Microsoft News takes a solid proactive approach to fake news, but the company admits there are challenges in thwarting misinformation. It is a challenge all social media and news curation services face, and each tackles the problem in its own way. For Microsoft, it is now ready to ask users to help decide what is true or false.

Speaking to Bloomberg recently, Microsoft President Brad Smith spoke about the company’s new approach to fake news detection. Specifically, Smith says users are increasingly savvy about where they get truthful information, and it is not from governments:

“I don’t think that people want governments to tell them what’s true or false,” says Smith “And I don’t think they’re really interested in having tech companies tell them either.”

User Power

Microsoft says it puts freedom of speech first and will not sensor posts. So, the company will not label social media posts as fake news. However, the company is now abandoning the idea of preventing the spread of misinformation.

“We have to be very thoughtful and careful because—and this is also true of every democratic government—fundamentally, people quite rightly want to make up their own mind and they should,” Smith adds. “Our whole approach needs to be to provide people with more information, not less and we cannot trip over and use what others might consider censorship as a tactic.”

Instead, Microsoft will allow users to use their own discretion and decide what is true or false. Just like the good old days without any hand-holding.

Last year, Microsoft partnered with Adobe and the BBC to start the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity. Under the C2PA coalition, the company and partners will develop open standards that allow sources to be verified. Users will be able to see where media content was sourced.

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