How we suggest people on Facebook and Instagram correct posts marked as ‘false’ or ‘partly false’
We’ve been working with Facebook on their Third Party Fact Checking work since 2019, and a big part of that is giving social media posts a rating.
If you’re a Facebook group admin, page owner or you posted something from your personal account, you might have received a notification saying that we’ve rated your content.
If we rated your content ‘false’, ‘partly false’ or ‘altered’, Facebook may take a number of actions. Firstly, the content will appear lower in news feeds, meaning fewer people see it. Facebook also takes action against individuals, pages or websites that repeatedly share content that fact checkers mark as ‘false’ or ‘altered’ and you may see restrictions on advertising if you are a repeat offender. We don’t decide on or control that process, Facebook does. All we do is rate the accuracy of the content and provide our fact check supporting that.
If your content has been fact checked as ‘false’ or ‘altered’, deleting the content will not solve the problem. Facebook says that deleting these posts “will not eliminate the strike against the Page or domain” and it also means the fact checker can’t process a correction. It doesn’t matter if you’re not the original creator of the content. We all have a responsibility to check what we share is true if we present it as fact, particularly if we have a following online.
We understand that you may want to correct your posts after we’ve fact checked them for a number of reasons. You may want to dispute the rating or you may have changed your post to reflect that what it initially said was false.
Facebook says that users can contact fact checkers if they correct their content which must “correct the false content and/or clearly state that a correction has been made directly on the story.” For an article this could mean correcting the headline so it is no longer false, and adding a line to the article itself saying that the article has been changed. At Full Fact, we correct any mistakes we make in the same way and also publish all our corrections in one place.
If it’s an image or video, Facebook says: “please update the caption to correct the false content and clearly state that a correction was made. You may also link to an additional post that includes an updated, accurate version of the image or video, or to a fact-check article.”
Users can do something similar for a post involving video. For example, this post included a video which was claimed to show panic on board the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed in March 2019. As this was incorrect, the user could change their status to say: “CORRECTION: This video does not show the Ethiopian Airlines crash from March.”
This is by no means compulsory. But in order for us to change the rating on a previously inaccurate post, this is what you would need to do. As fact checkers, we think the best corrections to false social media posts is to make clear the original error even to someone just scrolling past and not paying too much attention.
What to do if you want to query our rating
If you’ve corrected some content that we have rated within the partnership with Facebook, you can email us on facebook-tpfc-appeals (at) fullfact (dot) org with a link to your post and your query. You can also email us if you want to dispute the rating we’ve given.
We can only change the ratings for posts we have fact checked. If your content has been rated by another of Facebook’s partners, you’ll need to contact that factchecker directly.