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Did Snopes and Facebook End Their Fact-Checking Partnership? Mostly True

Snopes is calling it quits with Facebook… at least, for now.

The fact-checking website announced on Friday that it is ending its two-year partnership with Facebook to help fight fake news. David Mikkelson, founder of Snopes, and Vinny Green, head of operations, said in a blog post that they wouldn’t rule out working with Facebook again in the future.

“At this time we are evaluating the ramifications and costs of providing third-party fact-checking services, and we want to determine with certainty that our efforts to aid any particular platform are a net positive for our online community, publication, and staff,” they said in a blog post.

While the post didn’t go into detail, it does raise the question of whether the partnership was a worthwhile investment of time for Snopes’s resources. From the start of the partnership in December 2016 through 2017, Facebook paid Snopes a total of $100,000, according to Snopes’s 2017 financial disclosures. Snopes has not yet released its financials for 2018.

“Forgoing an economic opportunity is not a decision that we or any other journalistic enterprise can take lightly in the current publishing landscape,” Mikkelson and Green said. “A change like this means that we have less money to invest in our publication—and we will need to adapt to make up for it.”

A statement from Facebook said the company respects the decision of Snopes and values the work they have done during the two year partnership.

“Fighting misinformation takes a multi-pronged approach from across the industry. We are committed to fighting this through many tactics, and the work that third-party fact-checkers do is a valued and important piece of this effort,” the statement said.

Facebook currently has 34 fact-checking partners around the world, who work to verify information in 16 languages. The company said it plans to add more partners and languages this year.