Facebook to Pilot a New Fact Checking Programme With Community Reviewers

In a bid to address fake content faster, Facebook has announced a new pilot programme to allow fact-checkers quickly see whether a representative group of Facebook users found a claim to be corroborated or contradicted.

The programme will have community reviewers work as researchers to find information that can contradict the most obvious online hoaxes or corroborate other claims.

Facebook said it is partnering with YouGov, a global public opinion and data company, for the pilot project.

“These community reviewers are not Facebook employees but instead will be hired as contractors through one of our partners,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

“They are not making final decisions themselves. Instead, their findings will be shared with the third-party fact-checkers as additional context as they do their own official review,” it added.

For example, if there is a post claiming that a celebrity has died and community reviewers don’t find any other sources reporting that news, “or see a report that the same celebrity is performing later that day”, they can flag that the claim isn’t corroborated.

Fact-checkers will then see this information as they review and rate the post.

The pilot project is currently live in the US.

Facebook said it is working with experts and partners across many fields to understand how it can better support fact-checking partners in their effort to review content faster.

According to the social networking giant, its machine learning model identifies potential misinformation using a variety of signals.

These include comments on the post that express disbelief, and whether a post is being shared by a Page that has spread misinformation in the past.

“If there is an indication that a post may be misinformation, it will be sent to a diverse group of community reviewers,” said Facebook.

These community reviewers will be asked to identify the main claim in the post.

They will then conduct research to find other sources that either support or refute that claim, similar to the way a person using Facebook may search for other news articles to assess it if they believe the main claim in a post.

Fact-checking partners will then be able to see the collective assessment of community reviewers as a signal in selecting which stories to review and rate, said Facebook.

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