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Facebook’s fact-checkers don’t know if their efforts to fight fake news are working

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Facebook teamed up with media outlets after the U.S. presidential election to flag fake news, but some of the social network’s fact-checkers aren’t sure if their efforts are actually working.

That’s because the tech firm, citing privacy concerns, isn’t sharing any internal data from the project with its fact-checkers.

“I would say that the general lack of information — not only data — given by Facebook is a concern for a majority of publishers,” Adrien Sénécat, a journalist at Le Monde, a news organization that teamed up with Facebook to fact check, told Politico.

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Without the data, some fact-checkers say it’s hard to tell if flagging the stories as disputed are slowing down the spread of fake news.

Facebook, though, says the efforts are working, but didn’t share any data.

While the tech firm’s executives have stopped short of admitting that fake news influenced the outcome of the election, Facebook has also been stepping up its efforts to fight misinformation on the social network.

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PolitiFact, FactCheck.org, Snopes.com and other media outlets have teamed up with the social media firm to address these concerns.

On Wednesday, Facebook revealed that that fake accounts and pages that likely have ties to Russia spent $100,000 in divisive political ads from June 2015 to May 2017 before the U.S. presidential election.

But this isn’t the first time that Facebook has been criticized for not sharing enough information about its fake news efforts and its impact.

Digital rights groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, have been urging the social network to share more about how it moderates hate speech, violence and other offensive content.

An increasing number of Americans are getting their news from social media sites. A survey released Thursday by the Pew Research Center showed that as of August two-thirds of Americans got at least some of their news on social media.

Facebook currently has more than 2 billion monthly active users worldwide.

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Photo by Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Tags: facebook, fake news

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