Popular US news app accused of using AI to make up fake stories

NewsBreak, popular free news program Publishes fictional stories written by artificial intelligence in the US since 2021. Reuters. The app publishes licensed content from legitimate news sources, e.g CNN, AP and Reuters itself, but it also uses AI tools to rewrite press releases and local news. One of the most egregious examples of fake news was published by NewsBreak on Christmas Eve last year. The app’s caption claimed there was a shooting in Bridgeton, New Jersey, which did not happen.

A New Jersey police department denied the allegations made in the article before the app took it down four days later, saying it got the information from another website. January, February and March, the Colorado-based food bank said Reuters NewsBreak had to turn people away because it posted the wrong time for the food distribution. He did not receive any response from the company when he complained about the wrong reporting.

Another charity in Pennsylvania said NewsBreak published a report twice that claimed it lacked a 24-hour foot care clinic for homeless people. The app then removed all false stories about the charities Reuters reported. In March, it added a disclaimer to its homepage saying its content “may not always be error-free.” In addition to publishing false stories, NewsBreak allegedly copied articles from unauthorized sites and has previously settled copyright infringement cases with at least two publications. Reuters It describes NewsBreak as “the most downloaded US news app.” If you haven’t heard of it before, that’s probably because its users are mostly women over 45, without a college degree, and living in suburban and rural areas of the US. It is known to post links on social networks like Facebook and if you click on one, you will be invited to download the app.

Available only in the United States, NewsBreak started in the country as a subsidiary of China-based Yidian, which is partly owned by a Chinese state-owned media firm. Yidian is no longer associated with the program, but one of its main investors is Beijing-based IDG Capital. The Pentagon has a connection (PDF) with the Chinese military.

This was reported by former employees Reuters NewsBreak’s China-based engineers do most of the work on its algorithms, even though the program presents itself as a US-based company with US investors. Jeff Zheng, CEO of NewsBreak, said about it Reuters It complies with US data and privacy laws and is stored on Amazon servers located in the US. Its Chinese employees, Zheng said, can only access anonymous data stored on those servers. It should be noted that despite its connection with China, Reuters It found no evidence that NewsBreak published stories that portrayed the Chinese government in a favorable light.

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