Friday, April 07, 2017

Founder of eBay commits 100 million to fight against fake news.

Courtesy of Newsweek:

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facts are being devalued, misinformation spread, accountability ignored, and channels that give citizens a voice withdrawn.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.


  1. Anonymous4:09 AM

    Trump has been a walk-up call. A lesson to be learned, long past needing.

  2. Anonymous5:12 AM

    What does he/Jared/Bannon care? Brainwashed troops and innocent civilians are collateral damage.

  3. Anonymous5:46 AM

    On topic: Jared Kushner failed to disclose numerous contacts and connections to Russian figures in his White House employment application forms. So much for extreme vetting. Hopefully he will fix the Middle East, SWAT government inefficiency, stop the opiod epidemic and leap a tall building in a single bound before he's forced to step down under an inevitable noxious cloud of corruption and scandal.

  4. Anonymous6:03 AM

    So? Trump and stumps are attempting stifle speech? How very constitutional and American of this cult. I guess American's cannot question or complain about a president and taxpayer paid servants that create fake news, endorse fake news, or allow an entire election process to be hijacked to their benefit. I stand with the truth, facts and journalist that speak up to protect free speech, truth and facts.

    1. Anonymous6:47 AM

      Hear Hear!

  5. Reassuring.

    When Meg Whitman was the most prominent public face of eBay I considered going cold turkey. But it's so convenient, and I'm hooked!

  6. Anonymous7:24 AM

    OT>"“There has always been two competing ideologies: one that wants to follow the truth of the Lord God, and those who want to rebel against the creator God,” Bachmann said, explaining that those who rebel want a “manmade, one-world system.”"Bachmann then announced that modern-day supporters of a what she called a “borderless world” —she name-checked “G-28…Davos-types…[and] billionaires” — are setting the stage for the end of the world.
    “Scripture tells us that in the End Times, that is what [the] Antichrist will be — he will be a part of a one-world system,” she said. “There are people who reject Judeo-Christian truth and instead want to insert and usurp control of all of our lives with a global, economic and political government.”

    1. WA Skeptic2:38 AM

      These people are so afraid of the truth that they are willing to lie their heads off.

      The problem they're attacking is that many more people are becoming aware of the propaganda and are not buying it.


  7. Anonymous8:54 AM

    Trying to fight or undo fake news doesn't require throwing money at it. And if you expect Facebook and Google, probably the 2 biggest sources of fake news, to determine what is real or not for their consumers.... this ever dumbing down population does have real problems.

  8. Supporting Investigative Journalism is a start.

    But what is really needed is to instill strong ethics and morals into those across the media.

    Then you have to teach and teach and teach information literacy skills to the consumers of that news so they can identify fake news.

    You cannot rely on solely on the media to only allow "real" news to be out there to be consumed. That isn't going to happen. You have to teach the consumers of that news how to identify the real from the fake. But you can't stop at that. You have to convince them to WANT to identify the real from the fake. And that is the hardest part. The reason fake news is so insidious is that there are large portions of the population that want to read news that supports their already formed opinions. That is an almost impossible task.

  9. Randall1:38 PM

    Dontcha wish there were a TV program that was basically Snopes for TV?
    I mean, an unimpeachable source where the whole country (world) could tune-in to find out the TRUTH on any subject.
    Maybe even a write-in (online?) segment where they pick the most-asked subject to de-bunk.
    I'll bet it could turn into a daily show rather than a weekly.
    Do you think it could be done?
    How would they handle subjects like "virgin birth"?
    But then again - this would be a FACTS show... not superstition.
    Wouldn't it be great?
    Wouldn't it be POPULAR?
    I'm just spitballing here...


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