Facebook Starts 'Journalism Project' to Curb Fake News

Today's topics include Facebook’s project to promote legitimate news content and block fake news, Google’s new cloud encryption key management service, Microsoft’s revised privacy settings in the latest Window’s 10 Creators Update preview and ThreadFix’s enhanced capabilities for indentifying security flaws in shared software components.

Facebook has responded to critics that say the world's largest social network has failed to take action against fake news posts by announcing what it's calling the Facebook Journalism Project.

This project will develop new news formats, promote more cooperation with legitimate news publishers—including newspapers, television/radio stations, established independent bloggers and analysts—and develop new and better tools for journalists and non-journalists to use in order to clean up the fake news even before it gets posted in Facebook news feeds.

"Today we're announcing a new program to establish stronger ties between Facebook and the news industry," Fidji Simo, Facebook's director of product posted Jan. 11 on the network's media information page.

"We will be collaborating with news organizations to develop products, learning from journalists about ways we can be a better partner, and working with publishers and educators on how we can equip people with the knowledge they need to be informed readers in the digital age," Simo wrote.

Organizations looking for an alternative to managing data encryption keys in-house now have a new option to consider. Google this week rolled out a new cloud hosted key management service for its cloud platform customers.

The service is available starting this week in beta form in about 50 countries, including the U.S., Australia, Canada, Germany, Netherlands and Denmark. Google cloud KMS is designed to help organizations create, use, rotate and destroy AES-256 standard symmetric encryption keys for protecting data in cloud environments.

The service eliminates the need for enterprises, especially those in regulated sectors such as health care and finance, to maintain custom-built or ad-hoc systems for managing the keys used to encrypt their data, according to the company.

The Windows 10 Creators Update is shaping up to be big upgrade, particularly for creative professionals and virtual reality enthusiasts.

Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group, announced in a Jan. 10 blog post that the company has reduced the number of diagnostic data collection settings from three to two, namely Basic and Full.

In addition to providing configuration, performance and other "basic" telemetry data that Microsoft considers vital to the operating system's health, the Enhanced setting also sends "data about how you use Windows, including Microsoft and third party software that run on Windows.

On Jan. 10, Denim Group announced the debut of ThreadFix 2.4, which provides enhanced capabilities to help organizations manage application vulnerability information.

"ThreadFix is a platform that allows organizations to manage and run their application security programs," Dan Cornell, CTO of Denim Group, told eWEEK. Cornell explained that with ThreadFix an organization can list all the development teams that build software and all the applications that each team is responsible for.

Results for all the different application scanning and threat assessment tools used by an enterprise can then be pulled into ThreadFix. The ThreadFix platform normalizes and de-duplicates the data, providing an organization with a full view of all the software vulnerabilities that are present.