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Facebook explains its fact checking mechanisms

Legally speaking, third-party fact-checks used on Meta’s social network Facebook are just ‘opinions’ and not statements of fact, according to the tech company. It earlier said it reserves the right to fact-check opinion pieces.
The stunning admission about the nature of fact-checks was made by Meta in a court filing in a case brought against the social network by libertarian pundit John Stossel.

In a suit filed in September, Stossel claimed that Facebook and a third-party vendor defamed him, by labeling a video about wildfires he posted on his page. The label read: “Missing Context. Independent fact-checkers say this information could mislead people,” and urged readers to click a button to “see why.” The link led to an explanation debunking a claim, which Stossel said he never made in his video.

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        <img src="https://cdni.rt.com/files/2021.12/thumbnail/61b6f77d20302763f7295526.jpg" alt="FILE PHOTO. Andrew 'Boz' Bosworth in 2017. ©Christian Charisius / dpa via Global Look Press" />
        <figcaption><a href="/usa/543017-facebook-misinformation-under-question/">Facebook tech guru questions fight against misinformation</a></figcaption>

Defending its fact-checking process before a US district court in California, Meta explained that the labels used by Facebook “are neither false nor defamatory; to the contrary, they constitute protected opinion.” The same is true for the explanations that the labels link to, the filing argued.

The fact-checking industry has been booming amid increasing pressure on US-based tech giants to better police speech on their platforms, supposedly to curb political interference by malign actors and the spread of misinformation.

Facebook rules give it a pretty wide breadth of what should be fact-checked. Ironically, last year the social network made it clear that content which is “presented as opinion but is based on underlying false information – even if it’s an op-ed or editorial – [is] still eligible to be fact-checked.”

Meanwhile, even some of Meta’s own executives have reservations about the approach it has taken.

“Our ability to know what is misinformation is itself in question, and I think reasonably so,” Andrew Bosworth, who is set to become Meta’s CTO next year, said in an Axios on HBO interview.
https://ift.tt/3m3Pbh7 14, 2021 at 03:18PM
from RT – Daily news

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