Facebook is partnering with German news agency DPA as part of a larger effort to combat fake news through fact-checking ahead of the European Parliament elections in May.
Since the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US presidential election, the Silicon Valley-based social networking company has come under pressure around the world to end fake accounts that sway public opinion in politics.
Tessa Lyons, Facebook’s head of news feed integrity, told journalists in Berlin on Monday that Facebook will increase the number of people fighting fake news globally from 20,000 now to 30,000 by the end of the year. He said he plans to increase it.
According to Lyons, the joint plan with the DPA includes a 24-hour operations center of engineers, data scientists, researchers and policy experts working with external organizations.
Facebook is also training more than 100,000 German students in media literacy to stop paid advertising being abused for political ends.
Germany has been particularly active in cracking down on hate speech online, last year enacting a law requiring companies to remove offensive posts or fine them up to €50 million.
Monday’s announcement comes after the EU accused Facebook, like Google and Twitter, of insufficient pledges to combat misinformation after signing a voluntary code of conduct to evade regulation. Almost a month later.
In addition to human intervention, improving machine learning methods to identify untrustworthy messages on the platform will be a key component of Facebook’s fight against misinformation.