Facebook is looking to hire “news credibility specialists” to presumably sift through news stories to determine what’s real and what’s fake. The company posted two job listings yesterday, one for an English speaker and another for a Spanish speaker. Although the roles are now called “News Publisher Specialist,” the hyperlink to the posts calls them a “News Credibility Specialist.” Facebook appears to have made edits to the posts after media outlets picked up on them.
The job postings used to say that the company was looking to hire people with “a passion for journalism, who believe in Facebook’s mission of making the world more connected.” The Guardian reports that applicants were told that they’d be tasked with “developing a deep expertise in Facebook’s News Credibility Program,” and that they’d be “conducting investigations against predefined policies.”
Facebook previously fired its editorial team and has tried to remain neutral when it comes to filtering news, especially because it was accused of having political biases. Since then, it’s partnered with third-party fact-checkers to catch and flag fake news. The company works with Poynter International Fact-Checking Network members, including Snopes and Politifact, to identify hoaxes and discourage users from sharing them. It recently implemented a similar strategy in India.
It’s interesting that Facebook is potentially bringing the fact-checking job back in-house, because it would open the company up again to accusations of bias and blame for mistakes. At the same time, some fact-checkers seem aggrieved at having to agree to Facebook’s procedure and pacing, so maybe hiring someone who outwardly agrees with Facebook’s values and how fake news is handled would mitigate some tension.