The Hill: Who Will Check Facebook’s ‘Fact Checkers?’

With Facebook’s announcement that they plan to deploy fact checkers to monitor their pages and determine what news is real and what is fake, Cathy Young at The Hill asks the important question: “Who will watch the watchmen?”

In response to recent concerns about “fake news” and opinion-swaying hoaxes, Facebook has unveiled new measures to address the issue. But unless done right, these steps may create more problems than they solve — and boost claims that the “fake news crisis” is an attempt to impose political controls on the media.

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This may accomplish some good, but the potential for abuse is immediately obvious. People can flood the system with fake reports of fake news, either to punish websites and news organizations they dislike or to subvert the fake-news-flagging process itself.

[…]

Indeed, conservatives have long claimed that fact-checking was riddled with anti-conservative bias and even conflicts of interest (as when PolitiFact, one of Facebook’s six United States-based fact-checkers, shot down a critique of a Clinton Foundation initiative without disclosing that one of that program’s principal funders was a major donor to PolitiFact’s parent organization, the Poynter Institute).

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