Feb 5, 2019

Exclusive: Facebook adds new fact-checking partner

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Facebook is adding Lead Stories as a new fact-checking partner, the company will announce today.

Why it matters: The announcement comes as Snopes, one of the first online fact-checking websites, says it is reevaluating its relationship with the Facebook fact-checking unit. The Associated Press is renegotiating its contracts with Facebook but says it plans to continue in the Facebook program.

Details: In addition to fact-checking posts that Facebook flags, Lead Stories will also use its own technology, called "Trendolizer," to detect trending hoaxes from hundreds of known fake news sites, satirical websites and prank generators. Lead Stories specializes in hoax debunking as well as fact-checking.

The big picture: The Facebook fact-checking effort includes over 30 partners, most of which have renewed their partnerships with Facebook for the rest of the year.

  • The two organizations discussing their partnerships with Facebook tend to be older, more mature fact-checking operations. ABC News also ended its relationship with the fact-checking program last year.

Yes, but: Neither Snopes nor the AP has fully ruled out the partnership. Snopes VP of operations and co-owner Vinny Green says that the company is trying to figure out what makes the most sense for their entire business long-term.

"The future of fact checking can't be defined by the relationships with platforms. They must be defined by fact-checkers themselves."
— Vinny Green

Part of that negotiation includes understanding the value that the partnership brings to Snopes' operation. Poynter reported last week that the partnership was taking up a lot of time amongst Snopes' small staff, time that could be spent building fact-checking tools across multiple platforms, not just Facebook.

  • Facebook said in a statement that it values the work that Snopes has done, and respects their decision as an independent business.
  • Sources say the fact-checking partnership was also at times a strain for small partners that had to share the burden of PR and legal headaches around the program.
  • Facebook launched a Media Legal Defense Initiative (MDLI) last year to provide some legal support to fact-checkers.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Infections number tops 140,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now infected over 142,000 people in the U.S. — more than any other country in the world, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: COVID-19 had killed over 2,400 people in the U.S. by Sunday night. That's far fewer than in Italy, where over 10,000 people have died — accounting for a third of the global death toll. The number of people who've recovered from the virus in the U.S. exceeded 2,600 Sunday evening.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 721,584 — Total deaths: 33,958 — Total recoveries: 149,122.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 142,106 — Total deaths: 2,479 — Total recoveries: 2,686.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump says his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "panicked" some people into fleeing New York
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reports 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reports almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

World coronavirus updates: Cases surge past 720,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now more than 720,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 33,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Sunday that his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.

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