Facebook Vice President Nick Clegg admitted that the tech giant’s “fact-checkers” employed to weed out “fake news” from the platform could be biased.
Facebook reportedly uses 80 different organizations across the world to flag misinformation.
The Daily Mail obtained minutes from a meeting between Clegg and a Brussels power-breaker where the former revealed he questions the fact-checkers ability to make an impartial decision on questionable content.
The document shows that Clegg and Vera Jourova, the vice-president of the European Commission, also discussed how Facebook targeted disinformation during the 2020 US Presidential election.
Interestingly, the minutes add: “He [Mr Clegg] also stressed that independent fact-checkers are not necessarily objective because they have their own agenda.”
Former Cabinet Minister David Jones told The Daily Mail that Clegg’s comments are “deeply worrying.”
“The admission completely destroys the credibility of Facebook’s own procedures. It offers news organisations no right of appeal when it censors them, even though it may have acted on the advice of fact-checkers who are motivated by ‘their own agenda’,” he added.
Facebook, however, says Clegg never said anything about bias.
“Nick never suggested there is bias in our fact-checking programme,” a spokesperson said. “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.”
Facebook has acted as an arbiter of truth for COVID-related information since the pandemic began, restricting content that questioned the CDC’s official narrative..
Congressman Roger Marshall M.D. (R-KS), who is also a licensed physician, was previously censored by Facebook for discussing mortality data the CDC provided.
“A Facebook post published on Sunday afternoon by U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D. discussing updated COVID-19 death data released by the CDC was removed Monday night by Facebook without notice or explanation,” KNSS reported at the time. Marshall later said that his earlier post had “discussed the new data published by the CDC showing that only 6% of deaths were due solely to COVID-19, while the remaining 94% of deaths had two or more underlying health conditions.”
Marshall slammed Facebook’s censorship, saying, “Social media companies should not be allowed to censor science that they disagree with.” He added that content-flagging was “corporate censorship, pure and simple.”
“As a physician, I believe in discussing all data, options, and research with my patients,” he concluded. “This was data published by the CDC, but unfortunately did not fit the narrative that the left and the liberal media want us to believe. We cannot allow social media companies to determine what we do and not learn about this virus. Americans deserve to be informed.”
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