Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg reveals the company may crowdsource fact-checking as a new model for Facebook’s third-party factchecking partnerships, now that they've botched the deal they had with Snopes.
Earlier this month, we wrote that Snopes ended their 'debunking false stuff' partnership with Facebook.
This is the first time we've read that Mark Zuckerberg has come up with a new plan.
From today's new reporting at the Guardian:
In the first of a series of public conversations, Zuckerberg praised the efforts of factcheckers who partnered with Facebook following the 2016 presidential election as a bulwark against the flood of misinformation and fake news that was overtaking the site’s News Feed.
“The issue here is there aren’t enough of them,” he said. “There just aren’t a lot of factcheckers.”
He continued: “I think that the real thing that we want to try to get to over time is more of a crowdsourced model where people, it’s not that people are trusting some sort, some basic set of experts who are accredited but are in some kind of lofty institution somewhere else. It’s like do you trust? Like if you get enough data points from within the community of people reasonably looking at something and assessing it over time, then the question is: can you compound that together into something that is a strong enough signal that we can then use that?”
Here's the bullshit-free response from Snopes' Brooke Binkowski, same Guardian story:
Brooke Binkowski, the former managing editor of Snopes, a factchecking site that previously partnered with Facebook, said Zuckerberg’s comments signaled that he “has learned nothing at all”.
“You can’t apply an open-source model to factchecking and journalism,” she said. “You have to have experts. You can’t just have Joe Schmo who thinks that the New York Times is a liberal rag, just because Trump says it’s the enemy of the people.”
Binkowski, who has long been critical of Facebook’s factchecking partnership with news organizations, noted that there were countless examples of the failures of crowdsourced reporting, such as Twitter and Reddit users misidentifying the suspect in the Boston marathon bombing, leading to harassment of an innocent family.
Zuckerberg emphasized that he was not “announcing a new program”, but was instead describing the “general direction” that he wants to pursue.