Watchmen

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ALREADY reeling from the Cambridge Analytica controversy, Facebook is once again in the spotlight – this time, it made another ‘laughable’ decision in taking on Rappler and Vera Files as content fact-checkers on the widely-used social media platform.

The move, according to some netizens, strikes at the very core of its credibility as a social media platform, as Rappler and Vera Files are also saddled with credibility issues, not to mention political partisanship.

Of course, there is no question that the people at Rappler and Vera Files are highly qualified to do fact-checking, but qualifications are not the issue, as both entities are already compromised by their ‘judgmental, biased and antagonistic’ reporting against the Duterte administration.

Rappler and Vera Files, no doubt, can do an incredible job at fact-checking, but the question remains: Will they be credible? If the fact-checkers are suspect, so is the product of their fact-checking.

As one movie sound bite aptly put it, “Who will watch the Watchmen?”

Facebook must have been severely addled by its own credibility problems that it failed to do some fact-checking on its own as to whether it hired the right outfits to do fact-checking on its behalf.

And if there is any group out there that deserves to be trusted to credibly check facts, it would be the academic scholars and scientists who should handle the job for Facebook, because while they have their own personal biases, the nature of their profession will not allow them to use these biases for fact-checking.

In line with this, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar is already readying their position on Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partnership and will present it in a meeting called by the social network giant.

We can only hope that the PCOO can knock some sense into Facebook to make it triple-check its decision for third-party fact-checkers, and we are pretty sure that almost everyone will play the waiting game if the social media giant will change its mind or not.

p: wjg

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