The largest social network in the world is partnering with organizations that have signed on to the International Fact-Checking Network fact-checkers’ code of principles to enable them to verify selected links being shared on Facebook and have those fact checks attached to the original link. This is the first time Facebook has given third parties special placement in the News Feed, which is the biggest single referrer of traffic to news websites in the United States, and a huge traffic driver in other parts of the world. This move comes after Facebook faced intense scrutiny for the spread of fake news and misinformation on its platform during the election.
“Symbolically, this is huge,” Alexios Mantzarlis, director of the ICFN, told BuzzFeed News when asked about the significance of this partnership for fact checkers.
He also cautioned that “we’re going to have to wait and see how the solutions announced by Facebook work in practice and how they are scaled up worldwide to determine what significance this has for fact-checking and the battle against fake news.”