Dec 17, 2016 06:46 AM EST

Facebook To Crack Down On Fake News Using Independent Fact-Checkers: They Are Not Paid By Facebook, Internal Media Still Unflagged

By JC Santos

Social media and tech giant Facebook -- due to mounting criticism over its confusing and ambiguous responses regarding false news stories circulating in social media -- has decided to outsource its fact-checking of external news sources and websites to smaller news organizations. Facebook News Feed Vice President Adam Mosseri said the company would release new features in its app to remove the "worst of the worst" or "the clear hoaxes spread by spammers."

According to Ars Technica, Facebook has become a pool for fake news as it cluttered its trending news module for two reasons. One is because the social network fired its editorial staff and second, its faulty algorithms can be "hijacked" by spammers if done properly.

The news website said Facebook News Feed VP Adam Mosseri said that features would allow flagging stories that gained fame more than normal such as "Pizzagate." Users can then flag potential fake stories, which then head towards the signatories of the International Fact-Checkers Network Code of Principles -- a journalistic non-profit that reviews the accuracy of news stories.

Some dispute the efficacy of using third-party peer reviews and fact-checking. According to Vox, the social network would be outsourcing to renowned fact-checkers Snopes, Politifact,, ABC News and the Associated Press. It said Facebook is giving the news fact-checkers a new power over website branding through the "dispute" option -- which can then expose these small organizations to public scrutiny. Perhaps it is a way to "pay" them; the social media will not pay them a single cent for their services

Observers said media -- internal videos, photo memes, and images or texts will remain unaffected or until Facebook announces these troubling media would also be flagged. Another issue is that Facebook users disgruntled by accurate stories could flag such as "fake news" -- effectively clogging up the queue for fact-checking. Along with the outsourcing of news fact-checking, Facebook is also to hire a new "Head of News." The official advertising by the social media company indicates the head of news needs to have at least 20 years experience in the industry -- and also clues that he or she may be a "head editor" for news.

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