Apple Funds Literacy Programs to Fight Fake News in US, Italy

Apple Funds Literacy Programs to Fight Fake News in US, Italy

The tech giant has joined hands with three non-profit media literacy organizations, to combat the issue of fake news

 Apple has joined Facebook and Google, as major tech companies making an attempt at curbing the circulation of fake news across the global media, an increasingly common issue nowadays. The iPhone maker is financially backing three of world’s most prominent media literacy organizations; US based News Literacy Project (NLP), Common Sense, and an Italian organization called Osservatorio Permanente Giovani-Editori.

Informing the youth about the phenomenon has become hugely important these days owing to the increasing amount of fake news in circulation nowadays. The baseless news articles have caused a lot of problems for several corporate organizations, as almost anything has the capacity to go ‘viral’ these days. All the three organizations, with whom Apple has now become associated, are running awareness programs, mostly aimed at high school children, to educate them about the differences in fake news and authentic news, and how to distinguish between the two.

“We’ve been impressed by the important work being done by the News Literacy Project, Common Sense and Osservatorio, empowering young people to be active and engaged citizens,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in their official release on March 20, 2019.

NLP has been regularly conducting high school programs such as ‘Checkology’, a virtual classroom program, which not only educates children through live discussions with journalists, but helps teachers stay in link with the journalists as well. Both Common Sense and Osservatorio Permanente Giovani-Editori are running similar high school programs, so that the issue can be curbed at a much earlier level.

Fake news circulation has increased manifold in the last few years, and big companies like Apple have at times, bore the brunt of it. The main cause behind this surge, has been identified as the audiences’ inability to distinguish between fake and real news. While this move of Apple’s might have been fueled by selfish reasons, it augurs well in educating the masses about the problem.

Rina Vidyasagar

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