Facebook Admits Its 'Fact-Checkers' Are Likely 'Biased,' Pursuing 'Own Agenda'
Tech giant's vice-president Nick Clegg makes admission, European Commission doc shows
One of Facebook's top executives has admitted that the social media giant's so-called "fact-checkers" are likely biased and pursuing their own political agendas, according to a bombshell report.
According to a European Commission document, the company's vice president, Nick Clegg, revealed that Facebook’s independent fact-checkers, who are hired to censor so-called “fake news,” are seemingly motivated by their own bias.
Facebook has long been accused of using "fact-checks" to secretly pursue a political agenda that aims to eradicate conservatives from the online community.
Clegg, the former British deputy prime minister, made the stunning admission to EU officials last November.
Details of discussions, about the tech giant’s handling of misinformation on its platforms, were revealed in the European Commission document that was obtained by The Daily Mail.
Facebook announced its fact-checking program in 2016 as a means to prevent the election of President Trump and Brexit from ever occurring again.
Many praised the move from Facebook, but many others were quick to point out what appeared to be examples of bias in the enforcement of the new fact-checking policies, according to Breitbart.
Facebook has been accused of censoring legitimate stories and stifling public debate, notably in recent months the company has been accused of censoring stories relating to the theory that coronavirus could have leaked from a Wuhan laboratory.
For months, Facebook removed or placed warning labels on stories relating to this theory, until last month it reversed this decision entirely when Democrat Joe Biden ordered an inquiry into the claims.
Now, minutes of a meeting between Clegg and Vera Jourova, vice-president of the European Commission, appear to show that Clegg is aware that the site’s fact-checkers might be biased.
The minutes of the meeting state: “He [Mr. Clegg] also stressed that independent fact-checkers are not necessarily objective because they have their own agenda.”
Former UK Cabinet Minister David Jones commented on Clegg’s statement, saying that it was “deeply worrying.”
"The admission completely destroys the credibility of Facebook’s own procedures," Jones added.
"It offers news organizations no right of appeal when it censors them, even though it may have acted on the advice of fact-checkers who are motivated by ‘their own agenda’.”
Facebook commented on the situation, saying in a statement: “Nick never suggested there is bias in our fact-checking program.
"He did describe that one benefit of having a range of independent fact-checking partners is the variety of specialisms in different countries and issue areas that they bring."
Clegg's comments come amid mounting concern that Facebook is shutting down public debate.
Facebook began placing fact-checking warnings on stories about the possibility of a lab leak at the beginning of the pandemic.
Then in February, the tech giant announced it would remove "false claims on Facebook and Instagram" suggesting that Covid-19 was man-made or manufactured.
Among the articles labeled as "false information" was one written by award-winning MoS journalist Ian Birrell on the UnHerd website.
The tech giant later apologized for its "mistake."
In March, Facebook placed a warning label on an article written in the Wall Street Journal by a US surgeon about herd immunity.
The opinion piece by Dr. Martin Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, predicted that Covid-19 "will be mostly gone by April" in the US.
Facebook added a "missing context" label to Dr. Makary's piece after an investigation by Health Feedback, one of its third-party "fact-checkers."
"Independent fact-checkers say this information could mislead people," the label added.
A furious Wall Street Journal accused Facebook of "counter-opinion masquerading as fact-checking."
It said Dr. Makary made a projection, not a factual claim, and Facebook was "cherry-picking" studies "to support their own opinions."