As the growing "fake news" crisis comes to a head, a series of meetings between several the of the internet's largest media distributors has been slowly establishing a database of untrustworthy sites. "Many of the most viral stories on our platform -- where the word is really getting out -- are just completely made up," said a Facebook spokesperson when introducing the database for the first time. Other companies joining the pact include Google, Microsoft, and Tumblr (owned by Yahoo!).
The latest addition is striking some controversy, however. Wikipedia, "the encyclopedia anyone can edit", has been added to the database due its rapidly changing and unreliable nature. "There have been so many stories of Wikipedia hoaxes, spam edits that go unfixed for months at a time," explained a Google technical manager in their justification of the addition. "While it definitely serves as a good educational tool for many situations and subject matters, there are now enough other websites out there with solid content that we believe the dynamic, editable nature of Wikipedia is only additional risk, and we will move it to Unreliable status soon."
Facebook will start rendering posts and comments with links to Wikipedia much lower priority, in order to reduce their visibility, and Google has said they will soon blacklist it from their results entirely unless the query contains direct keywords such as "wiki" or "wikipedia".
Image: Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0.