Facebook is releasing a new feature to combat fake news that will allow users to report content as fake – but it’s the people behind the ministry of truth that’s worrying.
Facebook began testing these “features” in December according to Mashable. Facebook users can now mark a story in their newsfeed as fake.
This will result in a story having a disputed by “Fact-checkers” popup under its title along with a link to a corresponding article explaining why it might be false, as seen by a Gizmodo reporter on Twitter.
These posts will then appear lower in the news feed, throttled by Facebook’s algorithm, and users will receive a warning before sharing the story on their Facebook feeds, RT reported.
Although, the Seattle Tribune isn’t an alternative media source and is indeed a satire site as noted by their own disclaimer policy this could have dangerous repercussions for alternative media.
Facebook is flagging links to fake sites now, looks like: pic.twitter.com/N7xaWDkdYA
— Anna Merlan (@annamerlan) March 3, 2017
Snopes even decided to bash We Are Change in December when we wrote about Senator Rand Paul and U.S. Rep Justin Amash’s concerns about provisions within the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act – which essentially had a section that codified the criminalization of so-called “fake news.”
According to Facebook, third-party fact checkers must agree to a fact-checking code of ethics by the Poynter Institute.
A code of ethics might be hard for Snopes to follow, considering their history of hatchet jobs, including failing to address a link we included in our article.
- A COMMITMENT TO NONPARTISANSHIP AND FAIRNESS
We fact-check claims using the same standard for every fact check. We do not concentrate our fact-checking on any one side. We follow the same process for every fact check and let the evidence dictate our conclusions. We do not advocate or take policy positions on the issues we fact-check.
- A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF SOURCES
We want our readers to be able to verify our findings themselves. We provide all sources in enough detail that readers can replicate our work, except in cases where a source’s personal security could be compromised. In such cases, we provide as much detail as possible.
- A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF FUNDING & ORGANIZATION
We are transparent about our funding sources. If we accept funding from other organizations, we ensure that funders have no influence over the conclusions we reach in our reports. We detail the professional background of all key figures in our organization and explain our organizational structure and legal status. We clearly indicate a way for readers to communicate with us.
- A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF METHODOLOGY
We explain the methodology we use to select, research, write, edit, publish and correct our fact checks. We encourage readers to send us claims to fact-check and are transparent on why and how we fact-check.
- A COMMITMENT TO OPEN AND HONEST CORRECTIONS
We publish our corrections policy and follow it scrupulously. We correct clearly and transparently in line with our corrections policy
Facebook has added a question to its help center page entitled “How is news marked as disputed on Facebook?” The section notes, however, that this feature is not yet available to everyone.
Facebook introduced this solution to “fake news” last December amid claims that false news influenced the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.
This resulted in an anonymous list by “propornot” calling several alternative media outlets including We Are Change “Russian propaganda” being published in the Washington Post.
The unproven claims that fake news influenced the election have been disputed by a Stanford University/NYU study authored by NYU economics professor Hunt Allcott and Stanford economics professor Matthew Gentzkow, who found that fake coverage did not change the outcome of the election.
“Fake news” was a propaganda term designed to destroy alternative media – but we are sticking it right to the real propagandists – the very fake mainstream media.
Fight back against this censorship, by marking the mainstream media article on Facebook for what they are – fake news.