With the amount of misinformation flying around, it is no wonder that the social media giant is taking steps to try and curb it. With its new introduction of ‘fact-checking’ Facebook is one of the only social media outlets that upright lets people know that they are posting nonsense!
What are Facebook ‘fact-checkers’?
Recently you might have seen a notification on a post on Facebook claiming that the post has been reviewed by ‘Fact-checkers’. In a surprising move to fight the spread of misinformation, Facebook has employed a fact-checking function. This function is inbuilt into the Facebook interface and works with all posted content on the app.
Facebook explains how they have used technology as well as human intervention to enable the new fact-checking function. Some countries will have certified users working in accordance with the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network.
How do fact-checkers work?
Well, Facebook does not make it extremely clear on this. It seems Facebook is using ‘bots’ to identify hate speech, terrorist content, and more. Basically these bots scan content and compare it to Facebook’s Community Guidelines which outlines what can and cannot be posted on the social media app. There is also the use of machine learning, to help identify posts that should be checked based on past reports.
Another way this function works is by reviewing content that has been reported by users. You will notice that there are new options when you report a post on Facebook, that includes ‘False news’, ‘Terrorism’, etc. Facebook employs a team of third-party fact-checkers that are reviewed by the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network, that rate content on the app. Depending on the rating given, these posts will appear lower in your News Feed, thus reducing the exposure of misinformation.
Can you block or turn off Facebook’s fact-checkers?
No. Facebook’s fact-checking function is inbuilt and part of the interface. There is no way to isolate specific fact-checkers and block them. Naturally, Facebook does not divulge the identity of its fact-checkers, and even if it did, these fact-checkers work through Facebook, and not from a personal account.
Blocking a ‘fact-checker’ person using Facebook’s block function only blocks users and pages with that name from showing up on your News Feed. It does nothing to prevent your content from being reviewed by Facebook.
Well, there you have it. While Facebook’s fact-checking algorithm is by no means perfect, it does look like a step in the right direction. What do you think about this function? Let us know in the comments below.
How to turn off fact-checking on Facebook
Well, as mention just above, you cannot turn off fact-checking on Facebook. Any article or video claiming that is not correct (as of July 29, 2020). For now, you will have to live with the fact-checking, even though it may big you once in a while.
But I heard you can block fact-checkers…
Well, ironic as it is, this is actually a hoax. It seems to have stemmed from a post back in January that claimed that Facebook bots were able to search through your posts and block them. While this is not completely off-base, there is no real way to block these ‘bots’.
There are a lot of guides out there that tell you to block ‘fact-checkers’ from the Facebook block user function. However, all this does is block users and pages that call themselves ‘Fact checker’. Facebook does not actually disclose who and where the Fact-checkers actually are, so blocking random pages named ‘Fact checker’ won’t really do much.