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21 March 2018, 08:01 | Dawn Berry
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Google's chief business officer Phillip Schindler is pitching announcement of the company's "News Initiative" as an "effort to help journalism thrive in the digital age". "It's becoming increasingly hard to distinguish what's true (and not true) online".
Google is only too aware - the 2016 presidential election in the USA being a case in point - that certain events and types of news are more liable to spin than others. The firm is launching Disinfo Lab, alongside the First Draft, to combat misinformation and disinformation during elections and breaking news moments.
"Google has been the most responsive of the major platforms in terms of listening, trying to understand what we need, and changing their business rules", Thompson said.
Amid the uproar and consternation over fake news and misinformation in the Internet around the world, Google pledges to promote quality journalism - and put its money where its mouth is.
The new Subscribe With Google allows users to subscribe to specific news sites with their Google accounts, with Google managing the billing directly. The new subscription system will enable news publications to offer simpler subscription systems based on the platform provided by Google.
As part of the focus on improving Google's newsfeed, the company has committed to refining its search, news and YouTube algorithms to favour "authoritative sources" over relevance.
According to Schindler, the News Initiative is supposed to strengthen quality journalism, support sustainable business models, and empower newsrooms through technological innovation. Google says it's committing $10 million through Google.org on a global media literacy initiative, which will include partnering with the fun, harmless YouTube stars like John Green that that, you know, the teens love.
Google's huge investment of $300 million is critical for the news industry. Launch partners include The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Telegraph, the Financial Times among several other global publications.
Reuters reported that the new partnership, called Shopping Actions, will be made available to retailers of any size in the United States.
We're alsoworking directly with news organizations to combat misinformation. As part of this effort, the company has launched Outline, an open-source tool from Jigsaw that lets news outlets easily set up their own VPN on a private server. Africa is the only inhabited continent that's presently missing a representative on the list of Subscribe with Google partners, though the Alphabet-owned company already vowed to continue introducing new publishers to the program going forward.
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