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Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales is Launching an Online Publication To Fight Fake News (cnn.com) 190

Jimmy Wales, a founder of Wikipedia, is launching a new online publication which will aim to fight fake news by pairing professional journalists with an army of volunteer community contributors. The news site is called Wikitribune. From a report: "We want to make sure that you read fact-based articles that have a real impact in both local and global events," the publication's website states. The site will publish news stories written by professional journalists. But in a page borrowed from Wikipedia, internet users will be able to propose factual corrections and additions. The changes will be reviewed by volunteer fact checkers. Wikitribune says it will be transparent about its sources. It will post the full transcripts of interviews, as well as video and audio, "to the maximum extent possible." The language used will be "factual and neutral."
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Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales is Launching an Online Publication To Fight Fake News

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  • Remains to be seen (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 25, 2017 @10:27AM (#54298411)

    If there's anything I've learned about journalism in the last 41 years, it's that everyone puts their own slant on it. Regardless of their politics.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What do you expect? This is slantdot after all.

    • If there's anything I've learned about journalism in the last 41 years, it's that everyone puts their own slant on it.

      o Publishers - slant, selection bias
      o Advertisers - selection bias on source and slant by rewarding max eyeballs
      o Editors - slant, selection bias for stories
      o Reporters - slant, selection bias for sources
      o Information sources - slant, winners get to write history
      o Reader's choice of media - slant, selection bias

      ...it's not like it's showing any signs of getting better, either.

    • Are you saying there isn't fake news out there. I'm not talking about the New York Times favoring their favorite candidate. There is objectively fake news that can be demonstrated by anyone who is capable of examination the story with anything more than a skin deep effort.

      For Example:
      We got right wing anti-vaxers protecting the cancer causing HPV viruses. They view it a as a form of social moral control put there by God. They even invented a fake, official looking, "American College of Pediatricians" which

      • What's "objectively fake" about the "American College of Pediatricians"?

        I don't know who or what they are, but it just seems you don't like them and what they're doing. Are they claiming to have medical licenses when they don't?

        Further, the HPV vaccine only targets a handful of viruses that may be correlated to higher rates of certain types of cancer. Yet they fucking initially marketed it as cancer vaccine, with an entire ad campaign with young girls skipping rope and chanting "One less, one less! I'm g

        • . Then they aggressively tried to force the vaccine on all middle school girls despite the fact that the viruses they protect against aren't generally considered communicable unless you're doing the nasty

          Um yeah? It's common and spread by sex. You're therefore much off vaccinating before people start having sex, rather than after they've already caught the virus.

          • No, you'll still get HPV if you're having unprotected sex even if vaccinated, you just won't get the handful of strains this vaccine protects against that have been correlated to a mild increase in the risk of developing certain cancers.

            This isn't anything like an MMR vaccine. It's not even as justifiable as pushing for everyone to get a flu shot.

        • What's "objectively fake" about the "American College of Pediatricians"?

          Because the are not pediatricians, asshole.

          Further, the HPV vaccine only targets a handful of viruses that may be correlated to higher rates of certain types of cancer.

          Yeah, that's exactly what it is supposed to do.

    • Quite so. The disadvantage of a semi-crowdsourced system like the one Wales proposes is that the volunteers are anonymous, so you never know which bias has been applied. At least with Fox News or CNN you know where you stand.
  • When Wikipedia was proposed, I thought the original intent was that Wikipedia would be the drawing board for Nupedia articles maintained by professional writers. Is there a similar relationship between Wikinews [wikinews.org] and Wikitribune?

    RTFA? I closed the CNN tab when an ad started playing audio.

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      Not making any excuses for CNN as that's inexcusable.
      But I highly recommend having all tabs muted by default.
      I use the mutetab extension with the Tab audio muting UI control enabled in chrome.
      The AutoMute extension also works well.

      Having to unmute tabs is a minor annoyance for me compared to having things start playing in the background i'm not expecting.

    • by Teancum ( 67324 )

      I'd say it is just as doomed as Nupedia too. Apparently this really surprised the Wikinews regulars [wikinews.org] as a sort of strike of lightning out of the dark and that their relationship with Jimmy Wales is dubious at best. Mr. Wales got zero input and feedback from the Wikinews regulars in terms of how to set up the site or how to effectively manage it. That sounds like a colossal waste of time and energy as well as basically shooting himself in the foot right out of the gate as those would likely be the largest

  • by ctrl-alt-canc ( 977108 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2017 @10:28AM (#54298423)

    ...the launch of Wikitribune has been dismissed as a fake news by Jimmy Wales itself.

  • Rather than write yet more material, why not make a way to consolidate links to various topics in a convenient way so that one can read multiple viewpoints? That way I can see what Fox News says about any given topic, but also what NBC says about the same topic. Use the fancy dancy AI, probably with human helpers, to match up articles about given events.

    • What's the difference between what you describe and Google News?

      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        Crappy interface for finding what you want packaged together nicely and compactly. I don't see any serious attempt to group by a given event. Maybe I missed a magic button somewhere?

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Tuesday April 25, 2017 @10:44AM (#54298549) Homepage Journal

      Because the idea that there are alternate facts and all viewpoints are equally valid needs to die. There really is objective truth and impartial journalism is entirely possible.

      To be honest I'm not sure what this new site adds. Sources like the BBC are already very good. Yes, they screw up sometimes, but they fix it and 99% of the time are factually accurate and impartial. We don't really need more than that, what we need is a way to flag up fake news and opinion marketed as news.

      Imagine if inaccurate statistics or misrepresentation of sources could be flagged up by wiki-style crowd sourcing. Kinda like what Facebook is doing but with volunteers and public oversight instead of Facebook staff, and for all sites.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        BBC is very left wing. YOU think they are good, because they slant things the way you like.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Really has a left wing bias, that's all. The BBC gets accused of being left and right wing pretty much equally.

        • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2017 @06:50AM (#54304079)

          BBC is very left wing. YOU think they are good, because they slant things the way you like.

          No, the BBC is objectively rated as centre right. The problem you have is that you have gone so far to the extreme right, you dont even know what the left is.

          In 1951, Winston Churchill won the election as a conservative, however by modern standards he's left of Obama (who isn't left at all).

          Now the BBC is a more reliable source of information for several reasons.
          1. The BBC checks their facts.
          2. When the BBC publishes incorrect facts they issue a correction.
          3. The BBC does not rely on cliche's or appeals to fear/emotion.

          Now the reason you believe the BBC is biased is because you're not familiar with what real news looks like. Real news is written in a way to present facts, Fox, Breitbart, Daily Mail, et al. are written in a way to present opinions. As you've probably lived all your life hiding and fighting facts that you don't believe in, any source that presents information, especially information in a dispassionate manner would seem very biased to you. This does not make the source biased, rather it makes you an extremist.

          Also, when was the last time Fox News issued a correction, they broadcast several "mistakes" per day but never seem to issue a correction.

      • by bazorg ( 911295 )

        To be honest I'm not sure what this new site adds.

        I'm interested in what it can subtract. At the moment everyone and their dog needs to publish dozens of news articles to justify their price, be it in terms of ad revenue, or in size of time-slots on a TV channel.

        If this Tribune is good enough to stick to the main news for each region, with no pressure or urgency to cover the latest in "weird and wonderful" events, it's an improvement. Sooner or later the other media will stand out as being silly and will lose relevance. A lot like adwords made punch the mo

      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        Because the idea that there are alternate facts and all viewpoints are equally valid needs to die.

        If a claim starts gathering eyeballs, you have to address it head on. It's going to happen whether it "should" or not.

        That's where a quick-acting debunking service would help. Debunking sites exist, but are usually late to the party. If a given fake article or fake meme pops up, then a debunking service can pop into action to check it out. Stick some ads on the side of the site to pay for it.

        Like if you see a

        • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

          If a claim starts gathering eyeballs, you have to address it head on. It's going to happen whether it "should" or not.

          Too many people want to believe the false narratives, that's why they survive. They greatly prefer the idea that their side is the noble and perfect one, the other side is always self-serving, craven, and evil. That's much more comforting than the notion that both their side and the other side have some real murky greys.

      • impartial journalism is entirely possible.

        It's certainly possible, but if you can actually show me an instance of it, I'd be quite surprised. I don't recall seeing such a thing. Ever.

        There's selection bias, where the story that is told is not the only story, and/or leaves out pertinent details that variously pollute the information transfer to the information consumer. This occurs at the publisher, editorial, reporter and information source levels.

        There are errors in collecting information, which can be cha

      • by asylumx ( 881307 )

        what we need is a way to flag up fake news and opinion marketed as news.

        To pile on to what you said, I think opinions taken as news are the biggest problem. They aren't technically fake news because they aren't news, but people treat them as though they are. You get most of the talking heads doing exactly this -- spewing their opinions all over 24-hr 'news' networks. It's not that I don't believe opinion has a place in news, but it matters whose opinion is being reported, and how clearly it is indicated

      • We don't really need more than that, what we need is a way to flag up fake news and opinion marketed as news.

        Or even more prevalent: thinly veiled advertisements and product announcements masquerading as "news".

        As long as maximizing revenue is top priority at a "news" organization, journalism will suffer.

      • Sources like the BBC are already very good. Yes, they screw up sometimes, but they fix it and 99% of the time are factually accurate and impartial.

        citation needed

        We don't really need more than that, what we need is a way to flag up fake news and opinion marketed as news.

        Ah, the good ol' truth by popular acceptance approach.

      • Because the idea that there are alternate facts and all viewpoints are equally valid needs to die. There really is objective truth and impartial journalism is entirely possible.

        Bring forth your Vulcans!! No aspies won't do, can't understand social context to be effective. Rest of the human race is corruptible.

        See this for a live example of how to manipulate "real news":
        http://www.politico.com/magazi... [politico.com]

      • Because the idea that there are alternate facts and all viewpoints are equally valid needs to die.

        Like this one? [twimg.com] How about this one [imgur.com]? Same facts, yet both MSM and yourself feel that only one of the two facts in the screenshots are "real" and the other is simply "fake". There's more, like for example this one [twimg.com]. Or this one [i.redd.it]

        If the ideology you spout:

        the idea that there are alternate facts and all viewpoints are equally valid needs to die.

        gains any weight, the first viewpoint to get abolished by the average person will be yours.

        (Those images, btw, are representative of the group who are pushing very strongly to filter 'fake news'. Beware of what you wish for)

    • Let's see the same story, as published by the Squiggleslash Gazette:

      Today Jimmy Wales, known for eating children, announced a new web site whose job will be collecting articles critical of the Trump administration, identifying journalists who are critics of the regime, so that Wales can go to their homes and murder them one by one.

      There. That should satisfy for wish for multiple viewpoints. Questions for you:

      1. Is it remotely accurate?
      2. Is it more true than the summary or the article linked to?
      3.

  • Un huh... They'll have their own little *Ministry of Truth* there?

    • There's a bit of a difference.

      MiniTruth in 1984 was supposed to *decide* (i.e.: unilaterally) what is truth and what is not.
      They rewrite what is considered thruth : "We have always been at war with East-Asia".

      Fact-checking is supposed (in theory) to be about finding the sources of some information :
      They try to find where a thing is comming from : Is the number mentioned by a politician pulled-out-of-his-ass ? or is there a real article/sudy/agency reporting these numbers ?

      Well, even if "fact-checking" has r

      • A leading "fact-check site" regularly uses this bit of dissemblance to describe right-of-center incidents, while left-of-center equivalents seem to get "True" or at least "Mostly true." As with all things, there are exceptions.

        They'll do a good job explaining--reluctantly, if we infer from their words--how whatever was said or referenced was, in fact, accurate. Then launch 3 more paragraphs explaining why the facts don't matter because of who said them.

        And this was common pre-Trump.

        • by DrYak ( 748999 )

          A leading "fact-check site" regularly uses this bit of dissemblance to describe right-of-center incidents, while left-of-center equivalents seem to get "True" or at least "Mostly true."

          It's fun that in a thread where you criticize fact checking and citing sources, you didn't actually mention which site you're talking about (politifacts, I presume ?) nor precise numbers.

          (not that I've pointed to litterary / dictonnary sources either).

          • Whenever someone start talking about Politifact, I just point to their contradiction of themselves. [twimg.com] For them, the facts depend on if it's someone they like saying them or not. On the sites which rate fact-checking site bias, Politifact is on the slightly left-wing tilt, which is better that some out there, but to pretend their always neutral is easily shown to be false.

            Also, what stories, or what angle on stories a news site chooses to cover tends to contain large amounts of bias. So you see CNN presenting

    • Wrong thinking is punishable. Right thinking will be as quickly rewarded.

      You will find it an effective combination.

  • Sure (Score:2, Informative)

    Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales is Launching an Online Publication To Fight Anything That Isn't Left-Wing Propaganda

    FTFY

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Fake news is as much left-wing propaganda as it is right-wing propaganda and just outright attention-seeking. These are some good examples from all over the board: http://thefederalist.com/2017/02/06/16-fake-news-stories-reporters-have-run-since-trump-won/

      I think Jimmy will be fine with whatever news ends up on here, as long as you bring your citations, please.

      • I think Jimmy will be fine with whatever news ends up on here, as long as you bring your citations, please.

        You misspelled "donations".

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The right really needs to deal with this post-truth bullshit. It won't, because it works really well and always has, but it's getting out of hand. Anything that even attempts to be neutral and fact based is dismissed as left wing propaganda.

      Science and reason are under attack.

    • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
      It really depends on whether Jimmy Wales genuinely wants this to be a neutral news outlet, or just a backdoor way to further his own agendas/beliefs, but time will tell - and pretty quickly I suspect. We currently have a very divisive Republican politician in the White House, so if there's any left wing spin being put on things it's going to become very apparent, very fast, when both Trump's supporters and people who genuinely don't care about the politics try and pull things back towards the middle and (m
    • by Anonymous Coward

      So I guess PizzaGate was the work of the left-wing propaganda machine ?

      • I don't know if it's about that pizza shop or kiddies, but it's absolutely certain that something illicit and secret was being referenced in those emails, and they were using codewords to talk about it.

        My guess would be that they were setting up clandestine meetings for off the books bullshit ranging from "Let's get Chelsea another huge paycheck for doing nothing." to "You've got that fat bribe ready for me, right?"

        Figuring out the codes and shit in the emails will only get you so far. PizzaGate is real in

  • Journalism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crafoo ( 591629 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2017 @10:38AM (#54298503)

    Professional journalists producing fact-checked, multi-sourced articles with a neutral tone and striving for accuracy ... I thought this was just called journalism? Why do they need amateur community contributors that are guaranteed to be infiltrated and rotten to the core with activists and paid shills?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      " infiltrated and rotten to the core with activists and paid shills? " == Professional journalists.

      There I fixed it for you.

    • Re:Journalism (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2017 @10:49AM (#54298609) Journal

      Real Journalism is dead. Those things you speak of died in the age of headline news and twitter posts of simplistic nature where viral is the new meme.

      Must report something before anyone else, who cares if it is accurate or not. Publish or perish. This is the world we live in.

      The fact that Hillary and crew were decidedly evil, caught via "hacked" information, that led to her loss isn't news, the "RUSSIANS" are the news. It doesn't matter how evil the bitch is, "RUSSIA" hacked the elections!!!!! People found out how evil she was, and voted for the "lessor" of two evils, and that doesn't matter "RUSSIANS" hacked the elections.

      Russia hacking the DNC and Hillary campaigns (no real proof or evidence ever presented, only Dark Shadow Government agencies saying so) is the news!

      This is how "fake news" is generated. Alternative facts parroted until they are more important than the actual real news .... Hillary and DNC actually conspired with the News Media to toss Bernie under a bus and rig an election. BUT RUSSIA HACKED THE ELECTIONS!!!

      • This is how "fake news" is generated. Alternative facts parroted until they are more important than the actual real news .... Hillary and DNC actually conspired with the News Media to toss Bernie under a bus and rig an election. BUT RUSSIA HACKED THE ELECTIONS!!!

        Yes and it was also Comey's fault for writing a letter to congress about new previously undisclosed emails that were discovered on Huma Abadeen's computer. Comey sabotaged Hillary and handed the election to Trump!

        I remember laughing at the 'news' coming from Baghdad Bob, with him having to lie and distort even in the face of overwhelming evidence. Now it seems Baghdad Bob runs our mainstream news organizations.

      • If real journalism is dead, then how can we rely on "journalists" us what's fake?

        Does nobody see the fundamental flaw here?

        Look at the amount of establishment MSM pandering for Hillary Clinton during the election. We're supposed to trust these same journalists to "protect" us and highlight... pro-Clinton news as staged, fake news? Likewise, for any other conflict-of-interest. The MAJORITY of media companies are owned by a few multi-billion dollar corporations. Are we going to take their word on whether or n

        • The problem with the Media companies is that they have a long string of news that they tried to bury, only to have small blogs, rags, and "fake news" sites actually have the real goods.

          The reason they are going after WikiLeaks isn't because of hacking, or classified or whatever information, it is because WikiLeaks basically blew the lid off the collusion to elect Hillary, and got Trump elected instead. Both Rinos and Democrats hate Trump, and want him destroyed, which is why they are shooting the messenger,

    • by swell ( 195815 )

      In the best news sources there was always a clear distinction between 'news' and 'opinion'--entirely separate columns and on different pages in a newspaper, clearly marked where opinion reigned. The opinion was typically that of the publisher, editor or respected columnists.

      That distinction has changed and even some of the most widely consumed sources mix news and opinion. Even where opinion is not obvious, a news item is often riddled with innuendo.

      I have a particular bug up my butt about the use of childr

    • Because sometimes 'contributors' such as 'crafoo' have interesting questions or insights to add. That's the idea.

    • "Media does not spread free opinion" --Oswald,1918 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2017 @10:48AM (#54298603)
    Professional journalists are some of the highest-profile PRODUCERS of fake news. I accidentally tuned to CNN the other night. Holy mackerel. I had no idea that Chicago's rampant crime problem only got really bad when the new administration put the new nation-wide Muslim ban in place. Hopefully Jimmy Wales won't be looking to get Wolf Blitzer involved in fighting fake news, because that's like getting gasoline involved in fighting a fire.
    • Much of the problem of course is that entities like CNN (which is 90% opinion-spouting, speculation, lady gossip and editorializing) provide a handy platform and amplification for attention-seeking political operatives and agitators because it causes conflict and controversy and thus drama! Which they think sells more eyeballs. "America's Most Trusted News Source", or whatever their tag line is, is a farce.
  • Your father... was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force. He ceased to be the Jedi Anakin Skywalker and "became" Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So, what I told you was true... from a certain point of view.

    As long as humans have agendas and perceptions there will continue to be "fake" (from a certain point of view) news. And crowdsourcing the data will only muddle the results not correct them.

  • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2017 @11:15AM (#54298839)
    Oh good. I want Jimmy Wales to be in charge of what I'm told is true and what is false. It is not like people would ever lie about stuff like that for political agendas. I'll trust Jimmy's politics over my own common sense.
    • I'll trust Jimmy's politics over my own common sense.

      Common sense is neither common nor sense.

      Personally, I'll take substantiated, fact-checked information over my own "common sense", which is really nothing more than the aggregate of my own biases.

      WikiTribune might actually be able to write stories that evolve towards correctness through review, source-checking and debate, as Wikipedia does. I'm not sure that will actually help the "news" situation, though, because it takes too long, and by the time the facts have been found and clarified, everyone has m

  • by theurge14 ( 820596 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2017 @11:38AM (#54299001)

    Because this sounds like Snopes but for actual journalism.

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2017 @11:56AM (#54299143)

    What do you do when there are people who don't want to read about the truth but rather articles with heavy editorial that they agree with regardless of any bearing on reality? I think that's the real problem we are running into.

    • by inking ( 2869053 )
      I doubt we were ever not running into it. Don't need to go further than /. You can count the number of people here who are all right with universal surveillance on one hand.
  • Over fifty people are dead or injured after a truck drove into a crowd of people.

    An explosion occurred at soccer game which killed and injured dozens of people.

    A white cop shoots unarmed black teenager, sparking outrage over institutionalized racism present in law enforcement.

  • Those who object loudest believe the most lies - and they don't want you taking them away.
  • man now he gonna run two fundraisers at once my bank account is already cashed out
  • The issue with Google, Facebook, MSNBC, CNN, you name it - is that they're heavily using double-standards.
    They just decide that if it does not align with their views, you're censored, fake news, etc. This is terrible and in fact an attack to free speech - even thus a company should be able to do whatever it wants, the reality is that today, if your ISP or Google in particular decide to remove your voice from the internet they can, they will, and today, they do.

    Wikipedia has been so far rather successful at

  • WP:LOL!

  • You just have to wonder at what point does the fight against fake news become the fight against honesty?

    Wikipedia covers its legal ass by relying on published elsewhere citations. This is not always insuring honesty and sometime even promoting the continuation of dishonesty. I recall a policy change where any paid editor needs to state being paid and by who, which came up in regards to israeli editors. Only where do you see this editor information on any articles or do you have to research editors per wiki

  • Soon someone will launch an application to fight fake news fighters... and then a fake news fighter fighter... and a fake news fighter fighter fighter... Mine is bigger than yours!

  • That's great, yet that is what I donate to NPR for.
    Enter the Trump budget - and NPR funds are SLASHED!!!
    Now NPR is subjected to corporate donations, and, no doubt, will sway their way

    Does it make sense to simply have a national budget for NON-partisan Public News?
    An agency where the the top priority is actual, factual news and info?!

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