#MediaProfessionals Assignment No. 4

Topic: Fact-Checking/Fact-Checking Organizations

The Struggle for The Truth is Real

Facebook launched its Fact-Checking program in partnership with 40 media organizations, worldwide, including the Associated Press, PolitiFact, Snopes, and the Weekly Standard. The program springboard after the said year’s presidential election in the United States of America, which, ‘fake news’, misinformation, disinformation, and political propaganda ‘reached hundreds of millions of users on the platform’.

Its program goal was to rely on the partnered media organizations to flag false news. The flagged false news will be ranked at the lower level in news feed and eventually will reduce its future views, that will affect advertisement and monetary sustainability, and eventually cause fake news sites to its closure.

This goal on aiding the dissemination of false information and the rise and sustainability of ‘the truthful information’ was a optimistic step for a better community until it struggled to make a difference — when personal interests of the powerful came into the picture.

The project is facing difficulties with the goal that eventually caused discontinue with some partnership of media organizations such as The Associated Press, Snopes, and Politifact.

In a February 2, 2019 on an online article produced by BBC, the two key fact-checkers, The Associated Press and Snopes, opted to discontinue with the partnership from the social media platform because of conflicting interests and controversies.

Among the concerns of these firms was how Facebook ignores and refuses to release meaningful data for fact-checking, and also, hires PR firms that would discredit critics and opponents by using an ‘antisemitic narrative’. — the irony of how this project wanted to eradicate false news practices, and yet, the project itself is doing the same thing that leads to the struggle of combating misinformation.

The reason for the actions of Facebook? Advertisement? Monetary? Bad PR? We do not know the specific agendas for the irony of practices in the fact-checking project but one thing is clear, the struggle of public interest and power of personal interest of the elite; and, the political economy blurs the transparency for the public interest.



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