The fight against fake news got a sizeable boost to its coffers Wednesday. Billionaire Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, committed $100 million to support investigative journalism and stop fake news.
The funding will be spread out over the next three years and work to bolster independent media across the globe, Omidyar's philanthropic group—the Omidyar Network—announced. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the group behind the bombshell Panama Papers, will receive a grant of $4.5 million. Most of the grants will go to institutions outside the U.S.
"Across the world, we see a worrying resurgence of authoritarian politics that is undermining progress towards a more open and inclusive society," said Matt Bannick, Omidyar Network managing partner, in a statement. "A lack of government responsiveness and a growing distrust in institutions, especially the media, are eroding trust. Increasingly, facts are being devalued, misinformation spread, accountability ignored, and channels that give citizens a voice withdrawn. These trends cannot become the norm and we must protect the principles of openness, participation, and accountability."
Every little bit helps, and 100 million dollars in not exactly a little bit.
So now Omidyar joins Google and Facebook as those on the cutting edge of fighting against the kind of misinformation that helped this country elect the most unqualified president in its 241 year history.
Personally I hope this is only the beginning.