Facebook and The Poynter Institute have partnered on a new “three-course” certificate program for journalists.
Journalists who complete the program, which includes courses on “how journalists can best utilize Facebook and Instagram,” how to “connect with your audience” by using Facebook Live, and how to use 360 videos and photos for “immersive storytelling,” will receive a certificate recognized by both Facebook and The Poynter Institute.
“As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, we are committed to improving our training and tools for journalists,” declared Facebook on their official journalist courses page. “The Facebook for Journalists Certificate is a free curriculum to make it easier for journalists to utilize Facebook and Instagram in their daily work: from newsgathering, to storytelling in new formats, to engaging with their followers.”
“Course enrollees who pass Poynter’s written assessment will receive a certificate of completion, recognized by both Facebook and Poynter, via Blueprint, our e-learning system,” the company continued, before encouraging journalists to sign up.
“We’re honored, indeed, that Facebook is working with Poynter on this innovative certificate,” said Poynter President Tim Franklin. “Poynter’s prominence as a voice for independent journalism combined with our expertise in training makes us the perfect partner to provide this high-quality, relevant program.”
Last month, The Daily Mail reported that Facebook, which has become notorious for banning conservative and anti-SJW users, as well as harmless comedy pages, has started to roll out anti-“fake news” features, which are run by partisan fact-checking services led by The Poynter Institute.
“Users have reported seeing a pop-up window when they attempted to share articles that were deemed inaccurate by third-party fact-checkers,” reported The Daily Mail. “Facebook itself will not decide what is real and what is considered fake. Instead, it is enlisting The Poynter Institute, a Florida journalism school, to sift through content. The Poynter Institute is the host of the International Fact Checking Network which bills itself as a ‘global alliance of fact checkers’. Its members include ABC News, Politico, The Associated Press, Snopes.com and The Washington Post.”
The term “fake news” has often been used to smear independent conservative news sources, such as Breitbart News, despite the fact that several news outlets have been exposed by Breitbart for publishing their own “fake news,” including the Independent, the Daily Beast, CNN (numerous times), the Atlantic, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.
Though Facebook and The Poynter Institute deem Snopes as an allegedly “neutral” fact-checking service, many of Snopes’ fact-checkers were discovered by conservative media to be openly left-wing and self-described “progressives.”
As previously reported, “Snopes fact-checker Arturo R. Garcia openly labels himself as a ‘progressive,’ attempted to compare Trump supporters to racists on Twitter, misattributed a quote about him to Breitbart News, and acts as the editor of ‘Racialicious’ – ‘A blog about the intersection of race and culture’.”
Fellow Snopes fact-checker Bethania Palmer attempted to link Trump to the KKK, defended a racist professor, wrote numerous left-wing articles for Raw Story — including two attempting to associate former Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon to domestic violence and white supremacy — and acts as a contributor for the “progressive” non-profit Truthout.
David Emery, another fact-checker and staff writer at Snopes, openly asked on Twitter whether there were “any un-angry Trump supporters.”
Despite their clear political biases, all three were tasked with fact-checking political candidates over the 2016 presidential election under the guise of a neutral service.
In February, Apple CEO Tim Cook, who financially supported Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, called on tech companies to filter out “fake news,” while Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also penned a plan to tackle “fake news” last month, highlighting his intention to roll out the fact-checking feature.