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April 25, 2017

Wikipedia founder to fight fake news with Wikitribune

The Wikipedia founder has set up the project to tackle fake news.

By Hannah Williams

One of the co-founders of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, has come out with plans to launch a global news website, which he has been raising money towards, to combat fake news.

The news site, called Wikitribune, will be a hybrid model that will be funded by donations from supporters at a cost of £10 or $15 a month in order to pay for a team of journalists to write stories, along with online contributors, according to the Financial Times.


Jimmy Wales, Founder, Wikipedia

In an interview with the FT, Jimmy Wales, said: “Wikitribune is news by the people and for the people. This will be the first time that professional journalists and citizen journalists will work side-by-side as equals writing stories as they happen, editing them live as they develop and at all times backed by a community checking and re-checking all facts.”

It is believed that the move to create a news site comes following the uprising of Facebook and other large technology groups facing a herd of criticism for failing to tackle fake news online.

Although Facebook has recently revealed its plans to pay fact-checkers to monitor news on its site, Wales said that the purpose of Wikitribune is to be more than another fact checking service.

Read more: Facebook unveils plans to crack down on fake news

“I’ve been thinking about this for quite a long time, I’ve been working on ideas and so forth, it was always a backburner project.

“But there was a moment: A friend had persuaded me that we should all give Donal Trump 100 days, we should just assume the best and hope he would do well, and be supportive of the presidency in general,” Wales told Business Insider in an interview.

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It is likely that the new project may cause some uproar from Wikipedia critics, who argue that the open source structure of the content on the site makes it less reliable. However, Wales has acknowledged this and said the new site would have to earn trust.

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