On Tuesday, Facebook launched a program to verify the truthfulness of news appearing on its platform in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, but concerns remain about the company’s dependency on mostly liberal fact-checking outlets.
The company said in a press release that French news agency AFP is to fact-check the news produced in the two countries.
The measure is part of a worldwide project that the company is implementing to combat disinformation but many conservatives claim the fact-checking services themselves may be biased against their political viewpoint.
For example, the main political fact-checker at Snopes.com until very recent was Kim Lacapria, who has described herself as “openly left-leaning” and disparaged the members of the conservative Tea Party movement as “teahadists.”
The president of the right-leaning Media Research Center in the United States, Brent Bozell, noted in a blog post that he had spoken with Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg and “expressed grave concern” about “the liberal ‘fact-checking’ organizations Facebook has chosen.”
Facebook works with independent third-party reviewers from around the world. These so-called fact-checkers assess and evaluate the accuracy of news content displaying on the Facebook News Feed, which features posted articles. One of the certified fact-checkers is AFP.
“As soon as the fact-checker evaluates the message as false, Facebook will start displaying it lower in the News Feed, significantly reducing its spread. This will prevent a hoax from spreading and also reduce the number of people who see the fake news,” Facebook stated.
“Pages and domains that repeatedly share fake news will have reduced reach and will also lose the ability to monetize and advertise. If a piece of news is marked as fake, Facebook will notify users who have seen it or attempted to share it,” the press release said.
Facebook says that in this program, it works with over 50 partners who are fact-checking the content in more than 40 languages worldwide.