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Facebook is starting its own journalism project

14 January, 2017, 00:44 | Author: Abraham Jackson
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The company's Journalism Project follows a year of debate over Facebook's role in the media - inside the company and externally - during which it faced questions over whether the social network is biased in the way it presents news to users and whether it propagates false information.

Facebook is taking big steps to deepen its ties with the media. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg and his department captains haven't stopped thinking about this, and on January 11 Facebook came out with something called the Facebook Journalism Project in an effort to help solve these issues.

"We know that our community values sharing and discussing ideas and news, and as a part of our service, we care a great deal about making sure that a healthy news ecosystem and journalism can thrive", Simo said in a blog post.

On the heels of its high-profile hiring of former CNN anchor Campbell Brown, Facebook has announced yet another initiative to magically strengthen the integrity of journalists and media organizations that publish on Facebook. Facebook has long resisted identifying itself as a media company that makes conscious decisions about what it does and does not place on users' screens. Facebook Facing Its News-Delivery ResponsibilityCEO Mark Zuckerberg at first refused to take responsibility for everything his company's 1.8 billion customers post on his public network, and it is hard to pin the world's lies and falsehoods on him personally.

Now, Facebook says that it will connect news organizations with its product and engineering teams "from the early stages of the product development process" on the creation of new products.

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What's different now? At a panel discussion in London on Wednesday, Walker said "we're trying to get deeper at collaborating" with news outlets.

Simo said local news is another area of focus for the company.

The move comes less than a month after Facebook announced its strategy to tackle fake news on the social network. Rather, the company has reconfirmed its intent to work with third-parties - journalists, fact-checkers, and researchers - on efforts to promote media literacy, and determine what is and isn't fake news.

While Facebook has dismissed claims that it is a "media company", the social network said its new effort aims to boost credibility of information it circulates. Facebook is now giving journalists the ability to see how public videos perform on their Facebook profiles and plans to give profiles the ability to use professional equipment to go live, as is already possible through Pages. "We want to work with partners to evolve our current formats - Live, 360, Instant Articles, etc. - to better suit their needs, and work with them on building entirely new ones", said Simo.

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