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Facebook has just launched its fact-checking operation in the UK

January 11, 2019

Facebook has expanded its global third-party fact-checking efforts to the UK.

What’s new: Articles, images, and videos posted on Facebook in the UK will now be fact-checked by independent charity Full Fact as part of an effort to reduce the spread of “fake news.”

How it’ll work: Facebook users can flag a post if they suspect it is false. It is then reviewed by Full Fact, which will label it as true, not true, or a mixture. If false, the post won’t disappear, but it’ll appear lower in news feeds (so it’s seen by fewer people). Full Fact will prioritize posts that could damage people’s health or safety, or undermine democratic processes. Facebook is funding the initiative.    

Background: This initiative launched in the US in December 2016 in response to an outcry over Facebook’s role facilitating the spread of misinformation in the US presidential campaign. Facebook currently pairs with 49 fact-checkers in 24 countries.

No magic pill: It’s virtually impossible to eradicate all false posts. As Full Fact says, “Factchecking is slow, careful, pretty unglamorous work.” However, Facebook is keen to be seen to be making progress, especially after a year of scandals at a time when it is coming under growing pressure from lawmakers around the world

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