Sundar Pichai led tech giant Google would train 8000 Indian journalists to raise awareness and aid in the fight against fake news, PTI has reported. As per the report, this awareness would be spread via training program designed to raise awareness against misinformation, which will also provide tools to combat fake news.
An IANS report has hinted that the training would be a two-step process with the first step being selecting 200 journalists from various Indian cities to participate in five-day boot camps to spruce up their skills in this regard. They would then in turn start training the 8000 journalists.
The workshops would be conducted in languages like English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi and Kannada.
Google’s News Lab Lead Asia-Pacific Irene Jay Liu has been quoted as saying that Google considers “supporting trusted, authoritative media sources” as its top priority. Thus Liu claimed that journalists and communities working together with the help of online tools can fight the “tide of misinformation”.
As per a statement issued by Google in this regard, this training will be imparted in the next one year. As per the statement, the topics covered would be online verification, digital hygiene and fact-checking.
The program as reported would be based on a curriculum developed by ‘experts’ from websites like First Draft, Storyful, BoomLive, Factchecker, DataLeads and even Alt News whose co-founder has ironically been caught spreading Fake News multiple times, via the Facebook ‘parody’ page Unofficial: Subramanian Swamy.
First, the co-founder was caught spreading the fake news about former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, and then for spreading a lie about a protest in Delhi, while the quoted video was actually of a Mumbai Maratha Kranti Morcha. The latest lie to be spread by the Facebook page was in regards to Modi government’s view on multi-brand retail.
This makes one wonder how credible would this ‘fact-checking’ training would be when trainers themselves indulge in spreading fake news.