Was the fact-checking partnership to fight fake news between news website Rappler and Facebook that was just announced two days ago already rescinded by Facebook? No, that's not true: that news was made up by a satirical website which had a story marked as fake by Rappler yesterday.
SAN FRANCISCO, California (The Adobo Chronicles, San Francisco Bureau) - For CEO Maria Ressa, being designated as a fact-checker of news on social media by no less than Facebook, is quite a feather on Rappler's cap.But Ressa's pride and prejudice is about to abruptly end.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told The Adobo Chronicles that he was rescinding Facebook's partnership with Rappler.
It is indeed true that Facebook announced a partnership with Rappler and Verafiles to combat fake news and misinformation on Facebook in the Philippines:
MANILA, Philippines - Facebook on Thursday, April 12, announced its partnership with Rappler and Vera Files for a third-party fact-checking program in the Philippines which aims to prevent false news from spreading on the social media platform.
But the part about Facebook already ending the partnership is not true. Earlier this week Rappler debunked a hoax story from the Adobo Chronicles that said Rappler CEO Maria Ressa had been elected president of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP):
Published 7:32 PM, April 13, 2018 Claim: Rappler CEO Maria Ressa has been elected as the president of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP). Rating: FALSE. Facts: Rappler is not a foreign media outlet and is not a member of FOCAP. Maria Ressa has not been elected as president of the organization.
Apparently The Adobo Chronicles had been writing several satirical articles about Rappler and the Facebook partnership and their most recent article indicated the were unhappy being marked as "fake" while they had a satire disclaimer present on the site. However people who just saw their posts on social media would not have seen such disclaimer and they would also not see the special formatting the site uses to distinguish fact from fiction. The Adobo Chronicles is a satire website from the Philippines with an about page that explains the site's format:
NEW FORMAT: The Adobo Chronicles has recently adopted a new format to help readers distinguish between fact and fiction. Statements and paragraphs in our posts that are in italics represent the facts. The rest are fiction.
The fake claims were indeed not in italics. But it makes sense for Rappler to debunk them anyway, I suspect they will probably have the same reasons we do for debunking satire.
The Adobo Chronicles also claims this:
The Adobo Chronicles is a registered trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office | Registration # 4711386. And THAT is a fact!
We at Lead Stories verified that part and it is indeed true even though it was not written in italics:
THE ADOBO CHRONICLES Trademark of Astudillo, Renato - Registration Number 4711386 - Serial Number 86348300 :: Justia Trademarks
THE ADOBO CHRONICLES is a trademark of Astudillo, Renato. Filed in July 25 (2014), the THE ADOBO CHRONICLES covers On-line journals, namely, blogs featuring news and political satire
But you probably shouldn't believe anything from them that is not in italics otherwise.