Facebook announces Re:Baltica as fact-checking partner

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The social media company Facebook announced March 26 it was partnering with "independent, third-party fact-checkers" in the Baltic states who will review and rate the accuracy of content.

"Today we're announcing the launch of our third-party fact-checking program in Latvia and Estonia, and expansion in Lithuania with Re:Baltica and Delfi, which will join our current partner 15min.lt. All partners are certified through the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network," a press release said.

"When a fact-checker rates a story as false, we show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution. This stops the hoax from spreading and reduces the number of people who see it," the company claimed.

"Pages and domains that repeatedly share false news will also see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetize and advertise removed. And when a post has been marked as false, we warn people who see the post or try to share the post that it has been marked as false," Facebook said. 

However, Facebook did not say it would actually remove inaccurate or misleading material.

The policy differs from that of traditional media, in which standard procedure would be not to allow publication of false stories wherever possible and would result in retractions, corrections and apologies as and when inaccurate material is detected.

Facebook said it has over 55 partners fact-checking content in over 45 languages globally.

"The task of Re:Check is to ensure that in the era of social media people can access true information and facts. We verify whether officials, opinion leaders, various organisations’ statements or popular posts in social networks are true. We are delighted to become part of this team, so we can do even more,” said Evita Puriņa, editor of Re:Check.

Puriņa confirmed to LSM that the partnership is commercial rather than voluntary, so Re:Baltica does get paid for its fact-checking work by Facebook, though the exact terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Facebook's press office old LSM:

"We compensate our fact checkers but don't discuss details and deal terms.”

During the last few weeks, in this difficult time, we have been actively working to uncover the COVID-19-related disinformation. You can find all the articles in Latvian and Russian here: https://rebaltica.lv/recheck/

Further information about the aims of the Re:Check project is available at its website.

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