Facebook adds more third-party fact checkers in Europe

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Facebook is in hot pursuit of people and organizations who want to misuse its platform to manipulate electorates.

To strengthen security, the social network has announced its expanded partnership with European third-party fact checkers.

The addition includes five new local fact-checking partners ahead of the EU elections.

The fact checkers include FactCheckNI in Northern Ireland, Patikrinta 15min in Lithuania, and Faktograf in Croatia.

“Our fact-checking partners are all accredited by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), which applies standards such as non-partisanship and transparency of sources,” said Facebook in a statement.

“These partners are also part of a collaborative effort led by IFCN to fact-check content related to the European Parliament elections, called FactCheckEU.”

Approved fact checkers review posts with political content on the platform, check facts in each, and rate the relative accuracy.

If a fact checker rates content as false, the content sinks lower in News Feeds.

Pages and websites that frequently share false news will have reduced on-platform distribution.

Facebook may remove the ability of Pages to advertise and monetize if found guilty. It may also deprive the option to be listed as a News Page and drop credibility.

Reports show fabricated information is still rife on the social network.

Pages and organizations that come under fire have shifted to private groups to continue their propaganda inside tighter circles.

Facebook is devoting time to better regulate private group spaces.  Yet, with more than 2.38 billion users, the scale is significant. It has yet to show if it has the means to shut these discussions completely.

Facebook still wants to keep discussions flowing. But it wants to stop election meddling, specifically.

While election interference is a tiny drop of the misinformation deluge, it does not mean the task is easier.

A key factor may be digital literacy and how to grasp the changing news scene.

study conducted at Princeton and New York University show that older users are more likely to share false reports on Facebook versus users aged below 30.

“Conservatives were more likely to share articles from fake news domains, which in 2016 were largely pro-Trump in orientation, than liberals or moderates,” the report said.

“We also find a strong age effect, which persists after controlling for partisanship and ideology: On average, users over 65 shared nearly seven times as many articles from fake news domains as the youngest age group.”

The numbers show that older netizens are unaccustomed to detect false reports compared to millennials and grownups who grew in an age of fake news.

Younger users tend to be more skeptical of and verify online claims. Older users, raised with more limited, organized news inputs, trust information as they come along.

A big part of the misinformation is the sense of skepticism into more web users.

Many people will also trust information that aligns with established perceptions.

There’s still a long way to go.


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Author: Francis Rey

Francis is a voracious reader and prolific writer. His work appears on SocialBarrel.com and several other websites, covering social media, technology and other niches.

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