Facebook Canada, in collaboration with Agence France-Presse (AFP), has launched its third-party fact-checking program in Canada. Aimed at helping combat fake news, the program is part of Facebook Canada’s ongoing Elections Integrity Initiative to ensure the platform is a space for authentic civic engagement. AFP has been certified through Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles, a non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network. Through the program, AFP fact-checkers on the ground in Canada will review Canadian news stories on Facebook in English and French and rate their accuracy. Canadians will be informed if a story they shared on Facebook has been rated as false. As well, Pages on Facebook that repeatedly share fake news will be seen less across people’s News Feeds.
Facebook’s Messenger Kids app, aimed at children under 13, is now available in Canada. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) penned an open letter to Facebook urging it not to launch the app in Canada. PIAC has serious concerns about the use of the data collected, saying the app can equally be viewed as a form of surveillance: “a pre-consented-to ‘wiretap’ of children’s communications that is retained indefinitely for unknown purposes.”
Sony Crackle, Sony’s free video streaming service, will no longer be available in Canada as of June 28. The ad-supported movie and TV platform had been available in Canada since 2010. Under a partnership with Bell Media, some of the content previously available on Crackle will be accessible on new VOD services CTV Vault and CTV Movies later this year.
The Canada Cup International Softball Championship and CBC Sports have struck a new five-year partnership. The agreement sees CBC Sports livestream every international game of the six-day tournament at cbcsports.ca as well as via the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android, including the 2018 event from July 17–22. The Canada Cup is held in Surrey, BC annually drawing top female athletes and teams from around the world.
CBC ombudsman Esther Enkin says the public broadcaster can’t delete an online article about the former mayor of St. Albert, AB violating the Municipal Government Act, even though he was later found to have been acting in “good faith.” While Nolan Crouse took issue with the story’s phrasing and characterization, Enkin says CBC Journalistic Policy does not allow for the removal of articles except in extraordinary circumstances where there are purveiling personal safety or legal concerns. Enkin writes: “Our published content is a matter of public record. To change the content of previously published material alters that record. Altering the record could undermine our credibility and the public’s trust in our journalism.” Enkin also discounts claims by Crouse that CBC has the power to influence Google search rankings.