Newark, N.J. — For years, the New Jersey Media Development Corp. (MDA) has been producing content that’s “fake news” to keep a lid on social media chatter and keep users safe.
But now, MDA is facing a new challenge: How to produce content that is actually real.
While the organization has been working to find ways to make content that isn’t fake, there are some challenges in the process, such as the difficulty of getting a newsroom to believe what the company is producing, said Dan Prentice, M.D., the company’s chief content officer.
The MDA team has been trying to solve these problems by developing a product called “Media Convergence,” which is an online service that’s designed to give newsrooms the ability to produce fake news without fear of backlash.
MDA has been testing Media Convergence since March, Prentice said.
“We’ve had people who have never heard of the company before and say, ‘Oh, this is amazing,’ ” he said.
But it’s been a challenging process, he said, because MDA has to go through a rigorous review process to get approval from newsrooms to distribute the program.
“When we are in the middle of this, we are working with people who don’t know us,” Prentice added.
“And we are talking to people who we have never spoken to.
And we have to talk to people.
And then we are trying to figure out how to do this in a way that allows us to be successful.”
To build a program that can be trusted by journalists, MDE has partnered with Facebook.
Facebook has invested heavily in creating an ecosystem that enables users to publish and share content without fear it could end up in the hands of a Russian troll farm.
The company has partnered on a series of new content standards that have been adopted by newsrooms.
In November, Facebook announced a new initiative that will allow content published by news organizations to be shared on its platform without fear that it could be used by Russian trolls.
MDA said it will begin distributing a program called “Reality Check,” which lets newsrooms verify the authenticity of the content before it is distributed to the public.
In the past, Mandy Schumacher, a managing editor at The New York Times, said she has been worried about fake news on social networks.
But when MDA approached her to write about fake stories, she was impressed, she said.
“I thought it was so smart, I didn’t even have a thought about how smart it was,” Schumachersaid.
“It really shows the power of social media.”MDA’s goal is to offer newsrooms a tool to manage fake news stories and a way to verify their accuracy.
It is also using Media Convergent to test how a program could be distributed to newsrooms and how to share stories with people before they become public.
For example, Pender said, a news organization that wants to use the program could put up an advertisement on Facebook.
“If it’s a very popular story, then we know people are going to see it,” he said in an interview.
“But if it’s something that’s a little bit off, then people may be hesitant to share it.”
MDA will also test how to test the program for a particular news story.
If it’s “good” for a news story, it could have more exposure.
If there are issues, it can be rolled out for other stories.
For the program to work, it has to be approved by at least a dozen newsrooms, Pendersaid.
To be sure, that can only happen with MDA’s approval, which it won’t give.
Prentice noted that there are other companies, like Buzzfeed, that have created similar programs.