Facebook announces plan to fight fake news: with factcheckers

15 December 2016 | Phoebe Arnold

Full Fact welcomes Facebook's experimental pilot project to tackle fake news, announced today.

Facebook said in its annoucement that it is working with third party factcheckers that are signatories of the International Factchecking Network’s Code of Principles. We’re glad that the Code, which Full Fact helped to develop and was a founding signatory of, has been a reference point for this pilot.

Full Fact has been engaged in conversations about tackling fake news online for some time including via the First Draft News Network.

Google News recently announced that it was launching its “Fact-check” label as another category for articles along with “Opinion” and “In-depth”. We welcome this attempt to help readers find a faster route to information from impartial factcheckers.

Separately, Full Fact was recently awarded a grant from the Google Digital News Initiative for groundbreaking work on automated factchecking. We will be building tools that will aid technology companies with the challenging job of fighting fake news.

Facebook has recognised the importance of factcheckers, and that ultimately someone somewhere has to do research and help the public make a choice about who and what to believe. That work needs to be done to recognisably high standards of accuracy and fairness.

The pilot will first be taking place in the US. 85% of Facebook’s users are outside the US and Canada. It is encouraging to see Facebook experimenting with solutions, but we would like to see open evaluation of those, as we set out in our report, the State of Automated Factchecking.

See the video below, read Facebook's statement here, and the response from the International Fact-Checking Network here.

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