Facebook, Google, Bing and Twitter have all agreed to be part of a non-partisan effort called The Trust project which is aimed at enlightening users about the difference between reliable journalism and fake news.
As part of the agreement, “Trust Indicators” are going live on Facebook, offering easy-to-access, transparent information about a news organisation’s ethics and practices.
The Trust Project said that on Facebook, an icon will appear next to articles in the News Feed. On clicking this icon users will be able to read information the publisher has shared related to their organisation’s “ethics and other standards, the journalists’ backgrounds, and how they do their work.”
The German press agency dpa, the Economist, the Globe and Mail, the Independent Journal Review, Mic, Italy's La Repubblica and La Stampa, Trinity Mirror and The Washington Post are among the companies starting to go live with Trust Indicators this month. The Institute for Nonprofit News has developed a WordPress plug-in to facilitate broader implementation by qualified publishers.
Richard Gingras, vice president of news products at Google said: "Quality journalism has never been more important. Partnering with the Trust Project since its conception has been of significant importance to Google, in large part because we believe the indicators can help our algorithms better understand authoritative journalism –and help us to better surface it to consumers."
"We hope to use the Type of Work indicator to improve the accuracy of article labels in Google News, and indicators such as Best Practices and Author Info in our Knowledge Panels. We believe this is a great first step for the Trust Project and look forward to future efforts as well.”
Alex Hardiman, head of news products at Facebook said: “The Trust Indicators will provide a new level of accessibility and insight into the news that people on Facebook see day in and day out. We view this as a great next step in our ongoing efforts overall to enhance people's understanding of the sources and trustworthiness of news on our platform.”