Earlier this week, the Google-backed First Draft News media coalition announced that Facebook and Twitter are the latest two big names in the industry which agreed to join its fight against fake news and improve the general quality of journalism. More specifically, the said network was founded with the goal of facilitating communication between media organizations, social media platforms, and general tech companies so that all three can more efficiently gather, publish, and distribute news. In addition to that, the union will also attempt to improve communication between individual eyewitnesses and news organizations which may be interested in their stories.
Google believes that funding First Draft News is important in today's day and age due to the increasing number of fake news stories that are spreading online on a daily basis. The Mountain View-based tech giant took a bigger interest in the journalism industry in recent years and has been working independently in order to change it for the better. Its latest step in that endeavor before First Draft News was prioritizing local news stories within Google News.
In that regard, the fact that two of the largest social networks on the planet agreed to support the coalition is incredibly important given how platforms like Facebook and Twitter aren't just news aggregators anymore and are often playing the role of news sources. Members of the First Draft News network will agree to steps regarding verification of information contained in online articles which have the potential to go viral but details on this partnership are still vague at the moment.
Apart from Facebook and Twitter, First Draft Media already got a bunch of other big names to sign up to its cause. These include New York Times, Washington Post, Channel 4 News, and BuzzFeed News in the US, the Australian ABC News, and the European Agence France-Presse. All of them have the status of official partners in the coalition and have expressed the desire to cooperate in order to improve the general quality of online journalism.
First fruits of this collaboration are yet to be seen but Facebook's journalism partnerships manager Áine Kerr has already announced that the largest social network on the planet will definitely benefit from First Draft News. Namely, she expressed a strong belief that the union will allow Facebook to showcase the products and technologies it has built specifically for journalists while the social network can assist it by preventing the distribution of information that is confirmed as fake.