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Editors call for more resources to tackle fake news ahead of election

Murrayleaves-e1491562299821The Society of Editors has urged media and technology companies to do more to tackle the issue of fake news ahead of the forthcoming General Election.

The SoE wants publishers to commit more resources to tackling the problem after Jimmy Wales, the founder of online encyclopedia Wikipedia, announced plans for a new news service aimed at combating it.

The ad-free and free-to-read Wikitribune news service will combine the work of professional journalists and volunteers to offer “factual and neutral” articles.

SoE deputy executive director Ian Murray has welcomed the plans.

He said: “Following plans announced earlier this month by Facebook, Google and Ebay to dedicate funds to tackling fake news, the Society of Editors welcomes this further commitment by Jimmy Wales to ensuring the long-term viability of quality journalism.

“As we have witnessed over the past year, there appears to be a direct correlation between a spike in fake news and big news events.

“In the run-up to the UK General Election on 8 June it is essential that in order to make informed decision, consumers of news are directed to legitimate and credible UK news sources.

“Fake news is not a phenomenon confined to the United States and the Society of Editors would welcome additional and similar commitments by technology and emerging media companies operating in the UK.”