In the wake of Donald Trump's win at the 2016 US Presidential Elections, the effect of fake news on social media on voters has come under intense scrutiny. So much so that Facebook announced on 15 Dec 2016 that they begin flagging fake news stories with the help of users and outside fact checkers.
According to Facebook, readers will be able to alert Facebook to possible fake news stories. If enough users report a story as fake, the social network will then pass it onto third parties to verify the facts. Facebook has identified five fact-checking organizations that they will work with - ABC News, AP, FactCheck.org, Politifact and Snopes.
While Facebook' introduction of this feature is a step in the right direction, we believe that there is little to cheer for Singaporeans. As far as we can tell, the fact-checking organizations are focused only on matters related to the US.
We are therefore pleased that some Singaporeans have started their own Fact Checking sites in Singapore. One that was highlighted to us was Fact Check Singapore. While it is still new and difficult to assess their agenda, their first few posts appear well researched and backed with "proof".
Unfortunately, with all the distortions, rumors, untruths, myths and smears that alternative media sites and personalities post on a daily basis, we are not too sure how much Fact Check Singapore can verify. Judging that they are a BlogSpot account, we assess that they are some civic minded Singaporeans who hold full-time jobs.
Nonetheless, we wish Fact Check Singapore all the best and hope that they can help correct misinformation circulating on social media in Singapore.