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How Facebook quietly pressures its independent fact-checkers – Source

When Mark Zuckerberg went to Washington for a rare, three-day charm tour last September, his schedule featured behind-closed-doors lunches, dinner with President Trump and Peter Thiel, and one-on-ones with lawmakers who, among other things, wanted to talk about a video on Facebook.

The two-minute-40-second clip, titled “Abortion is never medically necessary,” had racked up a few thousand shares since it had appeared weeks earlier, and had already stirred up a litany of outrage. The anger wasn’t over the video’s misleading title or its content, but because Facebook had slapped the video with a “false” label.

A post-2016 innovation, the labels aren’t placed by Facebook but by harried subcontractors, fact-checkers and journalists, and scientists who are fed a never-ending feed of potential misinformation. They can flag extreme misinformation for total removal—think dangerous coronavirus hoaxes—but mostly they place “false” or “partly false” labels on content,…

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