Social/Search: Google to teach kids to spot fake news

Google has launched a new digital classroom initiative to teach children to spot fake news and information and to raise their awareness of online safety issues.

The program, called “Be Internet Awesome”, is split into five key areas: responsible online sharing; identifying misleading information and scams; guarding information; cyber bullying and safety, and open communication offline.

The digital giant has also developed an online game called Interland, which allows kids to explore ideas through play, and incorporates a classroom lesson plan with resources for educators.

News UK launches vertical mobile video studio


News Corp UK has launched V-Studio, an in-house digital creative team specialising in vertical mobile video. The innovative team specialises in creating, editing and publishing video for brands and advertisers to maximise engagement through shareable content.

The studio will offer seven different video formats including 360-degree video. Other formats will allow brands to re-purpose horizontal video for vertical sharing (v-Edit and v-Skin), direct consumers to share content (v-Social) and integrate several videos and products into one (v-Select). All content will be optimised for auto-play and run for 10 seconds, similar to social app Snapchat.

Milton Elias, head of mobile and video at News UK, said: “Given that virtually everyone uses their smartphones in portrait mode most of the time, it’s imperative that brand messages are tailored to maximise impact and engagement… V-Studio provides a great canvas for brands to better engage their target audiences on our platforms and beyond.”

WSJ toughens Google paywall, sees subscriptions soar


After hardening its paywall against Google, the Wall Street Journal has seen a dramatic rise in user subscriptions despite the search engine now working against the masthead.

The Journal has scrapped Google’s “first click free” program, which allows users referred from the search engine to read one free article before being prompted to pay. As a result, Google’s bots now prioritise other free sites in search results, which makes Wall Street Journal’ articles less easy to locate.

While Google says it believes the “first click free” system is best for publishers as it allows users to sample their work before deciding to subscribe, WSJ chief marketing officer Suzi Watford disagrees, saying the system isn’t fair on sites that do not subscribe to the service.

“You are definitely being discriminated against as a paid news site,” Ms Watford told Bloomberg.

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