Facebook brings its third-party fact-checking program to Canada

Facebook Inc. is bringing its crusade against fake news north of the 49th parallel.

The social networking giant’s Canadian division announced Wednesday that it would be bringing its third-party fact-checking service to Canada in collaboration with news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), as part of its ongoing Elections Integrity Initiative, which aims to ensure that Facebook is a space for what it calls “authentic civic engagement.”

According to a June 27 press release, the fact-checkers will review Canadian news stories on Facebook in English and French and rate their accuracy.

A Facebook spokesperson told ITBusiness.ca that the company had chosen AFP as its lead partner because in principle, all partners for the fact-checking program must be certified by Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles, an international, non-partisan fact-checking network which does not include any Canadian members as of this writing.

The spokesperson said that Facebook’s program also requires fact-checkers to be employed in the country they’re covering, and that the AFP fact-checkers who participate in the Canadian program will be based in Canada.

Under the program, which was launched last year in the U.S. and this year was expanded to India and the Philippines, Canadian Facebook users will be told if a story they shared on Facebook has been rated as false, while Facebook pages that repeatedly share false news will become less visible on user’s news feeds.

If a Poynter-certified fact-checker such as Snopes or PolitiFact has written articles providing more information about a news story, those articles will be shown on users’ feeds immediately below the original story, under a “Related Articles” tab.

In the June 27 release, Facebook Canada public policy head Kevin Chan said the company’s goal was to impact organizations that spread false news by reducing their financial incentive to do so.

“We are committed to fighting the spread of false news and misinformation on multiple fronts, employing a variety of tools and tactics,” Chan said in the release. “There is no silver bullet… but we will continue to deploy a diverse set of solutions to ensure the integrity of our platform for Canadians.”

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of ITBusiness.ca turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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