Microsoft’s head of Microsoft News has this week discussed the mission of the recently launched news aggregator. Darren Laybourn, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft News, opened up to Business Insider. In an interview, he described how the company avoids fakes news and what the goal of the MSN News replacement is.
Laybourn says Microsoft has connected with 4,500 publishers around the world to curate content for its news aggregator:
“We’ve got the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Times of India Kyoto News… It’s 4,593 to be exactly precise. So, we just added two more in Poland last week.”
Combatting fake news is not an easy task, not least when Microsoft News handles 170,000 pieces of content each day. Laybourn says Microsoft uses an 800-strong team of employees around the world to curate content. He adds the company is leveraging machine learning and AI to help with finding fake news.
According to the executive, Microsoft News has not faced an issue with fake news thanks to this robust system. Part of that system revolves around the closed nature of the service. Microsoft can avoid fake news publishers by simply not selecting them.
“Well, we’ve got kind of a multi-tier way that we handle it. It’s kind of, it’s a little bit of an art and a little bit of a science. The first step is the publishers. So we worked with all those publishers. We have contracts with each one of them. We actually chose them. It wasn’t that people could just randomly sign up.”
When asked if the goal of Microsoft News is to get clicks, Laybourn
“The goal is to get the users multiple perspectives on the story and try and broaden their view of the world and think there are different perspectives out there in the world.”