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GFMD joins the trust.txt Initiative

We’re excited to share that GFMD has officially joined trust.txt, an initiative aimed at assisting machines in identifying credible news sources.

Author: Communications Gfmd | 11. April 2024

trust.txt initiative

This initiative enables publishers to indicate their association with other reputable news organisations. Administered by the non-profit organisation JournalList, which is owned and operated by its members, trust.txt was established by Scott Yates, a former journalist based in Colorado.

What is trust.txt?

In essence, trust.txt serves as a mechanism for digital entities to recognize communities that have established mutual trust. Although open for adoption by all, it is particularly tailored to the needs of news publishers.

According to this explanatory article by journalist Max Willens, Digiday, trust.txt’s primary goal is to differentiate between legitimate and illegitimate news entities, catering to the automated processes prevalent on the internet, such as programmatic advertising and web crawling. While discerning between genuine and fake news may be feasible for most media-savvy individuals, automated bots and algorithms lack this ability. Thus, creating a machine-readable file like trust.txt facilitates the separation of real news from misinformation.

How does trust.txt function?

It’s a straightforward text file (not a Word document or HTML page), easily readable by both humans and machines, containing a compilation of your organisation’s relationships, social media platforms, and contact details (one entry per line).

All members of GFMD are, through their membership of the network, automatically added to GFMD’s ‘circle of trust’. In the upcoming days, we will reach out to all GFMD members with their trust.txt files and instructions on how to post them. Alternatively, you can contact the GFMD Secretariat to get help or connect with JournalList.

Relevant resources


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