Mozilla and fact-checker engine join fight on fake news

August 9, 2017
The "Mozilla Information Trust Initiative" comes as an automated real-time fact-checking engine developed by the Full Fact foundation was demonstrated in London

Mozilla, the non-profit which runs the Firefox internet browser, said Wednesday it was launching a drive against "fake news" as fact-checking software backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar got its first run-out in public.

The US-based open source group said it was "investing in people, programs and projects" in a new initiative to actively "disrupt misinformation online".

It said the "internet's ability to power democratic society suffers greatly" because of fabricated stories, such as the Pope endorsing Donald Trump for the US presidency and India's 2,000-rupee note containing a tracking device.

The Kenyan election this week has also seen both bogus BBC and CNN news reports circulating on social media.

Morzilla's innovations director Katharina Borchert told AFP that it was working on tools for Firefox and better online education with media groups, universities and tech activists.

The "Mozilla Information Trust Initiative" comes as an automated real-time fact-checking engine developed by the Full Fact foundation was demonstrated in London.

The group, which is backed by Omidyar and Hungarian-born investor and philanthropist George Soros, said its software is capable of spotting lies in real time, and was used to fact-check a live debate at the House of Commons.

Full Fact have been working with Britain's Office of National Statistics on the project, which they insisted was still very much at the test stage.

"As the proponents of propaganda and misinformation become more sophisticated in their use of technology, it is important that fact checkers do not fall behind in our fight against it," Full Fact said.

"This is an important investment in the future of fact-checking," Stephen King, of the Omidyar Network, told The Guardian newspaper.

"You only have to look at the number of initiatives that have risen up to address this challenge, either by tech companies or other organisations to see how worrying this phenomenon is to so many," Borchert added.

"Whether it's become a big enough priority is perhaps a better question," she said, arguing that it was time for rival organisations to "rally around" to confront .

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UKCatFan
4.1 / 5 (8) Aug 09, 2017
It is too bad people are not able to use their own minds to figure out what is fake and what is real. So now we are in a place where we are welcoming censorship with open arms. There is obvious fake news, but where is the line drawn between something fake and something that is of a different opinion of the censor? I would rather use my own intelligence than to rely on Mozilla, Facebook, Google, etc. to decide for me!!!
julianpenrod
1.5 / 5 (8) Aug 09, 2017
There are a number of points about fake news that many insist on ignoring.
For example, to the extent that the purpose of fake news is to make at least the gullible act as the liar wants, the more like the truth they can make the account, the better. And, in fact, it is possible to say truthful things in a way that can imply, to dullards, a lie.
Trump accused of making contemptuous comments about women, without it being revealed that all politicians have done the same, in "locker room talk". The implication is Trump is the only one to speak that way!
Saying that conversations between Trump's associates and Russian officials "could have" r "mat have" involved plans to destroy the U.S. Technically, it is true, but not necessarily likely.
And the tactic of lying by omission, Failing to mention times when Obama did the same as Trump, but Trump is attacked.
Zzzzzzzz
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 09, 2017
It is too bad people are not able to use their own minds to figure out what is fake and what is real..... I would rather use my own intelligence than to rely on Mozilla, Facebook, Google, etc. to decide for me!!!


Humans have the capacity for self delusion. We have the ability to imagine a possible future, describe it to others, and persuade them to invest in it - a process which requires that capacity. Once we have invested in a delusion, we are motivated to defend the investment. The more fragile the delusion (and many are fragile indeed - consider religious belief systems) the more vigorous a defense is required. Both validation (reinforcement through other investors) and destruction of competing delusions or realities constitute defenses.
Some of us are more able to use our own minds, or to think independently. one good indicator is a religious belief system - if one is required, independent thought is not likely.
tekram
5 / 5 (7) Aug 09, 2017
.. Trump accused of making contemptuous comments about women, without it being revealed that all politicians have done the same, in "locker room talk". The implication is Trump is the only one to speak that way!...

Yes, Trump is the only national politician who has ever talked about grabbing female genitals. I have never heard of anyone talked like that in a locker room either.
julianpenrod
1 / 5 (7) Aug 09, 2017
tekram demonstrates the insipidity so common among Trump haters.
tekram, as they illiterately describe, "never heard of anyone talked like that in a locker room either". Because all other political figures who spoke like that were never covered by the "press"! The "press" toady to the Democrats but have arrangements to accommodate that other arm of the New World Order, the Republicans. They utilize the principle that many if not most imbeciles easily believe that, if the "news" doesn't say it, it never occurred. Are we supposed to believe that Bill Clinton, demonstrated to have no respect for the women he chose to manipulate, didn't speak about them that way? And, face it, if they had such high scruples and heard Trump speak that way, why didn't they call him out on it?
And note the individuals who decided that following the "tenet" that, if something isn't mentioned in the "news", it can't have happened, deserved "5" ratings.
greenonions1
4.1 / 5 (9) Aug 09, 2017
julian demonstrates typical lazy thinking skills. The apologist logic is that we should not judge the misogynist in chief for behaving in a disgraceful manner - because someone else probably did the same thing. The fact that julian fails to provide any evidence of other people doing the same thing - is lost on julian. But even if there were such evidence - and I certainly agree that Bill Clinton is on the record for behaving in a very disgraceful manner - two wrongs do not make a right. It is still totally acceptable to point out the disgraceful behavior of the current commander in chief.
murky303
1 / 5 (3) Aug 09, 2017
Well, I just stopped using Mozilla for news searches. A fact-checking engine funded by George "Occupy" Soros? What could go wrong?
murky303
1 / 5 (2) Aug 09, 2017
The Ministry of Truth is on the case. George Soros can now answer Pontius PIlate's question "What is truth?" with a sly smile and a chuckle "Whatever we decide it is."
HeloMenelo
4.5 / 5 (8) Aug 10, 2017
tekram demonstrates the insipidity so common among Trump haters.
tekram, as they illiterately describe, "never heard of anyone talked like that in a locker room either". Because all other political figures who spoke like that were never covered by the "press"! The "press" toady to the Democrats but have arrangements to accommodate that other arm of the New World Order, the Republicans. They utilize the principle that many if not most imbeciles easily believe that, if the "news" doesn't say it, it never occurred. Are we supposed to believe that Bill Clinton, demonstrated to have no blah blee bloo..

antigoracle and his goon puppets strolling about again, the low interest in their opinions as always is a clear give away ;)

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