FACT CHECK: Did Snopes Choose Not to Renew Its Fact-checking Contract with Facebook?

Posted: Feb 01, 2019 5:00 PM
FACT CHECK: Did Snopes Choose Not to Renew Its Fact-checking Contract with Facebook?

Source: AP Photo/Patrick Sison


Snopes.com, a fact-checking platform that partnered with Facebook in December 2016 to assist in preventing the dissemination of disinformation and "fake news," has opted not to renew its contract with the social media platform.

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According to an article posted by Snopes, the fact-checking platform has opted not to renew its paid contract with Facebook.

As Snopes states, it initially worked with Facebook for free and without being offered any formal contract. Eventually, Facebook did offer compensation to the fact-checking organizations it was partnering with, and Snopes accepted that agreement, which it has disclosed. In 2017, Facebook paid Snopes $100,000 for its fact-checking prowess.

Though Snopes will no longer be involved with fact-checking on Facebook's platform specifically, the organization stated that it isn't stopping its analysis of internet content and is not ruling out working alongside social media platforms, including Facebook, in the future. For the time being, the organization will be dedicated to "evaluating the ramifications and costs of providing third-party fact-checking services."

At this time we are evaluating the ramifications and costs of providing third-party fact-checking services, and we want to determine with certainty that our efforts to aid any particular platform are a net positive for our online community, publication, and staff.

To be clear, we have not ruled out working with Facebook or any other platforms in the future. We hope to keep an open dialogue going with Facebook to discuss approaches to combating misinformation that are beneficial to platforms, fact-checking organizations, and the user community alike, and we particularly hope Mr. Zuckerberg meets with fact-checkers as part of his recently announced series of public discussions.

With the 2020 elections gearing up, Snopes says it's "committed to working diligently on behalf of [its] community, just as [it] did in 2016."

Snopes notes that its choice not to renew its contract will pose financial stress for the organization, but that its "extremely talented" and "dedicated staff" are ready to tackle any challenges that may come its way.

Forgoing an economic opportunity is not a decision that we or any other journalistic enterprise can take lightly in the current publishing landscape. A change like this means that we have less money to invest in our publication — and we will need to adapt to make up for it.

As we enter the 2020 U.S. election cycle, we are committed to working diligently on behalf of our community, just as we did in 2016. We are striving day and night to establish secure footing in some of the toughest terrain that our industry has ever faced.

We will continue to be pioneers in a challenging digital media landscape, forever looking for opportunities to cultivate our publication and increase our impact. Our extremely talented and dedicated staff stands ready for the challenges ahead.

Read Snopes.com's full message to its community and readership here.