Accuracy in Media

Facebook announced yesterday that they are partnering with several organizations to try and stop the spread of fake news that has become so pervasive on the Internet.

The organizations—ABC News, the Associated Press, FactCheck.org, Snopes and Politifact—all have one thing in common—they all lean left. Not a conservative or middle of the road fact-checking organization among them.

Facebook News Feed vice president Adam Mosseri said in a statement, “We’ve focused our efforts on the worst of the worst, on the clear hoaxes spread by spammers for their own gain, and on engaging both our community and third party organizations.”

In order to do this Facebook will be taking several steps, including allowing users to flag a hoax, or fake news story, and flag a story as disputed—the latter which will be fact-checked by Facebook’s above named partners.

“If the fact checking organizations identify a story as fake, it will get flagged as disputed and there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why. Stories that have been disputed will also appear lower in News Feed. It will still be possible to share these stories, but you will see a warning that the story has been disputed as you share. Once a story is flagged, it can’t be made into an ad and promoted, either,” Mosseri wrote in his statement.

Facebook will also attempt to put an end to fake news that is profit-motivated by eliminating the ability to spoof domains, i.e., creating fake domains that look legitimate, and by analyzing publisher sites to make sure they aren’t generating fake news.

ABC News president James Goldston told The Wrap that despite Facebook’s efforts, stopping fake news will take some time:

“I think this could be a long battle, but you have to start somewhere and I think this is a good attempt to make a meaningful dent in it and to start to deal with the issue,” he said. “I don’t think any of us think there is a quick or easy fix.”

Facebook’s efforts look more like a public relations ploy to try to quiet criticism of the proliferation of fake news on its platform. But by excluding conservative organizations from the fact-checking syndicate, it only reinforces the notion that Facebook is anti-conservative, and is only interested in eliminating fake news that’s contradictory to the liberal point of view.





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