Facebook has announced a new project aimed at stemming the spread of misinformation and so-called fake news by deepening ties with news organizations.
The Facebook Journalism Project will offer training and tools for journalists in order to assist newsgathering and reporting, as well as provide “new storytelling formats.”
“We care a great deal about making sure that a healthy news ecosystem and journalism can thrive,” Facebook said in a blogpost announcing the project.
“The [fake news] problem is much bigger than any one platform, and it’s important for all of us to work together to minimize its reach.”
The project is recognition by the social network of its growing role as a source of news media for its users and one of the world’s largest distributors of information.
Facebook has faced criticism for inadvertently spreading fake news, particularly in the build up to the U.S. presidential election.
Despite originally dismissing the idea that fake news was a serious issue, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has since laid out several plans on how to combat the problem. These include a project for stronger detection of misinformation and improved verification methods.
The latest effort comes after legal complaints were made against Facebook in Germany over accusations it allowed the spread of posts containing fake news about a Syrian refugee.
An image of Anas Modamani appeared on Facebook claiming he attempted to set fire to a homeless man. His image was also shared on the social network in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Brussels, falsely suggesting that he was one of the terrorists.
“Anas Modamani is fighting back based on his personal rights so that no person is able to slander him or accuse him of crimes,” Modamani’s lawyer said in a video posted to Facebook.
“Facebook is unusually difficult about implementing German law. For example, slander and abusive insults are against German law, but not against its community standards.”