In a controversial move, Facebook has censored an article written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh. The contentious piece detailed the alleged involvement of the United States in the destruction of Russia’s Nord Stream pipeline, purportedly in collaboration with the Norwegian government, its Secret Service, and the Navy.
Seymour Hersh, a legendary investigative journalist, has enjoyed a career spanning more than five decades, during which he consistently unearthed and reported on some of the most significant and controversial events in modern history.
Hersh’s groundbreaking reporting on the My Lai Massacre in 1969 not only exposed the horrific mass murder of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians by US soldiers but also led to widespread public outcry and a significant shift in public opinion on the war. This was just the beginning of Hersh’s storied career, as he went on to break numerous other stories that had a significant impact on American society and politics. Some of his most notable work includes uncovering the CIA’s illegal domestic surveillance program in the 1970s, revealing the extent of the torture and abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2004, and challenging the official narrative surrounding the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011.
Michael Shellenberger, another journalist, discovered the issue while attempting to share Hersh’s article on Facebook. In response to his efforts, the social media platform placed a warning label on the link, stating, “False information. Checked by independent fact-checkers.”
However, scrutiny of these so-called “independent fact-checkers” has revealed that their impartiality is questionable at best. Shellenberger points out that Hersh’s historic journalistic integrity far exceeds that of the fact-checking organization in question. This organization, as it turns out, is affiliated with the Norwegian government-owned media company NRK, which stands to benefit from suppressing Hersh’s story.
By labeling the article as containing false information, Facebook effectively prevents it from reaching a broader audience, as the platform’s algorithm demotes the piece.
This case raises concerns about the impartiality of fact-checkers and their potential conflicts of interest. It highlights the need for greater transparency in the processes and relationships that govern the dissemination of information on social media platforms.
People have been debating who blew up the Nord Stream Pipeline, which transported natural gas from Russia to Western Europe, for the past several months. American journalist Seymour Hersh says the pipeline was blown up by the US government with help from the Norwegian government. But some claim his story is wrong.
But Facebook won’t allow people to decide which story is right and which one is wrong, Shellenberger notes.
It has taken a side by censoring Hersh’s article on the story. The censorship comes from a company that once said, “We don’t think we can make ourselves the arbiter of the truth.”