Facebook’s newest so-called ‘fact checkers’ are climate deniers paid by the Koch corporation

Editor’s note: This is an example of why you will not find an O Society site on Facebook. There is no effort made on social media to get the “news” information distributed on these platforms to corroborate with what we see in reality. Facebook spreads propaganda the way a hooker spreads STDs and for the same reason.

by Joe Romm Think Progress April 27, 2019

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Cardboard cutouts of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stand outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, April 10, 2018. CREDIT: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg keeps dashing any hope that the world’s largest social media platform might be a positive force in the fight against catastrophic climate change.

In its latest disastrous move to fight the online epidemic of fake news, Facebook’s fact-checking effort announced last week that it was teaming up with CheckYourFact.com — an arm of the conservative, anti-science media site The Daily Caller, featured in this book: Network Propaganda

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The Daily Caller, which publishes misinformation about climate science and has done so for years, was co-founded by the science-denying Fox News host Tucker Carlson and is funded by major conservative donors, including Charles and David Koch, the billionaire fossil fuel barons who are the single biggest funders of climate science misinformation.

“It is appalling Facebook teamed up with a Koch-funded organization to promote climate change denial,” leading climatologist Michael Mann said. Mann, whose own work was misrepresented by The Daily Caller, added, “Facebook must disassociate itself from this organization.”

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Following the 2016 election — and the growing realization that Russians, white supremacists, and many others have been using the site to promote hate speech, fake news, and misinformation — Facebook began partnering with independent fact checkers.

But this effort has been undermined by a series of missteps by Facebook and Zuckerberg.

In the fall of 2017, Facebook named the climate science-denying Weekly Standard an official fact-checking partner, against the advice of an independent report.

In May 2018, Zuckerberg brought in a right-wing think tank that spreads climate disinformation to figure out whether Facebook displays a liberal bias. Facebook even hired a PR firm with Republican ties to attack the company’s critics and competitors. It went on to smear philanthropist George Soros, who had been critical of Facebook, with anti-Semitic tropes and dog whistles.

 

In December, the Weekly Standard ceased publication, raising the prospect Facebook my correct its mistake in hiring climate science deniers as fact checkers.

But then Facebook announced last week it is partnering with the “fact-checking arm” of The Daily Caller, which was launched in 2010 with $3 million from GOP donor and climate science denier Foster Friess. Many of The Daily Caller’s stories are written by its News Foundation, which receives funding from both the Charles Koch Institute and the Koch Family Foundations.

It is beyond outrageous in 2019 — when the science of human-caused climate change has been overwhelmingly verified and every other nation but ours is desperately working to avert catastrophic impacts — the world’s largest social media site is still partnering with climate science deniers.

Indeed, given how many outstanding nonpartisan organizations could serve as Facebook fact checkers, environmental sociologist Robert Brulle asked, “Why they are partnering with the right-wing echo chamber?”

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Brulle, who authored numerous studies on climate communications and lobbying, added, “This site needs to be fact checked, not used as a reliable source. Facebook should cancel this contract.”

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