Who Will Check Facebook’s ‘Fact Checkers?’

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Facebook has unveiled new measures to address the issue of “fake news” and opinion-swaying hoaxes, however, these steps may create more problems than they solve — and boost claims that the “fake news crisis” is an attempt to impose political controls on the media.

One Facebook measure gives power to consumers themselves: Anyone will be able to report a hoax by clicking the upper right hand corner of a post.

People can flood the system with fake reports of fake news, either to punish websites and news organizations they dislike or to subvert the fake-news-flagging process itself.

Facebook’s main mechanism for “fake news” oversight will be a program involving third-party fact-checkers. These organizations will check stories submitted as “fake” by readers. If they are, in fact, determined to be fake, they will be flagged as “disputed by third parties.”

People will see the “disputed” warning when they are about to share a link to such a story and will be encouraged to read the fact-checking report. Opportunities for advertising revenue from “disputed” news items will be severely limited as well.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Who will watch the watchmen?
  • The only thing we know for sure is that the fact-checking is, to use Facebook’s terms, “disputed.”
  • In at least some cases, accusations of dishonest fact-checking have been based on highly tendentious interpretation.

“Conservatives argue that most fact-checking is opinion dressed up in the mantle of “Just the facts” — a blatant liberal attempt to control the discourse.”

Suppose a Democratic candidate had described watching video footage of a white police officer hurling racial slurs while repeatedly firing his gun into an unarmed, helpless black man. Suppose the actual video showed an ex-cop turned Black Lives Matter activist asserting that he had witnessed such an incident, with his story accompanied by footage of a dead body from a different police shooting.

Would any conservatives rise to defend the Democrat’s truthfulness?

Original Source: http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/media/310849-who-will-check-facebooks-fact-checkers

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