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Facebook is partnering with fact-checkers to identify and flag stories as fake

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You might have heard: Almost a quarter of Americans say they’ve shared fake news online, a new report from the Pew Research Center says, and 14 percent say they knew it was fake when they shared it (Pew Research Center)

But did you know: Facebook is starting a new program in partnership with Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network identify fake news on the platform. Facebook says it will use reports from users and “other signals” to send potentially fake stories to fact-checking organizations, which will then verify these stories. If a story is determined to be false, Facebook will flag it as disputed and link to a corresponding article explaining why it’s disputed. Facebook also says those stories will appear lower in users’ news feeds.

+ Fact-checking organizations that partner with Facebook won’t receive any payment from Facebook, “but may get a traffic and branding boost from the debunk post links” (TechCrunch); The AP says it will be part of the program and says it will begin to label its fact-checking stories as “AP Fact Check” in the headline (Associated Press)

+ But how will this program be received by Facebook’s users? Conservatives are already worried that their voices will be disproportionately suppressed and that fact-checking won’t be evenly applied (Business Insider), and some people might view a story being disputed by a fact-checker as a “badge of honor” (Atlantic)

+ “Its experiments on curtailing fake news show that Facebook recognizes it has a deepening responsibility for what is on its site. But Facebook also must tread cautiously in making changes, because it is wary of exposing itself to claims of censorship,” Mike Isaac writes (New York Times); “We all must get smarter about what we’re reading and viewing,” Margaret Sullivan argues, “Schools should be redoubling their efforts to teach news literacy, civics and history. … Fact-checking, and good judgment, informed by radical skepticism, matter most. And yes, a slower trigger finger on the share buttons.” (Washington Post)

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