Facebook’s third-party reviewers or turtles? Scientists can’t tell.

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The CEO of Facebook on trial in May.
Facebook claims to also keep a check on false posts and fake accounts.

The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was called in front of the American Congress this May to answer for the foreign interference that Facebook was allegedly an unknowing accomplice to during the 2016 presidential election. Ever since then, Facebook has been doubling their efforts in fact-checking. Or so they claim.

Facebook has been giving reassurances about the competency of their third-party fact-checkers since 2016, but if you let that put you at ease, I’ve got news for you!

One of the said third-party fact-checkers, FactCheck.org, has told The Wall Street Journal that out of the hundreds of millions of things being posted each day, it reviews less than one on average.

Just this week Facebook has opened up to the public in a demonstrative video about their election war room. Also during his testimony to Congress, Mark Zuckerberg assured them that Facebook’s artificial intelligence algorithms are improving and that their human fact-checkers are racing against time in content moderation. So, this news definitely comes as a blow.

FactCheck claimed that although they have appointed two full-time staffers to work specifically with Facebook, they have seen little work. Such workload deprivation had been reported. Some of Facebook’s third-party reviewers are Snopes, the Associated Press, ABC News, The Weekly Standard Fact Check, Politifact and of course, FactCheck.org.

In their defense, a spokesperson at Facebook said,

“There’s no silver bullet to fighting misinformation, which is why we take a multi-prong approach. Fact-checking is an important part of our effort, but it’s [by] no means the only strategy we’re using.”

Facebook has promised that by the end of the year over 20,000 people will be employed as content moderators. Facebook claims to also keep a check on false posts and fake accounts.

But on the bright side, if this article had been on Facebook, I would have had to do significantly less research.

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