Christopher Miller+ Your Authors @ChristopherJM Correspondent covering Eastern Europe & more for @BuzzFeedNews. Bylines: @RFERL @POLITICOEurope @ViceNews @thetimes @Guardian etc [email protected] Mar. 27, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

New: Today Facebook launched a third-party fact-checking program in Ukraine to counter disinfo on its platform. That's good, in theory. But some will take issue with at least one of its partners, @StopFakingNews, and should be concerned about it in practice.

Full press release:

Facebook is partnering with @Vox_UA and @StopFakingNews. The former is a reputable analytical organization that does do some fact-checking. The latter is a group that does only fact-checking but has in recent years become increasingly political. That's worrying. Why?

"When a fact-checker rates a story as false, we show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution." StopFake's @yevhenfedchenko takes political stances & speaks against press freedom & news stories critical of the govt or which don't include language he prefers.

Some more context: Facebook's Public Policy Manager in Ukraine @Kateryna_Kruk — who many will remember as one of the most visible activists of 2014's Euromaidan Revolution — worked with StopFake before taking her new job.

I've also been told that StopFake had funding cut from groups and governments, including the UK, over concerns about its fact-checking abilities and public comments made by co-founder Fedchenko attacking journalists and press freedom.

Facebook confirms to me that StopFake and VoxCheck will be paid for their work but the company declined to say how much.

More here on StopFake's connections to members of Ukrainian far-right groups and actual neo-Nazis.

You can follow @ChristopherJM.


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