Facebook will hire its own team of part-time contracted fact-checkers, in a departure from the company’s previous reliance on third party fact-checking, according to a report from Axios.
According to the report, Facebook won’t say how many third-party reviewer will be hired. Their job will be to research “potential misinformation” that has been identified by Facebook’s automated systems.
Details: Facebook will hire the “community reviewers” through a third-party contractor called Appen, which sources, vets, selects and qualifies community reviewers.
- Appen will provide Facebook with a large, diverse and distributed pool of reviewers that reflects the diversity of age, gender, ethnicity and geography of Facebook users in the U.S.
- The reviewers will be tasked with researching potential misinformation once it is flagged by Facebook’s machine learning tools.
- Their goal is to look for information anywhere easily accessible on the web that can either contradict the most obvious online hoaxes or do the opposite, and corroborate other claims.
According to the report, Facebook will also partner with the polling company YouGov, allegedly “to ensure that the pool of community reviewers represent the diversity of people on Facebook.”
The report does not mention if this includes diversity of political viewpoint.
It does mention that Facebook consulted with the academic community ahead of its decision to hire the contractors:
In particular, it’s consulted experts like David Rand, associate professor of management science and brain and cognitive sciences at MIT; Paul Resnick, associate dean for Research and Faculty Affairs at the University of Michigan School of Information and director of the Center for Social Media Responsibility; and Joshua Tucker, professor of politics at NYU and co-director of NYU Social Media and Political Participation lab.
In censoring the news, Facebook goes far beyond the removal or “fact-checking” of incorrect information. It continues to block publishers from mentioning the name of the alleged whistleblower Eric Ciaramella, despite his name being tied to a major news story.
Are you an insider at Facebook, YouTube, Google, Reddit or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.