Facebook steps up fact-checking programme, adds five new partners

MUMBAI: Social networking giant Facebook has stepped up its third-party fact-checking programme in India by adding five more partners namely India Today Group, Factly, Vishvas.news, Newsmobile and Fact Crescendo.

The five news platforms have been certified by International Fact-Checking Network – a non-partisan Fact-Checking Network unit of the Poynter Institute which is dedicated to bringing together fact-checkers from around the world. They will join Facebook’s existing partners Boom Live and AFP.

The fact-checking will be done in various languages including English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Malayalam, and Marathi.

“We are committed to fighting the spread of false news on Facebook, especially ahead of the 2019 General Election campaign season. And one way to do that is by growing our partnership with third-party fact-checkers. We now have seven partners across the country covering six languages, who will review and rate the accuracy of stories on Facebook,” Facebook India News Partnership Head Manish Khanduri said.

He added that these efforts are part of a long-term commitment because the tactics used by bad actors are always changing. “So we are trying to take action in the short-term, but also invest in partnerships, tools and technology we’ll need to stay ahead of new types of false news as well,” Khanduri added.

Facebook’s fact-checker is aimed at curbing the spread of fake news. Stories that are marked as fake news don’t appear on the top of the news feed. This helps in curbing the distribution of these stories.

The platform said it has been able to reduce the distribution of fake news by 80% once the news is rated as false.