San Francisco: Snopes Media Group Inc, a fact-checking organisation, has decided to end its partnership with Facebook Inc after two years. To fact-check content on Facebook, the two companies had been working together since December 2016, with the social network paying Snopes US$100,000 in 2017 for its services. Facebook has often, in the past, vouched for its fact-checking abilities and its partner, Snopes, who assisted the tech giant in weeding out fake news and photos.
“At this time we are evaluating the ramifications and costs of providing third-party fact-checking services, and we want to determine with certainty that our efforts to aid any particular platform are a net positive for our online community, publication, and staff,” Snopes said in a statement.
Not ruling out future partnership
Snopes said it hasn’t dismissed the idea of working with Facebook or any other platforms in the future. Facebook has been working to tackle misinformation on its site since the 2016 US elections.
However, external fact-checking partners have said the social media platform’s efforts to tackle misinformation have only scratched the surface of false content.
“We value the work that Snopes has done, and respect their decision as an independent business,” Facebook said, noting that it has 34 other fact-checking partners.
Fact-checking not Facebook’s top priority
Alex Stamos, Facebook’s former head of security, said fact-checking measures may not be as important as other technological improvements such as detecting fake accounts trying to spread the content.
“The fact-checking partnerships were always PR, because it’s the kind of well-understood, a visible intervention that journalists can see and cover,” Stamos tweeted. “The really effective product changes are often invisible.”