Full Fact, the only UK member of scheme, offers 10 suggestions for improvements
Facebook should immediately extend its fact-checking programme to also cover Instagram, according to Full Fact, a journalism charity that is the only UK member of the scheme.
“We do not see why the third-party fact-checking programme cannot be fully expanded to Instagram,” Full Fact said in its report on the first six months of the programme. “The potential to prevent harm is high here, and there are known risks of health misinformation on the platform.”
Full Fact joined the fact-checking programme in January. The programme gives fact-checking organisations tools to scan Facebook for factual claims and mark them as true or false, and provide a link to a detailed assessment of their veracity.
As well as providing contextual information to Facebook users, the service gives the social network the information it needs to suppress misinformation. The disputed content is left on the site but Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm shows it to fewer people than if it were not marked as false.
Although Full Fact can check Instagram content, these checks have no effect on content directly. They only have an impact if links to Instagram content are posted on Facebook.
The charity, which is paid by Facebook to provide the fact-checking service, listed nine other recommendations for how Facebook could improve its programme. These include automatically applying previous ratings to new attempts to repost the same claim; adding more options that lie between “true” and “false” for posts that are unsubstantiated, humorous or lacking in context; and being more open about any plans to use the results of human fact-checking to train automated systems to do the same thing.
Facebook said: “We know there’s always room to improve. This includes scaling the impact of fact checks through identical content matching and similarity detection, continuing to evolve our rating scale to account for a growing spectrum of types of misinformation, piloting ways to utilise fact-checkers’ signals on Instagram and more.”
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