Snopes ends their 'debunking false stuff' partnership with Facebook. Here's why

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/02/01/snopes-ends-their-debunking.html

8 Likes

That is some True News.

15 Likes

Well, here’s their mistake. Facebook doesn’t care about anything besides itself.

36 Likes

Lying is always faster than fact checking. Which means that any sincere fact checking effort by FB needs lots of money and people to try to keep up. $100,000 is a pittance and seems to show that FB is not at all serious about fact checking.

43 Likes

Why not make flagging as false the default? Probably more accurate that way.

11 Likes

They’re good stuff, serious or silly.

A $100,000 annual budget for 16 people, and they use their work to buff Facebook’s reputation. Not cool.

14 Likes

fakebook

7 Likes

Was Snopes entirely funded by Facebook or was that just one part of their operating budget? $100k/year for 16 people is not even minimum wage.

On one hand it’s basically paying them for what they were already doing, but it sounds like Facebook make it kind of a pain for them to actually do the job and refuse to play nice with the rest of the Internet. On the other hand $100k is way less than the bad actors people are paying to promote their agenda on Facebook. Theoretically Facebook could use the information to make the troll’s more difficult by shutting down their web of accounts, but it sounds like they weren’t really commited with the partnership with Snopes, and probably worried about backlash from the “legitimate” sharers that just happen to be ideologically in-line with the messages that were being pushed. You would definitely see articles about how Facebook is targeting freedom loving Americans and shutting down their accounts for no apparent reason (other than of course the constant shares of disinformation that they 100% believe).

8 Likes

Facebook: The Trump of Tech.

Edited to add - I just read this. Rather timely:

11 Likes

I think it was a side project for Snopes, but that’s still not enough to pay someone’s time to wade through wonky-lizard-alien conspiracies from Facebook uncles.

That’s especially true when it’s a core PR and ethical problem for the company.

It’s a cheap way to make it look like you’re addressing a problem.

9 Likes

No surprise that they threw some chump change at the problem. They should be assigning a percentage of their revenue instead. Like hundreds of millions.

6 Likes

I’m OK reading information that hasn’t been fact checked by a 3rd party. I can live with that.

3 Likes

So, basically one person’s salary for a year to fact check all the Russian fascist troll garbage on Face#@&k. I think I could have said at the outset that wasn’t going anywhere.

10 Likes

Yeah. If Fb was taking this seriously, they should have been offering that amount as a starting salary for 16 individuals on a dedicated staff, tasked with responding to the most egregious spewers of fake news. At the end of the year, all of those 16 should submit a report on how many issues they noticed compared to how many they could address. That figure should result in a percentage of how far behind they are on the workload, and a very good idea of how many more staffers they need, and Fb should pony up for that many new fact-checkers WITHOUT QUESTION. Because fake news purveyors propagate faster than truth, and because establishing a dedicated staff of thousands of fact checkers would be both good “optics” as well as fulfill the stated mission.

Edit: clarified the difference between workload snd additional staffing requests…

8 Likes

Now where did I put my Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory gif?

9 Likes

girls_essen

12 Likes

Yay, Snopes! They took a limited amount of money from Facebook for a particular project. They did not take so much that they depended on it. And when they knew that this was water from a poisoned well, they did not take any more.

More money from Facebook is not the solution here. Snopes is apparently not for sale. Maybe, when I retire and don’t need a salary, I will apply.

10 Likes

:roll_eyes:

1 Like

I’m pretty sure that the people injecting fake news have an API.

API

7 Likes

Should we care who is funding “fact-checkers”?

https://www.integrityinitiative.net (Inactive since secret UK govt funding exposed)

Some FB funding:

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/blog/2011/oct/06/who-pays-for-politifact/

Is there an unbiased :roll_eyes: study of the funding sources of fact-checking sites?

1 Like