Facebook fact check partners can now flag misleading photos, videos

FAKE NEWS? Facebook announces that it will start fact checking photos and videos that are posted on its platform.

FAKE NEWS? Facebook announces that it will start fact checking photos and videos that are posted on its platform.

MANILA, Philippines – Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners can now flag misleading photos and videos that were uploaded directly to the platform.

In a news post dated Thursday, September 13, Facebook Product Manager Antonia Woodford announced fact checking for photos and videos would be made available to their 27 third-party fact checking partners in 17 countries.

Woodford explained that Facebook uses a machine learning model along with feedback from people to identify potentially false photos or videos. These are sent to fact checkers for review, or fact checkers can surface content on their own.

“People share millions of photos and videos on Facebook every day. We know that this kind of sharing is particularly compelling because it’s visual. That said, it also creates an easy opportunity for manipulation by bad actors,” said Woodford.

Misinformation is spread differently in different countries, Woodford added, explaining, “The same hoax can travel across different content types, so it’s important to build defenses against misinformation across articles, as well as photos and videos.”

Up until now, third-party fact checkers could only rate articles shared on Facebook.

The expansion comes in the wake of increased efforts to prevent the spread of misinformation on social media platforms.

To illustrate the impact of foreign actors on the 2016 US elections, US lawmakers in May released thousands of ads posted on Facebook from 2015 to 2017 allegedly placed by the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency. (READ: These are the Facebook ads Russia bought to misinform US voters)

On September 6, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey attended a senate hearing where they said they were better prepared to combat foreign influence on their platforms. This, in the midst of the ongoing US midterm elections. (READ: Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter's Jack Dorsey testify before U.S. Congress– Vernise L Tantuco/Rappler.com

Editor’s Note: Facebook’s Third Party Fact Checking Program was launched in the Philippines in April 2018 with Rappler and Vera Files, the two local fact check organizations accredited by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at Poynter Institute. In September 4, ahead of the global launch, both organizations were given access to the photo and video fact check feature. Both have been fact checking photos, videos, and memes before the Facebook feature was rolled out.