One of the things I care a lot about when it comes to online information is the news. Freedom of speech is a great thing, however it does put some responsibility back at the readers, who then also need to get skills in validating sources. Just because it says so on some obscure site on the Internet doesn’t make things true. People should really spend some time working out what sources are reliable when it comes to facts, and which sources that are not.
In connection with the US election in November last year you might have read some articles in the election aftermath, about how “bias bubbles” are created online, and on sites like Facebook et al you basically socialise with friends who think the same as yourself, and you as a group pretty much read the same biased news all the time, often missing the opposing arguments. Although that type of studies are interesting, that is not a topic of this article.
I do however want to share links to Media Bias Fact Check and All Sides as they can help you in finding unbiased news sources in general, especially if you are in the US, though they list a few international sources too.
I basically just wanted to inform you of Wikitribune, which is an initiative started by Jimmy Wales, who is also the founder of Wikipedia. His new project is called Wikitribune. If you are interested in unbiased news that are based on facts, not opinions or political agendas, and which still is free of advertising, you should check it out. Further to that, you should support it: donate money to it, to ensure it gets going and that it stays going strong.
Yes, you read that right: free of advertising. Unbiased facts. No ads.
People seem to be quite excited about this prospect. In fact, I have only seen one sceptical article about it so far, but if you want to read up on Wikitribuneelsewhere, check out the coverage in The Guardian, Ars Technica and Wired.
Facebook & Google
Actually there has been more news this last week on the topic of Fake News, and both Facebook and Google are introducing initiatives to combat Fake News.
Facebook will be testing a new format for their “related articles”, which will lump articles together into a related topic that lots of people are discussing right then on Facebook.
Google on the other hand will introduce new functionality that is related to their search results. To make a longer explanation shorter, they basically will make it easier for people to flag search results, and give them a couple of options, some of which are new.
They are also enabling functionality to be able to flag pre-filled search suggestions. You know, those that fold down when you start typing a search and they go into their database and do a predictive dig of what you possibly might be aiming for. Those suggestions can now also be flagged as “offensive” or “hateful” etc.
If you want to read in more detail about those changes, go and have a look at the article in the screenshot above, from Techcrunch.
All in all, good stuff, that will make the world a slightly better place. Oh, and remember to go donate some money to Wikitribune.
What do you think?