MASTERCLASSING

Facebook recruits UK fact-checkers to fight fake news

Tyrone Stewart

FacebookFacebook has enlisted the help of a UK fact-checking service to deal with the spread of fake news – the first UK publisher to factcheck the validity of content on the social network.

Full Fact, an independent charity setup in 2010, will review images, videos, and articles flagged by users on Facebook and rate the accuracy of the content. The charity says it will only check images, videos, and articles presented as fact-based reporting, with content like satire and opinion being exempt.

The charity says it will focus on misinformation that could be damaging to people’s health or safety, or undermine the democratic process. This could be anything from dangerous cancer ‘cures’ to false stories regarding terrorist attacks or fake news about voting.

Users will be told if a story they’ve shared, or are about to share, has been checked by Full Fact. They’ll be given the option to read more about the claim’s source, but won’t be stopped from sharing the content, whatever the accuracy of that content. However, false content will appear lower in news feeds and Facebook will have no control over what is checked.

“We’ll be able to give users information to help them scrutinise false or misleading content themselves and hopefully limit its spread — without stopping them sharing anything they want to,” said Full Fact in a blog post.

“It’ll also let people direct us to potentially false stories that’s making it onto their newsfeeds, helping us identify what’s spreading and prioritise misinformation that carries the most risk of harm.”