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Facebook fact-checkers can’t agree on definition for “energy independence”

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“The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing” among Facebook’s army of “fact-checkers,” specifically on the topic of whether or not the US is an energy-independent country, and at what point in time this may have been true or false.

They also disagree on what facts should be used to define if that independence was reestablished during Donald Trump’s term in office, and lost under the current administration.

But what is certain is that the result is more censorship on Facebook and Instagram, affecting posts by Media Research Center (MRC) 27 times within one month earlier in 2022. Both have labeled this content as “missing context,” which could therefore be “misleading.”

Facebook cites third party, i.e., “independent” fact-checkers as responsible for identifying MRC’s posts as potentially misleading. But at least one fact-checker that plays a prominent role in all this is anything but independent: AFP is a French government-funded agency.

The majority of MRC posts claim that the US no longer has energy independence thanks to the fact it is increasingly relying on imported oil, and mention Biden as the one to blame.

What AFP’s “fact-checkers” seem to be trying to do is dismiss MRC’s reporting as misleading by painting the issue as black-and-white; however, the outlet says that none of its content promoted the idea that the US must rely completely on domestic production to achieve energy independence.

Instead, the point is that this independence has been shrinking under the Biden administration – after it was achieved for the first time since 1957 in 2019.

But what does the term “energy independence” mean? MRC suggests there’s no straightforward definition, but cites another Facebook fact-checker, PolitiFact, that in 2020 addressed the issue to state it means that “domestic production is outpacing domestic consumption.”

In February 2021, another fact-checker, Lead Stories, looked into whether the US had actually regained energy independence in 2019 after many decades to “rule” that, “On this question, the post is correct, although the definition and data have been argued.”

AFP has also been slapping labels on several other accounts that suggest Biden is to blame for the loss of energy independence, as well as for the rising gas prices.

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