Facebook And Twitter Join Forces To Take Down Fake News On Social Networks

By Bien R. Gruba III , Sep 14, 2016 09:14 PM EDT

Social media giant Facebook and premiere news social media network Twitter have joined forces for the First Draft, a network of over 30 news and technology companies that deal with the malicious impact of fake news on the internet.

First Draft aims to raise the quality of information users get from web sites and social media networks. Other prominent members of the group include New York Times, Washington Post, Agence France-Presse, and CNN.

According to Fortune, the coalition agreed to form a "voluntary code" of rules and regulation which will encourage "news literacy" among internet readers. The group hopes that the initiative will prompt online readers to check the veracity of news stories.

First Draft was first formed back in June 2015 under the leadership of Alphabet's Google.

The platform will roll out by October's end, according to Jenni Sargent who is managing director of the coalition.

Cnet quoted Sargent's blog post where she said: "There is a thriving community of specialists working around the world who have developed and honed social newsgathering and verification skills. With the launch of this partner network, people can work together on ideas and initiatives, including a train-the-trainer programme, the launch of a collaborative verification platform, and the creation of a voluntary code of practice."

Fortune opines that since Facebook is the world's most dominant social media network with approximately 1.7 billion monthly users, greater than the population of China, it has a responsibility to take on the fake stories that might lead to fraud or misinformation.

The publication also said that Twitter is equally responsible since it has about 140 million daily users and these users have a key role in shaping news and disseminating eyewitness accounts.

"The First Draft partner network represents an important opportunity for the news industry to work together on best practices, trainings, research and more. We're excited to help and support newsrooms that are experts in using eyewitness content," Áine Kerr, manager of journalism partnerships at Facebook, said in an emailed statement to Cnet.

Twitter told Cnet: "We are thrilled to be part of the network so that we can collaboratively shape best practices, ethical guidelines and tools when it comes to discovering and verifying eyewitness media."

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