Yet another conservative page on Facebook has been censored for spreading “false news.”
Facebook has cracked down on PragerU, a conservative nonprofit group, for “repeated sharing of false news” as determined by the independent fact-checking organization Climate Feedback.
BREAKING:@Facebook has reduced our page reach and implemented restrictions for “repeated sharing of false news.”
Facebook is using biased 3rd party fact-checkers to flag content and censor conservatives.
Is Facebook now the arbiter of truth?
RETWEET TO STAND UP TO CENSORSHIP pic.twitter.com/i9RjeBR3Yp
— PragerU (@prageru) May 19, 2020
During an April 20 interview on ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared that spreading information about anti-lockdown protests would be classified as “harmful misinformation” to be taken down.
A Feb. 23 New York Post opinion piece by Steven Mosher alleging that the coronavirus pandemic could have originated from a Wuhan laboratory was labeled “false information” by a fact-checker with clear conflicts of interest. Weeks later, Facebook caved and reversed its decision, suggesting that their “fact-checkers” can, in fact, be wrong.
The PragerU video in question, posted on the PragerU Facebook page on Saturday, addressed allegations that climate change is hurting the polar bear population.
The video featured a picture of a starving polar bear that had previously been used by National Geographic to highlight the effect of climate change on the animals. As it turned out, the photographer admitted that the picture was manipulatively used.
“Perhaps we made a mistake in not telling the full story — that we were looking for a picture that foretold the future and that we didn’t know what had happened to this particular polar bear,” Cristina Mittermeier, the photographer, wrote for National Geographic.
PragerU’s video then made a series of claims, such as “the polar bear population has been growing” and “polar bears are thriving even where sea ice is diminishing,” which the fact-checkers at Climate Feedback took issue with.
Polar bear expert and zoologist Dr. Susan Crockford claims the fact-checkers failed to prove that the video was, in fact, wrong. Crockford, the source of much of the information included in the video, sat down with PragerU influencer Will Witt to address Facebook’s accusations.
Crockford pointed out that the main area of disagreement from the fact-checkers was the claim that “polar bears are thriving even where sea ice is diminishing,” in reference to two polar bear populations, the Barents Sea and Chukchi Sea populations.
“What they said was that ‘Oh well, those bears are doing OK.’ Well, in fact, the literature on those populations is quite emphatic that those populations are doing better than just OK,” Crockford said.
She then addressed the climate change agenda head-on.
“Their premise that polar bear numbers would decline was based on an assumption that polar bear body condition and reproduction would be doing poorly,” she said.
After addressing the scientific claims made by the fact-checkers, Crockford gave her point of view on Facebook’s decision to label the video as “false information.”
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“So it really is kind of a conflict that you see in science that’s really a matter of opinion or the way that you look at the same data. My take on that as far as Facebook labeling it as false information was that they were taking sides,” Crockford explained.
“That they took a side that they preferred but the information that was presented by the biologists didn’t prove that, in fact, I was wrong or that statements that were in your video were incorrect.”
In the case of this PragerU video, as well as the Steven Mosher article in the New York Post, Facebook isn’t always correct in its assessment of “false information” or at least has repeatedly been unable to meet the burden of proof to back up its claims.
Even the fact-checkers can be fact-checked.
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