Facebook has announced it will introduce warning labels on stories they deem to be “fake news,” with the help of partisan “fact checking” organisations such as Snopes and PolitiFact.
Stories deemed to be false will now be “flagged” by Facebook, with an accompanying red label claiming the story is “disputed by 3rd Party Fact-Checkers.”
Users will then have the option to “learn why this is disputed” to receive an explanation as to why Facebook believes the story is false.
“We’ll use the reports from our community, along with other signals, to send stories to these organizations,” Facebook VP Adam Mosseri wrote in the Facebook news blog. “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.”
Mossieri insists that the company will not prohibit users from posting anything deemed “fake,” but “you will see a warning that the story has been disputed as you share.”
Furthermore, Facebook will prohibit paid promotion of stories that have been marked as disputed.
In the announcement, Facebook confirmed that it will be working alongside organizations that are signatories of “Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles.”
Business Insider reports that these organisations will include the likes of Snopes, ABC, Politifact, and FactCheck.org, all of which have records of left-wing partisanship — particularly throughout the 2016 election.
For example, PolitiFact infamously said it was “mostly false” when Donald Trump claimed in a presidential debate that Hillary Clinton wanted “open borders.” PolitiFact made this ruling despite Clinton being on the record at a paid speech saying “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.”
Trump also said that Russia has 1,800 nuclear warheads and has expanded its arsenal while the U.S. has not. PolitiFact admitted that Trump’s claim was factual, but it rated the statement as “half true” for supposedly “missing the big picture.”
In both of these cases, PolitiFact went beyond mere fact-checking and moved the goal posts in ways that benefited Clinton’s candidacy. This type of ideological “fact checking” went beyond parody during October’s presidential debates, with NBC taking Trump’s statement that Clinton “acid washed” her emails (a reference to the data deletion tool “BleachBit”) 100% literally and declaring the statement “false.”
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 10, 2016
Meanwhile at ABC, George Stephanpoulos — a former campaign operative and top White House staffer to Bill Clinton — led the network’s election coverage, never disclosing this fact in his on-air appearances. Stephanopoulos’s wife said the pair would “leave the country” should Donald Trump be elected to the presidency.