VERA FILES FACT SHEET: Facebook’s third-party fact-checking program in PH explained

On April 12, Facebook launched its third-party fact-checking program in the Philippines, partnering with VERA Files Fact Check as well as Rappler.

Your questions about the program, answered.

How does the third-party fact-checking program work?

VERA Files Fact Check, which started during the 2016 elections, has been producing since September 2017 weekly roundups that debunk the most viral fake news, identifying their biggest social media traffic generators, and providing readers with the real deal. This is on top of debunking the false claims of public figures and tracking their flip-flops.

As Facebook’s third-party fact-checker, we are doing more of the same with greater frequency, and are also rating the accuracy of website articles posted on Facebook as:

  • FALSE, if the primary claim is factually inaccurate
  • TRUE, if the primary claim is factually accurate
  • MIXTURE, if the claim is misleading, unproven, partly true or a mix of accurate and inaccurate information

Articles may also be rated NOT ELIGIBLE for fact-checking if they contain information that benefit from additional context.

These ratings are based on Facebook’s rating options.

We follow the same stringent fact-checking process before publishing our reports, chiefly using primary sources as evidence and providing links to these in our reports.

What is fake news?

We define fake news as falsified information disguised as news spread through one or several platforms, including social media, to deliberately deceive the audience and advance political, ideological, social or economic interest.

Does VERA Files block Facebook pages sharing fake news?

No.

What happens after VERA Files rates articles false?

Facebook takes action by placing stories rated false lower in news feeds and reducing the ability of pages repeatedly sharing false news to monetize and advertize.

Users are also notified if they have shared reports rated false and are provided links to related articles produced by third-party fact-checkers.

Do VERA Files and Rappler jointly fact-check and rate articles for Facebook?

We work independently from Rappler, and do not cross-check its reports. Neither does it cross-check ours.

How does one fact-check the fact-checkers?

VERA Files Fact Check is the first Philippine fact-checking organization certified through the nonpartisan International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at Poynter.

We are guided by the code of principles of the IFCN, including a commitment to open and honest corrections.

Email us at [email protected] for appeals on our fact-checks. We correct substantive errors and insert corrections in the original report with an accompanying editor’s note.

Fact-checking is a process comprising steps that can be replicated. Learn how to spot and debunk fake news and false claims with our DIY fact checking guide.

FOR FURTHER READING

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About Vera Files

Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

Contact Us

Email us at [email protected]