In Facebook's effort to fight fake news, human fact-checkers struggle to keep up

At Facebook Inc. headquarters in Silicon Valley this week, engineers and researchers huddled around computers in a newly configured “war room” to fight misinformation ahead of the midterms. Almost 3,000 miles away, in Philadelphia, the fact-checkers hired to be on the front lines haven’t received fresh marching orders.

The disconnect highlights how Facebook’s efforts to combat fake news are playing out differently this election cycle than many expected. Although the company has touted its partnerships with organizations in Philadelphia that provide human fact-checkers to vet possibly phony posts, those groups are playing a limited role.

The vast majority of Facebook’s efforts against fake news are powered by artificial intelligence, not humans. is one of five domestic groups hired by Facebook to deploy human fact-checkers to help prevent a repeat of 2016, when the social-media giant’s platform was flooded with misinformation aimed at sowing divisions ahead of the presidential election.

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