Wikipedia Founder Wants to Combat Fake News With New Site

Christine Rousselle
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Posted: Apr 25, 2017 6:30 PM
Wikipedia Founder Wants to Combat Fake News With New Site

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announced a new project aimed at combating "fake news," called Wikitribune. Like the Wikipedia site, this new site will also be crowd-funded and will not feature advertisements. Wikitribune is set to launch in mid-May, and Wales said that he hopes to have 10 people on staff at the beginning.

The goal of the site, said Wales, was to provide verifiable news that users would be able to flag if there were questions about accuracy or other issues with the story--not all dissimilar to how Wikipedia functions today. He also said that there would not be "clickbait" due to the lack of advertisers on the site--meaning that there would be no need to generate a certain number of clicks.

The Wikitribune website said articles would be authored, fact-checked and verified by journalists and volunteers working together, while users would be able to flag up issues and submit fixes for review.

Beckett said journalists could benefit from tapping into expertise or information held by readers, but said this was already being done by many mainstream media. He also said it was not a miracle remedy against inaccuracy.

Sounds interesting, and a potentially ground-breaking way to adapt journalism to the 21st century. "Fake news" and inaccurate reporting is nothing new, but this seems like an innovative technique to provide straight, accurate reporting to a willing audience.