In an effort to curb “Fake news” and online misinformation, Facebook, Twitter, Bing and Google have announced that they are joining the Trust Project. The project is an effort aimed at solving the problem of widespread online misinformation and false news. The Trust Project has released eight "Trust indicators", including Best Practices, Author Expertise, Type of Work, Citations and References, Methods, Locally Sourced, Diverse Voices, and Actionable Feedback.
The above-mentioned websites will soon start displaying these “Trust Indicators” with their posted content. These indicators will add context and provide additional information to help users differentiate between quality journalism and promotional content or misinformation. For example, tapping on the Trust Indicator on Facebook will provide a description of the publisher, trending or related articles similar to the topic, and information about how users on the platform are sharing it.
Facebook announced that they are currently testing these Trust Indicators with a small group of publishers, with a broader rollout planned over the coming months. Google said it is still working on how to display the Trust Indicators on articles that may appear on Google News, Google Search, and other Google products where news can be found.
The Trust Project is led by journalist Sally Lehrman of Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University. Working with over 75 news organisations from around the world, the project has come up with the Trust Indicators to help people spot misinformation or Fake news and be more aware of the media they are consuming.
Back in October, Facebook, Google and Twitter failed to curb the spread of false news related to the Las Vegas massacre. Since then the online media platforms have boosted their efforts to combat the issue.