Ahead of the 2020 US election, a group of major media outlets are working together to try and minimize fake news. TNI (Trusted News Initiative) is a joint effort between Microsoft and top publishers that have all committed to working together to prevent the spread of disinformation. This year, TNI will use a new form of verification technology, called Project Origin. Project Origin’s purpose is to essentially watermark legitimate content. The plan is to make it so that scammers and those with ill-informed agendas can’t just make up a headline and claim it is real news, at least not as easily as before.
The BBC remarked, ‘Brand marks, styles and other traditional indicators of trust, they are no longer enough to ensure content legitimacy.’ So, a “digital watermark” will be attached by Project Origin to stories from TNI partners that show that the news has come from a trusted, official source. This will both filter out fake content and help people find trusted news. Unfortunately, we don’t really know how all of this will work just yet, as Project Origin’s standards have yet to be published.
So far, TNI Members include NYT, CBC, BBC, WSJ. The list also includes tech giants Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. Washington Post and AP are supposed to be joining this year. More than likely Facebook and Google will have most of the burden of responsibility considering the fact that they have been known incubators of fake news for such a long time.
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