Snopes No Longer Serving As In-House Fact Checker For Facebook, Second Major Fact-Checking Agency To Cut Ties

A person holds a phone and uses a Facebook app
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Claim: Snopes will no longer be serving as the fact checker for social media giant Facebook.

Rated: True.

The fact-checking site Snopes has announced that it is no longer serving as the in-house fact checker for the social media site, a relationship that began in the wake of the many false articles that gained viral interest on Facebook during the 2016 presidential election. As the BBC reported, Snopes is now the second fact-checking agency to cut ties with Facebook after the Associated Press also confirmed that it stopped checking articles for Facebook after its contract expired at the end of last year.

The report noted that Facebook still maintains a robust fact-checking arsenal, hoping to combat the rampant fake news that spread in 2016, partly through a Russian campaign to interfere in the presidential election with the hope of electing Donald Trump.

“We are committed to fighting this through many tactics, and the work that third-party fact-checkers do is a valued and important piece of this effort,” a spokesperson for Facebook told the BBC. “We have strong relationships with 34 fact-checking partners around the world who fact-check content in 16 languages, and we plan to expand the program this year by adding new partners and languages.”

Snopes had been paid $100,000 for its work with Facebook in 2017, the report noted, but the fact-checking site that got its start busting urban legends before taking on political stories said it needed to make sure that its efforts were “a net positive for our online community, publication and staff.”

The departures of Snopes and the Associated Press comes as Facebook faces pressure for its role in allowing fake news to spread on its site and for failing to disclose that it had accepted foreign funding for American political advertisements in 2016.

Last year, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was grilled for nearly 10 hours by the House and Senate amid reports that the site allowed Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to Donald Trump, to access information from close to 50 million users without their knowledge. As CNN reported, Zuckerberg took responsibility for the breach.

“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. “I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Snopes founder David Mikkelson said he did not rule out working with Facebook again in the future.