This news app with 50 million monthly users is said to publish fake AI stories

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Misinformation” and “disinformation” have been part of our vocabulary for years now, but there’s an app that takes things to the next level and publishes fake AI-generated stories! It’s available only in the US and it has over 50 million monthly users, so you (or someone you know) might’ve stumbled upon it at a point in time – or even use it regularly.It’s no secret that local news outlets across America have shuttered in recent years – and that’s where the NewsBreak app comes into play to fill the void.

Billing itself as “the go-to source for all things local”, Newsbreak says it has over 50 million monthly users. It publishes licensed content from major media outlets, including Reuters, Fox, AP, and CNN as well as some information obtained by scraping the internet for local news or press releases which it rewrites with the help of AI.

Now, a Reuters report highlights that NewsBreak did a big no-no last Christmas Eve, when the news app published a false story about a shooting in Bridgeton, New Jersey. The local police department debunked the article, stating that no such incident had occurred. NewsBreak removed the article four days later, citing inaccurate information from a content source.

The report goes on with claims by former employees, who revealed that most of NewsBreak’s engineering work is done in China. This has raised concerns about data privacy and the influence of Chinese-based staff on American user data. NewsBreak insists it complies with US data laws and maintains that its data is stored on US servers.

NewsBreak’s use of AI has led to legal issues, including a $1.75 million settlement with Patch Media for copyright infringement. Another lawsuit with Emmerich Newspapers is ongoing. Despite these challenges, the company claims to address issues promptly and continues to evolve its operations.

NewsBreak generates revenue through ads targeted at its predominantly female, suburban or rural user base. The company continues to face scrutiny over its ties to China and its use of AI in news aggregation.


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