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Japanese internet media outlets take measures to block “fake news”

  • March 4, 2017
  • , Asahi , p. 37
  • JMH Translation

Japanese internet media outlets and platforms will establish a council to eliminate fake news from the internet. The initiative aims to increase the credibility of online news by creating a system for sharing information and spreading warnings among internet media organizations on dubious news from unverified sources. While corresponding measures have already been taken overseas, this is the first serious attempt to do so in Japan.


Newspaper publishers and broadcasters that operate online news sites will also be asked to join the council, which is scheduled to be launched within a couple of months.


The group will initiate measures such as (1) conducting seminars to improve the ethical standards of internet media outlets, (2) establishing rules on showing how to obtain further information on articles and differentiating between outlets that adhere to such rules and those that do not, and (3) identifying and warning media outlets about articles whose trustworthiness is questionable based on information provided by readers.


The founder of the council, an executive of the company that operates the mobile news application “SmartNews,” explained the initiative by saying: “The internet can easily become a tool for spreading false information, hate speech, and political propaganda. Since last fall, we have become painfully aware of the power our industry possesses and its potential danger. Internet media outlets are facing a challenging time. We must choose whether to adopt a disciplined or a laissez-faire attitude on the proliferation of irresponsible reports.” (Abridged)

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