Meta further expands its Third-Party Fact-Checking Program in Bulgaria

Today, Meta is announcing it is further expanding its third-party fact-checking program in Bulgaria by adding Factcheck.bg to the program in the country. Factcheck.bg, a Bulgarian fact-checker certified through the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network, will employ native Bulgarian language fact-checkers to review and rate the accuracy of content in Bulgaria, complementing the work already being done in the country by AFP.

Factcheck.bg is an initiative of Association of European Journalists Bulgaria. The platform has a dedicated team of experienced journalists and fact-checkers and editorial independence. 

As part of Meta’s fight against misinformation, we partner with independent, third-party fact-checkers around the world, who review and rate the accuracy of content. When a fact-checker rates a story as false, we show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution. This stops the misinformation from spreading and reduces the number of people who see it. Pages and domains that repeatedly share false news will also see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetize and advertise removed. And when a post has been marked as false, we warn people who see the post or try to share the post that it has been marked as false. Fact-checkers do not remove accounts or pages from Facebook or Instagram.

We’re happy to have Factcheck.bg as our third-party fact-checking partner in Bulgaria. Expanding our third-party fact-checking program is an important milestone in fighting false news and helping Bulgarian people to use our platforms safely ” – Vitnija Saldava, Public Policy Manager for Bulgaria at Meta

“We are constantly working on ways to help stop the spread of misinformation on our platform and understand the value of partnering with local experts to do so. We are pleased to start working with Factcheck.bg and welcome them to our global program.” – James Morgan, Strategic Partner Development Manager, News Integrity at Meta

This program is in line with Meta family of apps three-part framework to improve the quality and authenticity of content in the News Feed, wherein Facebook removes accounts and content that violate its Community Standards or ad policies, reduces the distribution of false news and inauthentic content like clickbait, and informs people by giving them more context on the posts they see.

“Factcheck.bg’s mission is to fight against disinformation by checking facts against the highest standards of professional journalism on topics of public importance. The partnership with Meta gives us the opportunity to work in support of this mission, as it will allow us to oppose the spread of disinformation on one of the most visited social networks for Bulgaria”, said Kristina Hristova, head of the Factcheck.bg project.

Factcheck.bg will begin fact-checking on Facebook and Instagram in March this year. This is the second fact-checking partner in Bulgaria after establishing a partnership with AFP. Today, we work with nearly 100 fact-checking partners in more than 60 languages globally, and we’re investing in ways to scale these efforts further.


What is Meta's third-party fact-checking program?
Meta has been working with fact-checking organizations around the world since December 2016. The company relies on them to identify misinformation in an effort to reduce its reach. Meta currently works with fact-checking organizations in more than 40 countries. All of these organizations are part of the International Fact-Checking Network. Meta submits information that has the potential to be false to Factcheck.bg by using signals such as feedback from the Meta community or similarity detection. Meta’s technology can detect posts that are likely to be misinformation based on a variety of signals, including how people react and how quickly the content spreads. During significant public events or trending topics where speed is especially important, the use of keywords brings related content together in one place, making it easier for Factcheck.bg to find and verify.
How does the process work?
Meta users can flag content they think might be false. The Factcheck.bg team will check these alerts for potential misinformation, and at the end of the check, the verified content will be rated as true, false, misleading, or lacking sufficient information. Users will be informed whether the post they have shared or are about to share has been verified and will be given the opportunity to read more about the sources of the claim, but will not be stopped from sharing any content. Claims that are flagged as false will appear less in the news stream so that they reach fewer users.
Will Meta have control over Factcheck Bulgaria's checks?
As with the other organizations Factcheck.bg works with, Meta will have no influence over our editorial policy. Meta will have no control over the selection of what we check and write, nor over the evaluation we give. Meta staff will not be notified in advance of checks being uploaded. We will publish all checks within this project in full on our website and will evaluate the project on an ongoing basis.
What does Factcheck.bg do?
The Factcheck.bg team fact-checks by following the principles of the International Fact-Checking Network to which it has adhered ever since. This includes verifying the information obtained through journalistic work, consulting primary sources, checking with public information and analyzing the credibility of photo and video materials.
What Factcheck.bg does not do?
Fact-checking organizations do not remove content – posts, profiles or Facebook pages. Meta can remove content that contradicts its community standards, and the process is separate from the fact-checking program.
What happens if content shared by a user on Facebook is determined to be false?
If a Meta partner fact-checking organization flags content you’ve shared as false, you’ll be notified. You will be given the opportunity to review the findings of the verification and the sources. The content will not be automatically removed, but will be shown less in the news feed in order to reduce the spread of misinformation. Your profile will not be restricted.
Your Facebook profile/page/group has been restricted/deleted. Does Factcheck.bg have anything to do with this?
Factcheck.bg does not remove content, restrict Facebook profiles/groups and pages. Factcheck.bg has no relation to Meta’s checks on community standards. Factcheck.bg cannot assist in either restricting or restoring restricted profiles/pages/groups. Factcheck.bg does not have the contacts of the Meta units responsible for this activity and cannot provide assistance in such cases. If you have questions about this topic, please use the communication channels provided by Meta.

Публикацията е създадена с подкрепата на Европейския съюз. Отговорността за съдържанието е изцяло на Factcheck.bg.

Factcheck.bg is an initiative of the Association of European Journalists - Bulgaria. The aim of the team is to support the efforts of journalists to provide verified and reliable information by engaging in fact-checking in current news, public speeches and social media posts.