In the past, Facebook has gotten into a number of scandals, mostly involving the handling of its users’ data. There was the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which was uncovered that Facebook had been selling user data and this led to Facebook management appearing before US Congress to defend themselves. It has also been uncovered that there was mass misuse of user data leading up to the 2016 US presidential elections and this has cast a shadow of distrust over Facebook that has not quite been shaken off despite the time that has passed.
In a bid to avoid a repeat of the issue, it has been announced the Reuters will be the official fact-checkers for Facebook and Instagram leading up to the 2020 US presidential elections.
It was announced on February 12, 2020, that Facebook’s third-party fact-checking program, along with Reuters, will be working together to dispel misinformation spread through Facebook and Instagram in the run-up to the elections.
Reuters will be in charge of fact-checking and verifying the authenticity of the files, headlines on content in both English and Spanish that are posted on the two platforms.
“We are steadfastly recognizing the magnitude of misinformation taking place around the world. It’s a growing issue that impacts society daily and it’s a responsibility for news organizations and platforms to halt the spread of false news,” Jess April, director of global partnerships at Reuters, said.
This comes just after Reuters received certification from the International Fact-Checking Network and this is certainly a boost to their credibility as they begin this new partnership with Facebook.
This is certainly needed as the US presidential race is starting to heat up with several candidates dropping out of the election such as Andrew Yang, who recently announced that he would be suspending his presidential campaign. As the months pass, there will likely be even more political content on both platforms and thus, they need to fact-check.
“While there is great work left to be done, you know, I am the math guy, and it is clear tonight from the numbers that we are not going to win this race […] I am not someone who wants to accept donations and support in a race that we will not win. And so tonight I am announcing I am suspending my campaign for president,” Andrew Yang said,