“Access to quality reliable information should be a right” are the first words spoken in Google’s new Youtube video touting their new security features. Google hopes, with their upcoming News Initiative, they will be able to return people’s faith in news credibility. Of late, the term “Fake News” has cast doubt on the reliability of news sources, and the authenticity of what they report. Google’s Youtube ad claims that 70% of news readers cannot distinguish between real and fake news.
Google’s initiative has been released alongside an event hosted in New York City to unveil the plan. Part of the concept is to provide publishers access to subscription tools via Google, as well as tools for security. The Facebook Journalism Project of 2017 aimed to do the very same thing. The plan was ambitious but ultimately ineffective as it failed to design any clear strategy.
Google has committed $300 million to the Initiative over the next three years. The initiative is multi-tiered, and include a ton of features that work in-tandem to realize the Initiatives ambitions. One of many features is the Disinfo Lab which will help to combat fake news during elections and breaking news, while MediaWise will aim to improve digital information literacy for young consumers.
Subscriptions to Google will ensure reliable and trustworthy news sources, and AMP Stories will deliver full-screen, multimedia-rich reading experiences on the mobile web. Where security is concerned, the Google Initiative will offer users a tool called Outline, designed by Google’s Jigsaw, which will let companies set up their own VPNs on a private server.
Although Google has yet to officially announce who they are partnering with in service of this ambitious new initiative, the Youtube video promoting the initiative features the New York Times COO Meredith Kopit Levien, Digital Trinity Mirror editor-in-chief Alison Gow, El País chief digital officer Noemí Ramírez, and Times of India COO of digital news Puneet Gupt