After a highly-publicized misinformation campaign on social media during the 2016 presidential campaign, Facebook announced it would be introducing a fact-checking feature in an effort to bring more accurate information to its audience. According to the Wall Street Journal, the fact-checking will be done by an outside source.
However, every article will not pass through the fact-checking feature.
Facebook reportedly will not label any article it deems to be an opinion piece or satire article as false even if it includes incorrect information.
From the report:
The rules, which haven’t been announced, coincide with Facebook’s decision last week to remove a false designation from a Washington Examiner opinion piece, overriding the conclusion of one of its fact-check partners. That op-ed argued that global-warming climate models have been inaccurate and that the risks of climate change is overblown.
It is an interesting decision on Facebook’s part. If they truly want to combat false information, they would do so even in an opinion piece. Now, when it comes to satire, simply labeling the article as satire should be enough to inform readers that everything in the article is likely tongue-in-cheek.
However, since opinion articles will often include information that the opinions are based off of, fact-checking would go a long way in ensuring that the premise of the article is based in truth. But, that’s just not the way Facebook has decided to go.
Facebook’s fact-checking program has become a central piece of the company’s response to misinformation since its unveiling in late 2016. Fact-checking groups choose what content to review, and material deemed false or partially false carries a warning and is distributed by Facebook’s algorithms to fewer people.
We’ll have to see how Facebook continues to combat misinformation moving forward, especially at a time when the 2020 presidential race is about to heat up.