In its crusade against ‘fake news’, Facebook has vowed to fight for impartiality. However, when it comes to fact-checking, it seems to rely on sources, which have links to the US government, and renowned political meddlers.
For more than two years, the social media giant has been seeking to convince the public that it does its best to take a stand against malicious disinformation spread through its network and presented a whole bunch of instruments aimed at revealing and countering false narratives.
It appears, though, that Facebook heavily relies on decisions taken by some third-parties in its ‘anti-disinformation’ policy.
Submissions from the so-called fact-checkers – alongside some feedback from users – seem to be the primary source on which Facebook relies when saying a post is ‘false’.
Facebook proudly boasted that all the “partners” it cooperates with were “certified” through what it calls “the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network” or IFCN.
However, the social network’s choice of people to trust with the power to decide what is true or false does raise questions. This seemingly impressive “international network” Facebook mentions is a project run by Florida-based private school of journalism – the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.
The project, which Facebook apparently uses as a sole instrument to find trustworthy “partners,” seems to be way more than just a selfless initiative aimed at helping people navigate through questionable information.
The IFCN was launched in 2015 following a generous donation totaling $300,000, which the Poynter Institute received from two sources. One of them is the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – a “soft-power” organization, which is funded primarily through annual allocations from the US Congress. Another one is the Omidyar Network – a foundation run by the eBay founder and self-described “progressive” billionaire Pierre Omidyar.
Although he has not yet apparently gained as much fame – or infamy for that matter – as another US billionaire and renowned political meddler, George Soros, Omidyar has also lately shown himself as a major patron of regime-change operations. As early as in 2014, the US media reported that Omidyar supported anti-government groups in Ukraine that opposed the then President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted during Maidan.