UK report urges regulator for tech giants to fight fake news

LONDON — A British government-commissioned report is calling for a regulator to oversee online platforms such as Facebook and Google to help weed out "fake news."

Academic Frances Cairncross says tech firms should be obliged to help users understand the origin of news articles and the trustworthiness of their sources. She says a regulator is needed because "this task is too important to leave entirely to the judgment of commercial entities."

Google reacted cautiously, saying Tuesday that it looked forward "to discussing the proposals further to ensure sustainable, high quality journalism in the U.K."

Cairncross also says the government should consider direct funding for local news and offer tax relief to support public-interest journalism.

Cairncross was asked to investigate the sustainability of quality journalism amid declining newspaper sales and falling revenues.

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