Media observers got into it on Tuesday over The Daily Caller’s addition to Facebook’s list of outlets approved to “Check Your Fact” on articles.
“That gives The Daily Caller the ability to label anything posted on Facebook as ‘false information’ and dramatically reduce its distribution,” tweeted Judd Legum, the ThinkProgress founder who went on to create a newsletter about power in politics. “It’s now using that power to boost Trump.”
He highlighted the Caller’s flagging of a Politico article titled, “Trump rallies his base to treat coronavirus as a ‘hoax,‘” noting that after the Caller questioned its factuality, any Facebook user who tried to post the story would face a pop-up message informing them it contained “false information.”
“The Daily Caller’s fact check claims that Trump referred only to the Democrats’ politicization of the coronavirus as a ‘hoax,'” he continued. “But that’s not what Trump said, He said: ‘This is their new hoax’ The Daily Caller resolves that ambiguity in favor of Trump.”
Columbia Journalism Review’s Mathew Ingram jumped in, adding, “At the risk of diving into a dumpster fire, I appreciate the criticisms of The Daily Caller’s fact-checking unit being a Facebook partner, but their fact-check of Politico’s story — which implied Trump called the virus a hoax — is accurate. In other words, they are right.”
All of this back-and-forth about the intentions and reasoning behind the Caller’s fact-check was made possible because of the conservative outlet’s addition to Facebook’s “Check Your Source” list, which allows outlets like the Associated Press, Reuters and Politifact to flag articles that could contain false information.
A representative for Facebook told TheWrap its fact-checkers have been certified by the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network, which is a subsidiary of the Poynter Institute. The International Fact-Checking Network holds these fact-checkers to an ethics guideline that includes a stipulation they “maintain high standards of reporting, writing, and editing in order to produce work that is as error-free as possible.”
Find more information on Facebook’s fact-checking efforts here.