Georgia Candidate Jon Ossoff’s Film Firm Financed by Facebook Fact Check Funder

Jon Ossoff
AP/John Bazemore

Democrat Jon Ossoff, the candidate who fell short of the 50-percent mark needed to capture a House seat in an Atlanta district that has long been a Republican stronghold, serves as the CEO of an investigative film company that has received backing from the left-wing Omidyar Network.

The Omidyar Network, which is the nonprofit for liberal billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, has partnered with George Soros’s Open Society on numerous projects and has given grants to third parties using the Soros-funded Tides Foundation. Tides is one of the largest donors to left-wing causes in the U.S.

The Omidyar Network is also a prominent donor to the International Fact-Checking Network, the project of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies that is helping Facebook to determine whether a certain story is “disputed.”

Poynter’s IFCN is also funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundations, as well as by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, and the National Endowment for Democracy.

In March, the Omidyar Network also provided the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), whose chief has baselessly smeared Breitbart News with claims of anti-Semitic associations, with a six-figure seed donation to build a Silicon Valley command center purportedly aimed at combating online hate.

Ossoff serves as managing director and CEO of the London-based Insight TWI (The World Investigates), which describes itself as producing “world-class documentary films and television programmes, specializing in fresh, daring factual content and high-impact journalism.”

Continues a company description:

“Insight’s multi-Emmy, Peabody, and BAFTA award-winning team has decades of experience working safely in high-risk environments and a focus on immersive storytelling that makes the important interesting.”

The company’s leaders produced “Blood on the Stone,” a documentary that accompanied the DVD for the Oscar-nominated “Blood Diamond” movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Insight TWI collaborated with with Al Jazeera English to produce an “Africa Investigates” series.

In 2014, the Omidyar Network provided Ossoff’s Insight TWI with a $350,000 investment, listing Ossoff specifically on the award announcement posted on Omidyar’s website.

Regarding the Facebook fact-checking project, the Omidyar-funded International Fact-Checking Network recently drafted a code of five principles for news websites to accept, and Facebook announced it will work with “third-party fact checking organizations” that are signatories to the code of principles.

Facebook says that if the “fact checking organizations” determine that a certain story is fake, it will get flagged as disputed and, according to the Facebook announcement, “there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why. Stories that have been disputed may also appear lower in News Feed.”

Omidyar also provided the seed capital for the ADL’s new Silicon Valley command center reportedly aimed at combatting online hate. According to the ADL’s press release announcing the Omidyar grant, the ADL will work with tech sector leaders to look into high-tech options for reducing “online harassment,” including “artificial intelligence, big data, augmented/virtual reality, and other technologies.”

Ossoff, a former aide to Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), was widely touted by major progressive groups for his attempt to win a House race in Atlanta’s conservative suburbs. The Democratic Party excitement surrounding Ossoff’s bid led the Drudge Report to label him the “Dem Trump slayer” in a banner headline. Drudge later mockingly crossed out the words “Dem Trump slayer” as Ossoff’s chances for victory seemed to have faded.

The Washington Post reported on the latest results of Ossoff’s bid:

Unofficial returns showed that Ossoff had earned less than 50 percent of the vote, the threshold needed to declare an outright victory. Instead, with 48.3 percent, Ossoff was headed to a runoff against Republican Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state and the top GOP vote-getter in a special election to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

In a statement early Wednesday, Ossoff acknowledged that he had fallen short:

“This is already a remarkable victory,” he said. “We defied the odds, shattered expectations, and now are ready to fight on and win in June.”

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

With research by Joshua Klein.


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