The journalists who were hired as “fact-checkers” for Facebook have reportedly “lost trust” in the company, claiming the role is closer to being Facebook’s “propaganda” arm than actual fact-checkers.
In an article, the Guardian compiled several complaints from current and former Facebook fact-checkers, who revealed their distrust in the social network.
Facebook currently has fact-checking partnerships with Snopes, PolitiFact, Factcheck.org, the Weekly Standard, and Associated Press.
“They’ve essentially used us for crisis PR,” expressed former Snopes managing editor Brooke Binkowski to the Guardian. “They’re not taking anything seriously. They are more interested in making themselves look good and passing the buck… They clearly don’t care.”
“You’re not doing journalism anymore. You’re doing propaganda,” she continued, adding, “They threw us under the bus at every opportunity.”
Another former Snopes employee, Kim LaCapria, recently left the company over its partnership with Facebook, accusing it of focusing only on the “appearance of trying to prevent damage without actually doing anything,” and expressing distaste with the fact that Snopes was being paid by Facebook.
“Why should we trust Facebook when it’s pushing the same rumors that its own fact checkers are calling fake news?” added an unnamed Facebook fact-checker. “It’s worth asking how do they treat stories about George Soros on the platform knowing they specifically pay people to try to link political enemies to him?[…] Working with Facebook makes us look bad.”
One fact-checker who has reportedly “long worked” with Facebook even referred to the social network as a “terrible company,” declaring, “and, on a personal level, I don’t want to have anything to do with them,” while another fact-checker proclaimed, “Most of us feel it’s more trouble than it’s worth.”
An investigation revealed that Snopes employs left-wing people almost exclusively, with some of its most prominent fact-checkers openly describing themselves as “progressive” and expressing anti-Trump sentiment.
A satirical article from popular satire website Babylon Bee about CNN using a washing machine to “spin the news,” was also nearly removed by Facebook after Snopes fact-checked it as false.
One of Facebook’s other top fact-checking partners, Politifact, is funded by a frequent Clinton Foundation donor, and gave preferential treatment to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election — rating 51 percent of Clinton’s claims as true versus just over 15 percent for Trump.
Even a 2013 article from one of Facebook’s other fact-checking partners, the Weekly Standard, claimed Politifact “has it out for Republicans,” and the Weekly Standard itself has also pushed out misleading information during its partnership with Facebook.