Today, four sitting U.S. GOP senators sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressing their disapproval over the fact that the social media giant allowed biased abortionists to “fact check” two Live Action videos stating that “abortion is never medically necessary” — a claim backed by thousands of medical professionals. Because of this, Facebook notified thousands of Live Action followers that the group had shared “false news” and posted multiple “violations” to the group’s account — even today, following the issuance of the senators’ letter.
Live Action received notice this evening that Facebook intends to take action to look into the fact check — however, at the time of this article’s publication, the current violations remain on Live Action’s and president Lila Rose’s Facebook accounts.
Senator Josh Hawley, one of the signers of the Facebook letter, posted on Twitter this evening, “Am pleased to say @facebook has informed my office this evening that they will RESTORE the @LiveAction @LilaGraceRose posts” and “@facebook has also asked their “independent” fact check organizations open investigation into how pro-abortion activists got certified as “neutral” fact checkers.”
Facebook notified Live Action of its decision this evening, stating:
Posts by Live Action and Lila Rose were fact-checked by a third party, independently certified by the International Fact Checking Network. We have been in touch with the IFCN which has opened an investigation to determine whether the fact checkers who rated this content did so by following procedures designed to ensure impartiality. While the IFCN investigates, we are removing the relevant fact checks and have communicated this to the members of the US Senate who brought this specific concern to our attention.
The International Fact Checking Network (IFCN), the Poynter Institute’s fact checking division, also issued a statement this evening regarding its Facebook fact checker, HealthFeedback.org:
Today, we were informed that one of our verified signatories is being accused of violating IFCN’s Code of Principles on its first commitment to non-partisanship in one of the fact-checks it has published.
Health Feedback, an arm of Science Feedback, rated a claim about abortion as inaccurate. The information was in a video posted by a publisher on Facebook. Some media outlets have published today that two of the scientists who contributed to that fact check are reported to be affiliated with advocacy groups within that policy area.
The IFCN would like the public, our signatories and partners to know that we will be investigating those accusations, as we have done in the past.
Here are the steps we are taking to investigate the case:
- We have emailed the editor of Health Feedback’s parent organization, Science Feedback, and will send a case-specific questionnaire to the platform this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. We expect to receive all the answers and documents the organization can provide about this case in one week.
- All the information provided by the verified signatory will be reviewed by the IFCN’s staff and its Advisory Board to see if there was a failure in meeting any part of the networks’ Code of Principles.
- If the IFCN’s staff and Advisory Board find that the organization has violated the Code of Principles, they may request the fact-checking platform take steps to correct the mistake. Failure to comply with requested actions could lead to suspension.
- This procedure has been applied before and is fully transparent. We will continue to update the public on our progress.
The Poynter Institute is funded by groups and organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Omidyar Network, George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, and others.
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