NewsBreak publishes scores of fake AI news articles

Occurred: June 2024

News app NewsBreak was accused of disseminating numerous AI-generated fake news articles under the names of fake authors.

The app, which boasts over 50 million monthly users, was found by Reuters to have published at least 40 misleading or entirely false stories since 2021 using an internally developed AI tool which rewrites local news stories. 

The AI-generated articles negatively impacted Colorado food bank Food to Power and Pennsylvania charity Harvest19, amongst others.

The findings raised questions about NewsBreak's business model, governance and integrity, and sparked broader concerns about AI-generated and enabled misinformation and disinformation.

The company also faced criticism for its slow response in removing the fake content and for attempting to deflect blame onto the organisations affected by the misinformation, including the Colorado and Pennsylvania charities.

➖ December 2023. NewsBreak shared a fabricated story about a non-existent shooting event in New Jersey, causing local police to issue a public statement to clarify the falsehood.

➖ January 2024. NewsBreak two inaccurate stories about a charity hosting a 24-hour foot-care clinic for homeless people, prompting concerns that homeless people might attend the non-event.

System 🤖

Operator: Particle Media/NewsBreak
Developer: Particle Media/NewsBreak
Country: USA
Sector: NGO/non-profit/social enterprise
Purpose: Rewrite news stories
Technology: Chatbot
Issue: Cheating/plagiarism; Mis/disinformation
Transparency: Governance; Marketing