From The National Pulse. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. is sponsoring journalism training programs utilized by Facebook to train its “fact-checking” partners and censor stories and posts critical of COVID-19 vaccines.

The International Center For Journalists (ICFJ) – itself funded by the Open Society Foundations amongst others – is partnered with Meta, Facebook’s parent company, on its “Journalism Project” initiative. In turn, Facebook relies on the journalists funded and trained by ICFJ to “combat misinformation” on its platform through its controversial fact-checking operation.

Together, Facebook and the ICFJ have funded news outlets based in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East with a focus on COVID-19 reporting.

Facebook’s fact-checking partner ICFJ, however, also receives financial backing from Pfizer, with its recently announced 2022 Arthur F. Burns Fellowship – named after a former Federal Reserve chairman – lists the pharmaceutical giant as one of the program’s sponsors.

The unearthed financial ties between Pfizer and Facebook’s fact-checking operation follow the pharmaceutical giant having additional conflicts of interest with news outlets including Reuters.