Facebook is using part-time fact-checkers to fight misinformation

Mark Zuckerberg

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

  • Facebook is turning to a group of part-time "community reviewers" to aid in its fight against misinformation.
  • The reviewers are contractors tasked with spotting dubious-looking content, researching it, and then running it up the chain to Facebook's partnered fact-checkers.
  • Facebook said it had worked with YouGov to ensure the new reviewers reflected a set of "diverse viewpoints."
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Facebook is trying to bolster its fact-checking efforts with a group of part-time "community reviewers."

According to a company blog post, the new group of reviewers will not be fact-checkers themselves but rather will be in charge of researching and flagging content that looks dubious to Facebook's fact-checking partners.
"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," the Facebook product manager Henry Silverman wrote in the blog post. "Fact-checkers will then see this information as they review and rate the post."

These community reviewers will be part-time contractors recruited through a third-party partner called Appen. The new system with contracted workers is a pilot, and Facebook says it will "closely evaluate" their work over the next few months.

Facebook has come under fire recently for its refusal to fact-check political ads, and there's no indication in the post whether these community reviewers will review such content. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Silverman also announced that the company had collaborated with YouGov to ensure a diverse pool of reviewers with "diverse viewpoints," including with regard to political ideology.

Facebook has also taken heat from conservative US politicians - including President Donald Trump - who claim the company is inherently biased against conservatives.