The tech giant made much ado about bringing on third-party fact-checkers to restrict fake news. However, it has faced allegations that the fact-checkers themselves are easily swayed– supposedly, too many of them are biased. And it seems that Facebook desires to change this perception. Quartz sources allege that Facebook has contracted conservative magazine Weekly Standard as one of its fact-checking partners. Reportedly, this is an attempt to “appease all sides” by choosing a publication that links a right-wing bent with an attention to accuracy.
The Standard is not a shoe-in. Experts at Poynter still have to check if the publication adheres to guidelines for not just fact-checking, but its transparency regarding sources and willingness to accept corrections if it ever commits a mistake. This could take numerous weeks. Facebook has been asked for comments regarding the matter
Facebook has been asked for comments regarding the matter.
It is easy to observe some complaining that Facebook is including a different point of view for its own advantage, striving for perceived neutrality above everything else. After all, existing partners tend to be sites that are dedicated to fact-checking (like Snopes or PolitiFact) while the Standard is a magazine that uses fact-checking to serve an agenda that it wears on its sleeve.
With that, the Standard may be one o Facebook’s better choices. in September, it hired a new fact-checker, and the industry contacts of Quartz understand that the recruit was welcomed with the Facebook partnership in mind. The magazine also tends to oppose the party line when it does not believe the facts line up, such as when it declines to deny climate science (although it belittles doom-and-gloom predictions). In other words, this does not look to be an impulsive pick — Facebook wants to be sure that its media outlet selections can survive scrutiny, wherever they come on the political spectrum.