San Francisco: Facebook has dismissed a media report claiming that journalists working as fact-checkers for the social media giant are frustrated and ending partnerships, as the company did not use their expertise to combat misinformation.
A report in The Guardian on Thursday said outside reporters have lost confidence in Facebook, “which has repeatedly refused to release meaningful data on the impacts of its work.”
In response to the report, Meredith Carden, head of News Integrity Partnerships at Facebook, said The Guardian’s story features several inaccuracies.
“Contrary to what is claimed in history, we do not ask fact-checkers to prioritize debunking content from our advertisers,” Carden said in a statement.
The report, he added, is primarily based on the account of a single fact-checker who has not participated in Facebook’s fact-checking program for six months.
“We have been committed to fighting disinformation for years and have strong relationships with our third party fact-checking partners. We now have 35 partners in 24 countries around the world,” Facebook said.
The report quoted Brooke Binkowski, former editor-in-chief of Snopes, a fact-checking site that has partnered with Facebook for two years, as saying the social network is using journalists to handle crisis PR.
“They don’t take anything seriously. They’re more interested in looking good and passing the buck… Clearly, they don’t care,” said Binkowski, who now runs his own fact-checking site that he doesn’t associate with. Facebook.
According to Facebook, it values the ongoing partnerships and the work these journalists do.
The third-party fact-checking program was launched in 2016 after the United States presidential election.
“We are planning to expand the program to more countries in 2019,” Carden said.
According to Facebook, three separate research projects have found that the overall volume of fake news on Facebook is declining since it implemented a third-party fact-checking program and other anti-disinformation measures.
However, the Guardian report said the company has ignored journalists’ concerns.
Some newsroom leaders said they had “grown increasingly resentful of Facebook, especially after revelations that the company had paid a consulting firm to go after its opponents by publishing its association with billionaire Jewish philanthropist George. Soros “.
A New York Times investigation in November suggested the social network hired a Republican-owned political consultancy and public relations firm that “dug up dirt on its competitors,” including Soros.
In response to the report, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg denied having prior knowledge of the firm.
“It was later revealed that Sheryl Sandberg had ordered her staff to investigate Soros’ financial interests after he publicly criticized the company,” the Guardian report said.
The report quoted another verifier as saying he was demoralized.
“They are a terrible company and, on a personal level, I want nothing to do with them,” said the anonymous verifier.