Facebook announced the launch of its third-party fact-checking program today in Bangladesh as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce the spread of misinformation and improve the quality of news people find online. Facebook will partner with BOOM, which has been certified by the Poynter Institute's non-partisan International Fact Checking Network.
Starting today, BOOM will review and rate the accuracy of stories on Facebook, including photos and videos in Bangladesh, according to a press release from the social media giant. When third-party fact-checkers rate a story as false, it will appear lower in the News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution. Facebook is also working with BOOM in other countries such as India and Myanmar.
"We know that people want to see accurate information on Facebook and we are excited to announce the continued growth of our third-party fact-checking program through our partnership with BOOM for Bangladesh. We believe that with this fact-checking program, we can help build a more informed community and look forward to exploring more opportunities to expand this program locally." said Anjali Kapoor, Facebook's News Partnership Director, APAC.
This program is in line with Facebook's three-part framework to improve the quality and authenticity of stories in the news feed. When third-party fact-checkers write articles about a piece of content, Facebook will show these in Related Articles immediately below the story in news feed. Page admins and people on Facebook will also receive notifications if they try to share a post or have shared one that's been determined to be false, empowering people to decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share.
"BOOM is delighted to expand our fact check operation into Bangladesh, with a dedicated team on ground, where we'll debunk online misinformation on topics from health and medicine to current affairs. Fact checking is at the core of what we do and we are hopeful that with this effort, readers in Bangladesh will get the information they need to make informed decisions and be able to better identify factual news and information online," said Govind Ethiraj, Founder-Editor of BOOM.
In addition to third-party fact-checking, Facebook also supports efforts to empower people with digital and news literacy skills to decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share. It does so by promoting news literacy programs globally and sharing tips to help spot false news, and informing people with more context about the posts they see in news feed. In Bangladesh specifically, Facebook partnered with Banglalink for the second time earlier this year to launch a digital literacy program -- Internet 101. The program works to ensure that users understand internet safety best practices through one-on-one training sessions at each of Banglalink's 3,000 retail locations. The program will also reach out to 1,600 college students through Youth Connect discussion forums at select universities to talk about digital literacy and online safety.
Facebook's fact-checking program started in December 2016, and today, it has over 60 partners fact-checking content in over 50 languages. The program also relies on feedback from the Facebook community, as a signal to raise potentially false stories to fact-checkers for review. This is the latest in a series of Facebook's efforts to curb false news and Facebook will continue exploring efforts to support building an informed community.