Dream job? Facebook advertises for ‘fake news’ fact checkers

Social media giant changes initial ad for ‘news credibility specialists’ to ‘news publisher specialists’

Facebook has advertised for “news credibility specialists” to fact-check content that appears on its site, after accusations of bias and the ongoing controversy over fake news.

Almost two years after the company fired its “trending” news team and replaced it with algorithms in an attempt to fight accusations of anti-conservative editing, it posted the job listings on Thursday last week.

The adverts said Facebook was looking to hire “individuals with a passion for journalism, who believe in Facebook’s mission of making the world more connected”.

“As a member of the team, you’ll be tasked with developing a deep expertise in Facebook’s News Credibility Program,” applicants were told. “You’ll be conducting investigations against predefined policies.”

The revised job title is now given as “news publisher specialist”, after some controversy in the media and all references to the company’s news credibility programme have been removed except for the URL, which remains the same. Also gone is the requirement for a “passion for journalism”.

The two jobs advertised would be based at Facebook’s head office, and one requires fluency in Spanish. Work would involve, among other duties, creating lists of credible news organisations used across the site.

As far as the ‘Trending’ section goes, Facebook announced last week the closure of this altogether. The company is now seeking a new approach to its platform, de-prioritising news in favour of stories from friends and family, while more aggressively seeking to support news from “trusted” outlets and working out ways to directly suppress the spread of fake news.

A Facebook spokesperson told the Guardian: “We’re working on how we more effectively identify and differentiate news and news sources across our platform. For instance, we recently announced the Archive of Ads with Political Content, where we’ll build separate treatments for both news and non-news content.”

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