Wikipedia founder tackles fake news with WikiTRIBUNE
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is launching a project aimed at reshaping the news media — and tackling the scourge of misinformation — using the same collaborative principles as the revolutionary online encyclopedia.
Wikitribune will rely on a broad online community of journalists and readers as fact checkers, a crowdsourcing model pioneered in the “wiki” system behind Wikipedia.
“The news is broken and we can fix it,” reads the website of the project unveiled by Mr Wales late Monday, describing itself as focused on “evidence-based journalism.”
On Twitter, Mr Wales called it “a news platform that brings journalists & volunteers together for fact-based articles with real impact.”
“Wikitribune takes professional, standards-based journalism and incorporates the radical idea from the world of Wiki that a community of volunteers can and will reliably protect and improve articles.”
The new service will be free, without advertising, relying on contributions from users in the same manner as the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation that operates Wikipedia.
It will ask supporters to subscribe for $15 per month and plans to hire at least 10 journalists to manage the site.
Mr Wales told the BBC: “I think we’re in a world right now where people are very concerned about making sure we have high quality fact-based information, so I think there will be demand for this.”
Fake news emerged as a serious issue during last year’s US election campaign, when clearly fraudulent stories circulated virally on social media, potentially swaying some voters.
Concerns have been raised since then about hoaxes and misinformation affecting elections in Europe; and internet firms have stepped up efforts to crack down on “click farms” and other systems that generate online ad revenue using made-up news stories.
Doreen Ann Agostino
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