As part of its effort to safeguard the upcoming European Parliament Elections, Facebook expanding its third-party fact-checking with five local fact-checking partners.
Facebook has made fighting misinformation a top priority and is making a big effort to reduce the spread of false news on its platform. One of the ways in which it does so is by partnering with local independent fact-checking organisations in various countries.
Having already done so with 45 certified fact-checking partners reviewing in 24 languages, ahead of the EU Parliament Elections, Facebook is expanding the program in the EU with five new local fact-checking partners: Ellinika Hoaxes in Greece, FactCheckNI in Northern Ireland, Faktograf in Croatia, Observador in Portugal and Patikrinta 15min in Lithuania.
Facebook’s fact-checking partners are all accredited by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) and are also part of a collaborative effort led by IFCN to fact-check content related to the European Parliament elections, called FactCheckEU. All FactCheckEU participants will now be able to rate and review claims on Facebook.
In the EU Facebook now works with 21 partners fact-checking content in 14 European languages: Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.
As a reminder, when a fact-checker rates a story as false, it is shown lower in News Feed, so that its distribution is significantly reduced, thus also reducing the spread of the story and the number of people who see it. Facebook says that once a story is rated as false, it has been able to reduce its distribution by 80%.
Furthermore, Facebook says that “Pages and domains that repeatedly share false news will also see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetize and advertise removed.” This is especially useful for dealing with financially motivated false news.
While the third-party fact-checking program is a step in the right direction, it might do very little too late to stop misinformation. The program has also been criticized by two of the first fact-checking organisations to work with Facebook – Snopes and the AP.
Both organisations pulled out of the third-party fact-checking program in February, citing a variety of reasons – among them lack of transparency.