Facebook is hiring fake-news fact-checkers

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Facebook is hiring.


Facebook has a problem with fake news. It’s something the company has made no secret of and — even though it was reluctant to acknowledge it at first — is now working to tackle.

One of the ways it’s doing this is by hiring “news publisher specialists” to fact-check content that appears on the social network, according to job ads spotted by The Guardian on Friday.

The contracted positions based at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, were originally listed as “news credibility specialists,” with the original job titles still in the URL for the listings at the time of writing. According to The Guardian, the job descriptions also originally listed a “passion for journalism” as a requirement, but this was later removed.

Facebook’s struggle with fake news emerged in the wake of the 2016 Brexit referendum and US presidential election. Over the past year, the social network has cracked down on the issue through a variety of means, including partnerships with fact-checking organizations and adverts in newspapers. It’s also made concerted efforts not to be viewed as a news publisher, and instead maintains that it’s an aggregator.

Facebook moved away from using human editors in 2016, putting more emphasis on algorithms to do the heavy lifting of identifying newsworthy content and credible sources for its Trending Topics section. Last week, Facebook announced it would discontinue the section, which has been criticized for promoting hoax stories, altogether.

But even without Trending Topics, it still has the problem of fake user-shared news stories gaining traction among readers. It’s now looking to establish new ways to let users know whether the source of a story is trustworthy.

Facebook didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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