The following is an excerpt from an article by Kalev Leetaru in RealClearPolitics.
As social media platforms rely ever more heavily on outside parties to arbitrate what is “true,” one prominent journalist’s recent experience with Facebook’s COVID-19 fact-checking efforts reminds us just how questionable -- and unaccountable -- the fact-checking landscape can be.
Last month, Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson shared a video by The Epoch Times exploring what is known about the origins of the coronavirus. Shortly thereafter she was notified by Facebook that it had reduced the visibility of the post because “it was rated False by an independent fact-checker.” The platform also notified Attkisson’s followers that they had shared “false news” and warned that further sharing of it would result in “their overall distribution reduced, their ability to monetize and advertise removed and their ability to register as a news page removed” and that “people will be able to see if a page has a history of sharing false news.”
Yet the fact check that Facebook cited as the basis of its false rating makes no mention of the Epoch Times video at all. Instead, it is a fact check by Facebook partner Health Feedback of an opinion piece in The New York Post presenting the author’s theory that the virus might have escaped from a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Despite Facebook’s requirement that fact checkers assign a rating of “Opinion” to commentary pieces, Health Feedback assigned a rating of “False.” (Continued...)
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