After Facebook announced the first phase of a fact-checking initiative last month with partner Correctiv, a startup with 20 editorial staff manually checking false claims, the social network has been seeking out more media partners abroad. The timing is no coincidence: With elections looming in France, Holland and Germany next year, the specter of fake news, propaganda and nationalist hate speech looms large.
But German publishers are sitting it out.
“Almost all publishers have decided not to move,” said one publishing executive, speaking anonymously, as conversations with Facebook are changing regularly. “They have said, ‘I don’t want to be in the first wave; maybe I will see who partners first and then join later.’”