Facebook fact checkers to face investigation for bias after alleged motive-driven “false” ratings


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Last month, Facebook started limiting the reach of posts from pro-life non-profit Live Action and sending “fact-check” notifications to thousands of its followers, warning that posts from the page had been labeled “False.” At the time, Live Action’s founder and president Lila Rose said that two of the supposedly “independent” fact-checkers who fact-checked these posts have significant ties to pro-abortion advocacy organizations.

Earlier today, Senators Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Mike Braun, and Kevin Cramer sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg demanding that the company “immediately issue a correction, remove any restrictions placed on the pages of Live Action and Lila Rose, and submit to an external audit.”

Shortly after this letter was sent, Rose reported that “in possible retaliation,” the Live Action Facebook page had been hit with a “violation” and that thousands of its followers had received another alert labeling posts from the page as “False.”

Later, Rose said that Facebook representatives had been reaching out and reassuring her and Live Action that the fact-checking system is being updated and that the strikes will be removed from Live Action’s accounts. The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) also released a statement saying that it will be investigating the accusations of bias against these Facebook fact-checkers.

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Hawley followed up on Rose’s comments by saying that Facebook had also told him that it will restore Live Action’s and Rose’s posts. He added that Facebook had asked the IFCN to investigate “how pro-abortion activists got certified as “neutral” fact-checkers.”

While Facebook has told both Hawley and Rose that the restrictions on Live Action’s pages will be removed, Rose says that as of now, Facebook has not followed through and the “False” ratings are still being applied to Live Action’s posts.

If Facebook does end up lifting the restrictions on Live Action’s page, it would represent a notable reversal of its previously aggressive and often provably inaccurate fact-checking which has led to even jokes and memes on Instagram being labeled “false”.

Update – September 12, 2019: Rose says that Facebook has removed Live Action’s page violations but says it may still be penalized again after an investigation.

The fact-check article which was being used has also been updated with content from more pro-abortion activists.

Additionally, Senator Hawley has asked Facebook to “tell all of Live Action’s followers that the “fact-check” was bogus.”

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Tom Parker

Tom Parker is a head contributor for Reclaim The Net and provides news and analysis on how we can promote free speech, stop censorship, and protect our personal data online. [email protected]