Facebook is adding a new “feature” ahead of the U.S. midterm elections that will allow “fact-checkers” to add warning labels to posts that they are unable to prove to be false.
The social media platform’s new censorship effort is currently being introduced as a pilot and may become permanent if successful in suppressing unwelcome narratives.
Facebook is letting a small group of “fact-checkers” leave labels on public posts that warn users the information could be “misleading,” rather than add the usually “false” rating.
The Big Tech company says it will apply the warning to information that “may not be verifiably false, but that people may find misleading.”
The move will allow “fact-checkers” to bypass the requirement to prove that information is false while they attempt to suppress it.
The social media behemoth’s latest censorship effort was revealed in Facebook’s parent company Meta’s new Community Standards Enforcement Report for the second quarter of this year.
One of Meta’s “enforcement” policies covered in the report concerns its third-party “fact-checker” program.
Buried at the very end of the report, Facebook briefly mentions the troubling new pilot program.
While critics will no doubt see it as yet another avenue for the giant to steer users in a particular direction, it is presented as quite the opposite by Meta.
The company claims the move will allegedly “empower” users as they come across content and are deciding “what to read, share, and trust.”
“A small group of our US third-party fact-checking partners has the ability to comment in English and Spanish to provide more information on public Facebook posts that they determine could benefit from more context,” the report reads.
It’s hard to tell how much impact the move will have on the information flow from the little space Facebook’s report dedicates to the project.
It does appear that it is separate from the “fact-checking” program which results in penalties for users, however.
If a “fact-checker” from the select group leaves a comment on your post, it will not represent a fact-check rating, directly result in negative consequences, or downrank content, Facebook promises.
Although, Facebook does appear to suggest that the goal is to discourage users from sharing posts that have been labeled with a warning from its left-wing “fact-checkers.”
Elsewhere in the report, Facebook reveals that in the Q2 of 2022, “fact-checker” warnings have been put on more than 200 million posts, including re-shares.