An executive for Facebook, Vice President Nick Clegg, has confessed that the company’s “fact-checkers” could be biased “and pursuing their own political agendas.”
The comments from Clegg were reported by the Daily Mail, which said the United Kingdom’s former deputy prime minister made the admission to European Union officials during a discussion about misinformation online.
Conservatives and Republicans have charged for months – even years – that the assembly of “fact-checkers” put together by Facebook is, in fact, extremely leftist in its political bent, and the results of those “fact-checking” escapades prove it.
The company started the “fact-checking” in 2016 because leftists claimed there were “misleading” claims that pushed the 2016 presidential election toward Donald Trump. The company has since been accused of suppressing legitimate news in order to convey a leftist agenda.
For example, for months it claimed that discussion of COVID-19’s possible origins in a Chinese lab were conspiracy theories and they were removed from the site.
Now, in fact, the evidence shows that’s a strong possibility, although it hasn’t yet been confirmed.
The Mail reported that the “bias” opinion was found in a European Commission document that it obtained.
It was in November during “talks about how the tech giant was tackling misinformation,” the report said.
Facebook has explained it uses a network of 80 groups around the world to flag “misinformation.”
“Stories deemed false or misleading are not removed from the site but flagged to users via a series of warning labels. Facebook’s sophisticated algorithms can relegate such stories so far down the site that few people would ever see them again,” the Mail reported.
It said now it is minutes of a meeting involving Clegg that revealed his opinion of those impartial panels.
“The document shows that Mr Clegg and Vera Jourova, vice-president of the European Commission, discussed how Facebook countered disinformation during the 2020 U.S. presidential election two weeks earlier,” the report said.
The documents show, “[Clegg] also stressed that independent fact-checkers are not necessarily objective because they have their own agenda.”
That statement, former Cabinet Minister David Jones told the Mail, “completely destroys the credibility of Facebook’s own procedures.”
Facebook responded with a statement that claimed innocence: “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.”
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