Opinion: Fact-Checking Facebook Was Like Playing A Doomed Game Of Whack-A-Mole

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Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Facebook has always struggled to comprehend the scale of its fake news and propaganda problem. Now, it’s struggling to retain the fact checkers it paid to try and deal with the crisis. Last week both Snopes and the Associated Press ended their partnerships with the social network, after a tense couple of years trying, without success, to tackle the epidemic.

But those partnerships should never have existed in the first place, and I say this as the former managing editor of Snopes, who Facebook first made contact with in 2016. When they first emailed me about a potential partnership, I knew it would bring much more attention to the work of our small newsroom — and much more scrutiny.

But what I didn’t realize was that we were entering a full-blown crisis, not just of “fake news,” but of journalism, democracy, and the nature

 


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