Freedom of Speech has many netizens to “share” news on their Facebook timelines in succession. However, it is unfortunate that a major portion of the Fb users is spreading news and rumors without verifying them. This is quite an issue, as people seem to be abusing this right to speech. In addition, many are being offended by this irresponsible expression. Nevertheless, before discussing that, let us see what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has initiated on the social site in response to this.
Zuckerberg had declared in the month of December 2016 that the social site would allow users to report to the authorities if they suspect any untrue news on the social site. This reported information would then be checked for authenticity by third-party fact-checking organizations like Snopes and Politifact. They look for any presence of inaccuracy in the content. If the posts were found to be fabricated or bogus, they would be labeled as “disputed”. A link navigating to the fact-checking sites will also be provided so the users can explore the reasons behind that label.
After being reported, it takes time for the post to undergo scrutiny thereby, delaying the entire process of labeling the post as disputed. In addition, this requires at least two fact-checking organizations to authorize before the post is labeled as disputed. Those posts that are labeled as “disputed” do not seem to be deleted or removed from the website. In addition, the post may be authentic losing out the purpose of being circulated.
However, who validates these fact-checking sites’ research? The sites should be committed to the Code of Principles laid down by the well-known journalism non-profit Poynter. Although this is progress, some are not very convinced by this initiative as being effective.