Mozilla Firefox, a non-profit organization that runs the Firefox internet browser, announced last week that it would be joining the fight against ‘fake’ news.
According to reports, the company will be launching a new program to help solve the issues surrounding false reports. Dubbed as the Mozilla Information Trust Initiative (MITI), the project aims to bring together businesses and interest groups from around the world to better understand fake news and find ways to resolve it.
The U.S.-based open source group stated that they would be “investing in people, programs, and projects” as part of an initiative to curb the spread of online misinformation.#MozillaFirefox joined other tech companies in their fight against #FakeNewsClick To Tweet
According to Katharina Borchert, Chief Innovation Officer of Mozilla, they “believe that having more eyes and brains on anything usually makes it better.”
The Mozilla Firefox Initiative Against Fake News
A report from Raw Story stated that Mozilla is now “working on tools for Firefox and “better online education with media groups, universities, and tech activists.”
“If we don’t manage to lessen the mental burden on people constantly worrying if information is trustworthy, it lessens the value of the open web for everyone who participates, and poses a lot of problems downstream,” Borchert went on to say.
The Mozilla Firefox initiative is an automated real-time fact-checking engine that was developed by the Full Fact Foundation. The group was said to be backed by George Soros, a Hungarian-born investor and philanthropist.
The group claimed that the 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 has been working closely with Britain’s Office of National Statistics on the project which they said to be still in its early stage of development.
“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,” the group said.
Mozilla is encouraging other companies “to look back at their own user data so that all involved can get a better understanding of the issue.”
While the non-profit group knows that no ‘silver bullet’ that could be implemented, Borchert firmly believes that through Mozilla Information Trust Initiative, companies and interest groups might at least agree on a single body of research.
“This is an important investment in the future of fact-checking,” Stephen King of Omidyar Network was quoted as saying.
The Mozilla Firefox initiative will not only be a simple study of the fake news problem. For instance, the non-profit group will also be exerting extra effort to work on current products like Coral, an open source program designed to help media outlets manage online discussions.
Mozilla is also exploring the possibility of using a virtual reality experience and some sort of art installation to illustrate how fake news can affect the lives and emotions of people.