Facebook announced on Thursday that is teaming up with the Greek organization Ellinika Hoaxes (Greek Hoaxes) to to crack down on what it considers fake news and misinformation in the runup to European Parliament elections this month.
The partnership is aimed at boosting fact-checking on its Greek platform.
According to Facebook guidelines, if a Facebook fact-checker rates content as false, it will appear lower in a user’s news feed. This significantly reduces the number of people who see it.
Pages and websites which repeatedly share false news will have some restrictions, including having their distribution reduced. They may also have their ability to monetize and advertise removed, and their ability to register as a news Page removed.
“The cooperation with Facebook will provide us with far more capabilities to deal instantly with the scourge of misinformation, which constitutes a threat to the foundations of democracy,” said Theodoros Daniilidis, the founder of “Ellinika Hoaxes”.
Greece’s Deputy Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media Minister Lefteris Kretsos was critical of Facebook’s decision, suggesting that Ellinika Hoaxes is not of the same caliber as Facebook’s partners in other countries.
“It is surprising that the global technological giant Facebook, with an estimated stock market value of 534 billion dollars (Galloway, 2018) and roughly three billion users worldwide… has decided to assign the job of guarding the truth of news on the Greek internet to a company that does not have the same expertise and experience with Facebook’s corresponding partners in other countries, such as AFP and Associated Press,” Kretsos said in a statement on Thursday evening.
Facebook’s twenty-one European Union partners, which check facts in fourteen languages – Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish – are accredited by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).
The partners are also part of a collaborative effort led by IFCN to fact-check content related to the European Parliamentary elections, called FactCheckEU.