Facebook Inc. plans to exempt opinion pieces and satire from its fact-checking program, according to people familiar with the matter, as the social-media giant grapples with how to stop the spread of falsehoods while maintaining its own neutrality. As part of the new rules, Facebook
will allow publishers of information found to be false by outside fact-checkers to appeal to the company, said the people familiar with the changes. Posts that Facebook deems to be either opinion or satire won’t be labeled as false even if they contain information the fact-checkers determined was inaccurate, the people said. The new rules follow Facebook’s acknowledgment last week that it will continue exempting politicians from fact-checks, on the grounds that such comments are newsworthy, as well as a recent controversy arising from a third-party fact checker’s determination that an antiabortion group’s video was false. The rules, which haven’t been announced, coincide with Facebook’s decision last week to remove a false designation from a Washington Examiner opinion piece, overriding the conclusion of one of its fact-check partners. That op-ed argued that global-warming climate models have been inaccurate and that the risks of climate change is overblown. An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com. Also popular on WSJ.com: Does getting stoned help get you toned? Gym rats embrace marijuana. Shale boom is slowing just when the world needs oil most.