Google on Tuesday revealed its plan fight misinformation and fake news on the internet. The company is announcing its new Google News Initiative, part of which will involve the company investing $300 million into the industry over the next three years.
"Our mission to build a more informed world is inherently tied to the reporting of journalists and news organisations", Mr Philipp Schindler, Google's chief business officer and senior vice-president, told journalists at a launch event in NY yesterday. "It's becoming increasingly hard to distinguish what's true (and not true) online". Early tests show that customers who used Google Shopping Actions bought an average of 20 percent more items.
"So we'll also highlight those sources across Google surfaces, beginning with a dedicated module on Search", said Albrecht in the blog post.
The lab's launch emerges as the fight against fake news reaches boiling point following allegations that millions of Facebook users had their data harvested to influence the United States presidential election. "We've trained our systems to recognize these events and adjust our signals toward more authoritative content", Google said.
Google is launching a charm offensive on publishers with the debut of a "Google News Initiative". For publishers using DoubleClick for Publishers, Google will algorithmically determine when to serve a subscription offer on a publisher's site rather than an ad. Propensity to Subscribe could be rolled out to more publications later this year.
Google announced a bunch of news-related stuff today that touches on a number of subjects related to news gathering and sharing. "When you search for a news topic for which your subscribed publication has relevant results, we'll showcase these so they're easy for you to see and access-without disrupting search ranking for the rest of the page". For the last six months, we've been holding working groups with participants from almost 60 news organizations across 18 countries to review our ideas and collect feedback. The study indicated that while trust in traditional media is riding high at 61%, more than half (59%) of consumers said they were unsure if news stories they viewed were true, while nearly seven in 10 said they anxious about fake news being used as "a weapon".
Google also said it was releasing a new analytics tool, News Consumer Insights, to help news organizations "understand and segment their audiences with a subscriptions strategy in mind". None of the launch partners are located in Canada, but Google promised more publishers are coming soon. Launch partners include The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Telegraph, the Financial Times among several other global publications.
But we're also working directly with news organizations to combat misinformation.
"We think that having to log in once can improve the user experiences in a small but important way", said Bonita Stewart, VP of global partnerships. It's an open-source tool that will assist news organizations setup their own VPN on a private server.