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Facebook Planning to Exempt Opinion Pieces from Fact-checking Programme

Since the 2016 US presidential election, Facebook has been trying to tackle the spread of misinformation on its platform

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FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Facebook is reportedly planning to exempt opinion pieces and satire write-ups from its third-party fact-checking programme which it uses to flag misinformation and fake news on its platform.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, “publishers that get their content labelled as false by fact checkers will also be able to appeal to Facebook”.

Fact-checkers currently have nine rating options to review content and satire and opinion are part of those options.

The social media giant last week exempted politicians from its third-party fact-checking programme, saying its efforts to curb fake news and misinformation don’t apply to politicians globally.

Nick Clegg who is vice president of Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook said the company does not believe it’s appropriate to referee political debates and prevent a politician’s speech from reaching its audience and being subject to public debate and scrutiny.

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The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple’s App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

“We have had this policy on the books for over a year now, posted publicly on our site under our eligibility guidelines. This means that we will not send organic content or ads from politicians to our third-party fact-checking partners for review,” Clegg said in a statement.

However, when a politician shares previously debunked content including links, videos and photos, Facebook plans to demote that content, display related information from fact-checkers, and reject its inclusion in advertisements.

“From now on, we will treat speech from politicians as newsworthy content that should, as a general rule, be seen and heard.”

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“However, in keeping with the principle that we apply different standards to content for which we receive payment, this will not apply to ads — if someone chooses to post an ad on Facebook, they must still fall within our Community Standards and our advertising policies,” Clegg elaborated.

Since the 2016 US presidential election, Facebook has been trying to tackle the spread of misinformation on its platform. (IANS)

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Private Firms Shouldn’t Censor Politicians, News: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook recently allowed US President Donald Trump's campaign office to post a fake ad about Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden on its platform

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FILE - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a Facebook developer conference in San Jose, California, May 1, 2018. VOA

Defending Facebook’s policy of not removing political advertisements containing false information, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that a private company should not be censoring politicians and news.

Challenged on CBS over the policy, Zuckerberg said “people should be able to judge for themselves the character of politicians”.

The policy has faced criticism from several quarters due to concerns that ads containing false information may spread misinformation and distort elections.

“What I believe is that in a democracy, it’s really important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying, so they can make their own judgments,” the Facebook CEO was quoted as saying.

While demands for reconsidering the policy emanated even from within the organisation, Zuckerberg did not commit to any changes.

Mark Zuckerberg. (Wikimedia Commons)

While Twitter has banned all political ads, Google last month announced new restrictions on such ads.

The Internet search giant put new limits on political advertisers globally from micro-targeting users via election ads based on their political affiliation.

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The main formats Google offers political advertisers are Search ads, YouTube ads and display ads. Under the new rules, political advertisers may target their ads only down to the postal code level.

Facebook recently allowed US President Donald Trump’s campaign office to post a fake ad about Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden on its platform. (IANS)