Home Technology Regulation Facebook picks UK charity to check site for fake news
Facebook picks UK charity to check site for fake news Pixabay

British fact-checking charity Full Fact has been chosen by Facebook to reduce the flow of misinformation on the social media site, and will start checking images, videos and articles from this month onwards.

In a blog post, the organisation said users could flag content that they suspected of being false for checking by the Full Fact team.

"Our team will identify and review public pictures, videos or stories and rate them as true, false or a mixture of accurate and inaccurate content," Full Fact said.

Facebook has been embroiled in controversy ever since it was discovered that fake news reports were published in large numbers on the site during the 2016 US presidential election.

And last year, revelations that it had allowed third-parties like the data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica to siphon out data on users led to a massive backlash against the company.

The fact-checking will not result in content being removed; it will lead to one of the following nine options being assigned to the content:

False: The primary claim(s) of the content are factually inaccurate. This generally corresponds to "false" or "mostly false" ratings on fact-checkers' sites.

Mixture: The claim(s) of the content are a mix of accurate and inaccurate, or the primary claim is misleading or incomplete.

False headline: The primary claim(s) of the article body content are true, but the primary claim within the headline is factually inaccurate.

True: The primary claim(s) of the content are factually accurate. This generally corresponds to "true" or "mostly true" ratings on fact-checkers' sites.

Not eligible: The content contains a claim that is not verifiable, was true at the time of writing, comes from another social platform or from a website or Page with the primary purpose of expressing the opinion or agenda of a political figure.

Satire: The content is posted by a Page or domain that is a known satire publication, or a reasonable person would understand the content to be irony or humour with a social message. It still may benefit from additional context.

Opinion: The content expresses a personal opinion, advocates a point of view (e.g. on a social or political issue) or is self-promotional. This includes, but is not limited to, content shared from a website or Page with the main purpose of expressing the opinions or agendas of public figures, think tanks, NGOs and businesses.

Prank generator: Websites that allow users to create their own "prank" news stories to share on social media sites.

Not rated: This is the default state before fact-checkers have fact-checked content or if the URL is broken. Leaving it in this state (or returning to this rating from another rating) means that we should take no action based on your rating.

Any content rated false will not be distributed as much as it would be otherwise and will rank lower in Facebook's news feeds. Pages that habitually post content that is rated false by fact checkers will have their distribution reduced.

Full Fact said it would publish all fact-checks on its own website and that it would not be given access to Facebook users' private data for any reason.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

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