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Facebook’s “Fake News” Flagging Fail

Facebook’s “Fake News” Flagging Fail

Facebook announced last Thursday that it will begin “fact-checking” stories in its News Feed and, when its “fact-checkers” find hoaxes or stories that they consider to be “fake news,” the platform will begin flagging those stories, suppressing them by burying them deeper in the News Feed, and even silencing speakers it doesn’t like by refusing to sell ads on its network to domains that host the offending stories. 

Facebook users will also be able to flag hoaxes (or any other material they find objectionable) simply by clicking the upper right-hand corner of a post to report it to The Authorities. 

According to Business Insider, a Facebook representative also said that the world’s largest social media platform will use algorithms to single out stories that seem to be spreading virally, and subject them to special attention by the “fact checkers” to ensure that Facebook users are shielded from the terrifying effects of unedited words, ideas or—gasp—free thought. 

Call it Facebook’s new Ministry of Truth. 

For the time being, the ivory towers of Facebook’s directorate of “fact checking” will be populated by four entities: Snopes.com, FactCheck.org, ABC News and Politifact. 

Aside from the inconvenient fact that some of these supposedly plain dealers are—if you judge by the bias of their “corrections”—wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Democratic National Committee, there’s the small issue of credibility. … when you have someone like Hillary Clinton as Supreme Chancellor of the Ministry of Truth, you’ve got far bigger problems than “Aliens Ate My Baby” headlines …

As The Hill pointed out in a story headlined “Who Will Check Facebook’s ‘Fact Checkers’?” the schemes Facebook is institutionalizing “may create more problems than they solve—and boost claims that the ‘fake news crisis’ is an attempt to impose political controls on the media.” 

Just ask Hillary Clinton, who said earlier this month that so-called “fake news” is “a danger that must be addressed and addressed quickly.” 

How? 

By controlling the menace of free speech, of course! 

“It is imperative,” Clinton intoned, “that leaders in both the private and public sector step up to protect our democracy and innocent lives.” 

Or—to put it more succinctly—to ensure that wise and benevolent babysitters like Clinton are elected.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that when you have someone like Hillary Clinton as Supreme Chancellor of the Ministry of Truth, you’ve got far bigger problems than “Aliens Ate My Baby” headlines in The National Enquirer

As the Daily Caller has pointed out, nearly all the writers for Snopes.com—one member of Facebook’s Tetradumvirate of Truth—have liberal backgrounds. Many of them routinely smear and sneer at Republican voters in their screeds. Indeed, the Daily Caller couldn’t identify a single Snopes writer who came from a conservative background. 

What’s more, as Breitbart.com has reported, another Facebook so-called “fact checker”—Politifact.com—is funded by Alberto Ibarguen, a major Clinton donor who has given at least $200,000 to the Clinton Global Initiative, and who sits on the Hillary Clinton-created so-called Foreign Affairs Advisory Board at the State Department. 

Even if you ignore the countless tendrils of money, power, privilege and special interest that connect these supposedly non-interested groups with the politicians they pretend to keep honest—and even if you disregard the leftist bias and partisanship in so much of what these “fact checkers” pass off as objective truth—there’s the question of their fundamental honesty and integrity, or lack thereof. 

For a breathtaking example of that kind of brazen dishonesty, just look at Politifact’s assessment of an NRA flier that quoted Hillary Clinton when she said that “the Australian example”—in which the Australian government banned, confiscated and destroyed 640,000 firearms, from semi-auto rifles to pump-action shotguns—would be “worth considering doing it on the national level.” In many ways, the 2016 elections represented a rejection and repudiation of the so-called “mainstream” legacy media …

Those are Clinton’s exact words. You can see them in context here. The NRA flier didn’t take Clinton out of context or put words into her mouth—it merely quoted her in her own words. 

Yet Politifact’s Warren Fiske rated the NRA flier “mostly false”—maybe because Fiske apparently values partisan politics and slavish devotion to Democrats higher than he values the truth or his own integrity. 

So in other words, what we have now is a situation where politicians lie, the media swear to it, and when someone has the gall to call a spade a spade by—for example, calling Hillary Clinton a crook—the vaunted “fact checkers” of Facebook will presumably come riding to the rescue with warnings that, “Before you share this story, you might want to know that independent fact-checkers disputed its accuracy.” 

Don’t get us wrong. We aren’t defending blatantly false or deliberately misleading stories on the Internet or anywhere else. 

What we are attacking is the very pretense that an outfit like Facebook—which had the gall to openly discuss “What responsibility does Facebook have to help prevent President Trump in 2017?”—has the authority, credibility or ability to even define truth or “fake news,” let alone institutionally give it a thumbs-up or thumbs-down

And the irony is stunning: As A1F’s Clay Turner points out here, the spinners, schemers and phonies of MSNBCNNBCBSViaComcasTimeWarner have foisted more “fake news” upon the American public regarding firearms and the Second Amendment right to own firearms to protect yourself than a thousand KGB officers and stooges could plant in a thousand election years like 2016.

Facebook, ABC News and the rest don’t get it: In many ways, the 2016 elections represented a rejection and repudiation of the so-called “mainstream” legacy media, who abandoned en masse even the pretense of fairness, let alone the ideal of objectivity, in this year’s elections. 

Their arrogance throughout the campaign season, during which they reflexively ridiculed, attacked and tried to marginalize Trump voters, and rural voters, and religious voters, and blue-collar voters, and gun-issue voters—and all voters who didn’t share their bi-coastal, metrosexual, sneering contempt for anyone who would dare disagree with their enlightened superiority—was exactly what Americans rejected with their votes. 

One can only hope that social media users will similarly reject and repudiate Facebook, its arrogance, its self-appointed role as “gatekeeper of information,” and its self-ordained claim to be arbiter of all that is right, and true, and real. 

They’ve got a hell of a lot of nerve.