Facebook should have tapped academics as fact-checkers, says professor


Posted at Apr 16 2018 11:50 AM

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MANILA - Facebook should have tapped academics as fact-checkers, instead of news organizations, a political science professor said Monday.

The social media giant recently announced its partnership with online news organizations Rappler and Vera Files as a third-party fact-checker in its continuing campaign against "fake news.

But Antonio Contreras, a De La Salle University professor, questioned the credibility of the news organizations, known to be critical of President Rodrigo Duterte.

"I would have contracted academics rather than news organizations," said Prof. Contreras, stressing that fact-checkers should be non-partisan.

Ellen Tordesillas, president of VERA Files, said Facebook has tasked them to check whether articles from news website are true, false, or a mixture of both.

The scope, she said, is not limited to articles on President Duterte.

As for the question of neutrality, Tordesillas said that as journalists, they are only after the truth.

"During the talks with Facebook, they raised that. I said 'yung objectivity, neutrality, things like that. Sabi ko, I don't know what your definition of neutrality is, pero as far as I'm a journalist, we're after the truth and we go by the facts," she said.