Facebook has a new verification partner, Axios first reported Thursday: CheckYourFact.com, the fact-finding arm of The Daily Caller, a right-wing website founded by hawker theorist of the plot Tucker Carlson.
CheckYourFact.com describes itself as "editorial independent" of The Daily Caller. Its funding comes from The Daily Caller's operating budget, advertising revenues and a grant that is ultimately funded by conservative political groups, according to Media questions, a conservative media monitoring organization.
Facebook has accepted as a partner because CheckYourFact.com is accredited by the Poynter Journalism Institute International Fact Verification Network (IFCN). Accreditation qualifies organizations for Facebook factual partnership, a program that uses third parties to evaluate the truth of articles posted on Facebook. If an article is considered misleading, Facebook retrogrades it in news and research.
Despite Poynter's will, skepticism and anger over the new partnership are legion. An organization affiliated with The Daily Caller – a swamp of misinformation and bias – can it be right?
"Facebook adds The Daily Caller as official fact checker, it's terrifying …"
"Adding Facebook to The Daily Caller as an official examiner is terrifying," said Angelo Carusone, director of Media Matters, at Mashable. "At a time when newsrooms continue to reduce their staff, right-wing media can resist vertical concealment by checking facts and exploiting gaps in the landscape."
The Poynter evaluator found CheckYourFact.com checked all the boxes of the IFCN. Poynter needs "impartiality and fairness, transparency of sources, funding and organization, methodology, and an open and honest correction policy" to be approved by the IFCN.
But as Carusone suggests, even though he technically checks the boxes, what does the Daily Caller do even in the area of fact checking? This is a website that has published apologists for Charlottesville, denial of climate changeand Pizzagate conspiracy theorists; it would be exceedingly generous not to question the reasons why they set up a control arm of the facts. If he was interested in the facts, why would he not already know, does he check the facts?
Facebook fact check program has been criticized as an ineffective public relations effort, not a robust solution to the problem of online spread of fake incendiaries. The inclusion of the fact-checking arm of The Daily Caller only adds to the perception that it's a way for Facebook to claim equity. and bi-politics, while allowing bad faith to take advantage of the system.
As with Facebook's fact-checking program as a whole, CheckYourFacts.com seems rather to be a way for The Daily Caller to erect a veneer of legitimacy. It also gives him a way to possibly have a say in what ranks up and down on Facebook.
"Facebook continues to be a victim of the work of the right-handed referees gambit and remains far too willing to do counter-productive, and sometimes even strange, things to relieve the critics of the right," Carusone said. "The systems remain inadequate and too susceptible to manipulation."