Facebook and its fact checkers: More harm or otiose?

I think the moves of Facebook to partner with Fact Checkers is an attempt to salvage their reputation, which as of late has been suffering from a series significant setbacks that has tarnished its image and if not remedied will negatively affect their business. The news that Facebook in the Philippines has partnered with Rappler and Vera Files has brought this issue in fact checking in a social media platform to the fore. Here are some interesting articles, posts and media that I think is helpful in this topic:

How fact checking works on Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/facebookmedia/get-started/fact-checking

Facebook begins fact-checking news for users in India, one of its largest markets — https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/17/17246658/facebook-third-party-fact-checking-india

Way too little, way too late’: Facebook’s factcheckers say effort is failing —

Noam Chomsky – The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine

FB and FACT CHECKERS Will it be effective ? Will it even matter?

A few things come to my mind about this partnership:

First, Is this a partnership with monetary compensation?

Second, How effective and credible will fact checkers like Rappler and Vera Files when in a hyper partisan political environment they carry the label as critics of the government? A similar concern would be raised if FB had chosen known media that are pro-government.

Third, How would fact checkers treats post and articles that are commentary or satire. Would there be an instance when they would be tagged as fake news? What would be consequences?

Fourth, The Internet, Digital Media and Social Media has circumvented the notion of the gatekeeper of news, information and knowledge. Trying to gatekeep on Facebook is as effective as cupping a corpse or like Canute commanding the waves to stop. News, information and knowledge will always find a way within and outside of Facebook.

Fifth, More concern should be given on how FB and other companies have been harvesting and using BIG Data because at its most core Big Data is made up of personal data — an individuals information and actions logged and tracked.

Sixth, Facebook and other companies that harvest and use BIG DATA should be more transparent in their use. Governments should have stronger anti-trust regulations on these companies and not freedom of expression.

Seventh, In the end though the best champion or paladin against these things is … us individually — critical thinking (or ability to ask why and demand proof for whatever idea or thought ppsted) and the realisation that the Internet, Digital Media and Social Media is a business and we are the commodity.

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