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Facebook staff wanted Breitbart removed as a news partner after Frontline Doctors press conference

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Facebook employees reportedly asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg how Breitbart News could remain as a Facebook News partner after it shared the viral America’s Frontline Doctors press conference and then presented further evidence against the outlet.

Facebook News partners get placement in a special news tab and some also receive compensation. Being dropped as a news partner would likely reduce the reach of Breitbart News posts on Facebook and the traffic to its site.

Breitbart News shared the America’s Frontline Doctors press conference last Monday. It was wildly popular and racked up millions of views within its first few hours.

However, Facebook and other tech platforms deemed the press conference, which featured doctors who claim they’ve treated coronavirus with a 100% success rate, was “false information” and took it down for violating its “coronavirus misinformation policies.”

According to BuzzFeed News, employees questioned how the outlet could remain as a partner last Friday during an all-hands meeting and Zuckerberg told them that the outlet had received “one strike against them for misinformation, but they don’t have others in the last 90 days.”

Under the current policies, outlets need to receive two strikes within 90 days of each other to be removed as a Facebook News Partner.

Facebook employees then reportedly gathered evidence of what they claim to be Breitbart News and other conservative outlets and public figures being given special treatment to avoid running afoul of Facebook’s misinformation policies.

The BuzzFeed News report cites several messages from Facebook’s internal misinformation policy group claiming that misinformation strikes against Breitbart News had been cleared with one allegedly being cleared on July 22.

However, these messages don’t reference any specifics such as which Breitbart News posts were supposedly given misinformation strikes or why the strikes were cleared.

In addition to Breitbart News, the report also claims that digital education platform PragerU, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, and conservative commentators Diamond and Silk were given preferential treatment by Facebook.

While these internal Facebook messages are reportedly claiming that these conservative outlets and public figures are being given preferential treatment by Facebook, the sanctions that are currently being levied against PragerU by Facebook paint a different picture.

In May, PragerU’s Facebook page was restricted and limits were placed on the reach of its posts after a disputed fact-check.

And PragerU recently reported that Facebook has threatened to unpublish its page and is retroactively deleting and flagging old PragerU posts.

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