, Facebook also discussed the introduction of a new feature which would allow pages to package articles of similar relevance on newsfeeds.

Journalists may also gain more independent control on news pages with the introduction of contributor credits providing greater flexibility to newsrooms and content producers.

On top of this, the platform also spoke of expanding their advertising opportunities through ad breaks in regular videos and pre-roll ads.

They also relaunched their recently acquired tool CrowdTangle, a social performance measure service, to their partners for free.

Facebook also took this opportunity to highlight the importance of local media in building communities and brands.

In it’s final commitment to news longevity on the platform, Facebook detailed the need to promote news literacy amoung consumers. The move in response to the growing mistrust of Facebook’s online sources following accusations of fake news and inflated analytics last year.

In the short term, the platform will produce several public service announcements in collaboration with the News Literacy Project to inform consumers on issues surrounding hoaxes, spam and inaccurate articles.

This is the first major announcement of the project, which has yet to be given an official launch date.

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