[guest post by Dana]
Fake news is all the rage these days. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that he is establishing a group of media professionals as fact-checkers who will check and flag fake news:
The decision comes after Facebook received heated criticism for its role in spreading a deluge of political misinformation during the US presidential election, like one story that falsely said the Pope had endorsed Donald Trump.
To combat fake news, Facebook has teamed up with a shortlist of media organizations, including Snopes and ABC News, that are part of an international fact-checking network led by Poynter, a nonprofit school for journalism in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Starting as a test with a small percentage of its users in the US, Facebook will make it easier to report news stories that are fake or misleading. Once third-party fact-checkers have confirmed that the story is fake, it will be labeled as such and demoted in the News Feed.
Also included in the described “respected fact-checking organization”: PolitiFact, Factcheck.org and the Associated Press. Obviously, there are any number of problems with this plan. Further, it’s troubling that along with several other politically liberal billionaires, the involvement of George Soros in the fact-checking effort is hypocritically being overlooked by the very media outlets claiming that this will be an objective and non-biased endeavor.
So, does it count as fake news when the fact-checkers themselves are posting intentionally incomplete or misleading reports?
Here is ABC News this morning – even after German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said yesterday that, “authorities have “no doubt” that the attack was intentional,” and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also said yesterday, “We must assume at the current time that it was a terrorist attack.”:
And, on a side note, shouldn’t this also be flagged as fake news, too?:
MSNBC host Chris Hayes reported on the comments made by Turkish assassin Mert Altintas in the aftermath of his murder of the Russian ambassador Tuesday, but curiously left out the fact that he yelled “Allahu akbar“– “God is great” in Arabic.
“The gunman was Turkish, a 22-year-old officer in the Ankara special forces,” the All In host said. “According to witnesses, the gunman yelled out, ‘Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria,’ wounding three additional people before being fatally shot by police.”
Video of the shooting is readily available online, and shows that Altintas immediately yelled “Allahu akbar” after firing the shots. While nearly all outlets included that fact in their reports on the shooting (including MSNBC earlier in the day), Hayes did not.