Codebase Ventures' Pressland subsidiary kicks off initiative to fight fake news, misinformation online
In a statement, the company said the new initiative revolves around its Universal News Identifier, or UNID, to help publishers, journalists and news organizations achieve greater transparency across digital platforms. When complete, the feature will serve as an open resource for the news industry, said the company.
“When it comes to data standards, other industries are years, if not decades, ahead of news,” pointed out Pressland founder CEO Jeff Koyen, who is also the chief strategy officer at Codebase Ventures.READ: Codebase Ventures' Pressland subsidiary hits major milestone as it prepares for alpha demo of platform
“These standards give consumers confidence when they book a hotel room on a travel website, for example, or search real estate listings. This is the level of trust Pressland intends to bring to media business, and the UNID is just the beginning.”How it works
The company said unique UNID tags will identify articles and news items as soon as they are published online. Many HTML tags have semantic meaning. Firstly, Pressland will use semantic markups to index the production data associated with the article and include the professional credentials of reporters, editors, publishers and their related work.
Secondly, it will also track the distribution of the article across digital channels, including social media and third-party apps.
Thirdly, it will make this data available to clients, partners and other third parties using the Pressland application programming interface (API).
“Pressland’s goal is to create individual ‘flight data recorders’ for every published article and news item,” noted Koyen.
“These packets of data, identified by their UNIDs, can be used to separate real news from fake, and prevent the spread of misinformation before it can go viral.”The feature is interoperable
The company pointed out that its UNID feature is interoperable with existing semantic web protocols, and plug-and-play with major content management systems. It added that participation is strictly optional as Pressland’s data analysis platform doesn’t require publishers to make any tech changes on their part for their content to be indexed and verified.
“Data standards that increase transparency and trust are long overdue for journalism. We’re excited to support Pressland as they lead the charge in this ground-breaking and vitally important development,” said Brian Keane, director at Codebase Ventures.
Brooklyn-based Pressland has now indexed and analyzed over 10 million articles, 2 million keywords and 200,000 writers, Codebase said in a statement. Pressland's platform uses proprietary software which, with machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language, collects and analyzes the news media’s production data.
The data is then offered as a SaaS (Software as a Service) product to social networks, search engines and news distributors in a bid to fight fake news and misinformation
Koyen is an award-winning journalist and veteran media executive. He has worked for Dow Jones, Wired, The New York Times, Crain’s New York and many other news organizations.
Pressland's partners include the Independent Media Institute; online writing community Study Hall; ethical tech pioneers All Tech Is Human, and geolocative photo-sharing app, Membit.
Codebase Ventures, which consists of a small, hands-on team of financial and technology experts, invests in emerging technologies. It makes strategic investments in ambitious founders who aim to upend large markets.
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