Apple seeks to foster critical thinking and lessen the impact of fake news

Students spotting fake news

The goal of this initiative is to help young people develop source comparison skills and promote a culture of debate and civilized confrontation.

Image: Apple

fake news and breaking news

Apple will support three non-profit organizations in the US and Europe to promote independent and nonpartisan media literacy programs.

The spread of fake news on the web is uncontrollable, so it is essential to develop the ability to discern between real and false information. The News Literacy Project (NLP) and Common Sense, from the US, as well as the Permanent Osservatorio Giovani-Editori, in Italy, will receive the support of Apple to boost their efforts to train young people with the skills of critical thinking and media literacy.

Despite advances in data analysis and the development of AI algorithms, technology is still unable to verify and evaluate the reliability of news sources. On the other hand, we cannot silence the opinion of media sources to filter news without incurring biases.

News literacy is vital to sustaining a free press and a thriving democracy, and we are proud to be collaborating with organizations on the front lines of this effort.
— Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

Although the type of support that Apple will provide remains undisclosed, Apple’s press release states that the goal is to help young people develop source comparison skills and promote a culture of debate and civilized confrontation.

The lack of young people’s news literacy skills is a growing problem for our country. Revelations about the manipulation of news and the resulting impact on society have shed light on both the importance and scale of the issue (…) We need to help our students not just seek out legitimate news, but also think critically about the broader world of media and ideas.
— James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense.

This boost to journalistic quality arrives days before Apple reveals its news subscription service that, according to Business Insider, would cost $10 USD per month.