Facebook ‘Fake News’ Fact-Checkers Accused Of Liberal Bias

Robert Jonathan - Author
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Jan. 3 2018, Updated 3:13 p.m. ET

Right-leaning websites are expressing concern that the Facebook initiative to clamp down on fake news is using only liberal organizations to engage in fact-checking, at least in its initial rollout.

“Conservative pundits and publications are charging that most of the third-party organizations recruited this week to filter fake news stories from Facebook have a track record of liberal bias,” the New York Postasserted yesterday.

Along the lines of who will fact-check the fact-checkers, the concern on the right is that those groups with which Facebook is partnering may engage in censorship by labeling legitimate news stories that don’t fit into a desired ideological outcome as fake news.

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According to PoliticsUSA, however, which insists that the charges from conservatives are groundless, “Facebook isn’t going to silence conservative media…Conservative skepticism is understandable, but allegations of partisan bias are not. The easy way for conservatives to avoid getting flagged by the fact checkers on Facebook is to make sure their stories are based on facts, and if they aren’t, the stories should be clearly expressed as opinion.”

In outlining the work in progress for flagging misinformation on the social network which includes third-party verification by “respected fact-checking organizations,” Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg wrote, in part, that “We need to be careful not to discourage sharing of opinions or to mistakenly restrict accurate content.”

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