Wikitribune – A Wikipedia Project to Fight Fake News

Jimmy Wales Wikitribune project
Jimmy Wales is hoping he may have found the solution to fake news.

We recently wrote about how search giant Google is looking to integrate fact checking into their search product, and Facebook looking to do something similar by hiring for a special role dedicated to help in the fight against fake news.  Now, Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, thinks he may have come up with an entirely new solution when users scour the web for their information.  The new platform will be named Wikitribune.  Read on for more about the new product.

According to NBC News, the founder of online encyclopedia Wikipedia, has released plans for what will be a crowd-funded news website, that will offer stories by journalists and volunteers working together, which is hopeful will help to prevent the spread of fake news.

The media platform would be free to read, and there would also be no advertising, as the expectation would be that supporters would be the ones to help monetize it.  As far as the accuracy of the articles, the verification process would be easy as the source material would also need to be provided as well.

The platform is expected to go live in 29 days.  “The news is broken, but we’ve figured out how to fix it,” Wales said in a promotional video on the website’s homepage.

The platform is aiming to raise enough money to be able to hire at least 10 professional journalists at the onset, and supporters are encouraged to give at least $10 a month.  However, the amount to be given can easily be changed, as well as the frequency.

“The kind of people who will pay attention to Wikitribune and contribute to it are people who are already pretty media-literate,” said Charlie Beckett, a media professor at the London School of Economics, pondering whether the new platform would be able to achieve stemming the flow of fake news.

Wales continued in the video arguing that since Internet users were expecting their news to be free, news sites were becoming increasingly reliant on advertising revenue, which would lead to the cause of what many consider to be “clickbait” articles, versus producing quality content.

He also mentions that part of the problem with users obtaining their news via social networks, advertising on those platforms are designed to show users what they already wanted to see, further confirming any biases that they might already have, versus neutral.

All articles on the Wikitribune website will be authored, fact-checked and verified by journalists and volunteers who will work together, and then they can in turn flag any issues, or submit fixes for further review.

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