Amid growing concerns of misinformation spreading online, Facebook recently  hosted a virtual briefing session to highlight the aggressive steps the  platform has taken to combat it. These include creating an unparalleled  global network of over 80 fact-checking partners and promoting accurate  information to removing content when it breaks rules

The  session covered the definition of ‘misinformation’ as false information  that is often shared unintentionally. The content is shared on an  individual basis and is not part of any coordinated attempt to mislead  or deceive people. ‘Disinformation’ refers to sharing content with the  deliberate intent to mislead as part of a manipulation campaign or  information operation. This activity is coordinated and can involve the  use of fake accounts.

Facebook’s own approach to counter misinformation involves a  three-part strategy for addressing misinformation on Facebook – Remove,  Reduce and Inform. Part of this strategy is their third party fact  checking program.

Explaining the platform’s Third Party Fact Checking further, Facebook  informed participants of the session, “We do not believe any single  entity – either a private company or government – should have the power  to decide what is true and what is false. When one single actor is the  arbiter of truth, there is a power imbalance and potential for  overreach. With this in mind, we rely on independent fact-checkers to  identify and review potential misinformation, which enables us to take  action.”

Facebook partners with over 80 independent third party  fact checkers globally, working in over 60 languages. In the past year,  Facebook extended support to the fact-checking communities including $2  million in grants from Facebook and WhatsApp – for third-party  fact-checkers in highly affected regions to help them increase capacity  as they do this essential work. Facebook also launched a year-long  fellowship with 10 fact-checking organizations, including several from  this region, to bring on new team members to help build capacity within  the region. Facebook partners have been certified through the  independent, non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network.

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