Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) pressed Mark Zuckerberg on the definition of “misinformation” and “fake news” at today’s committee hearing.
“You talked about trying to ferret out misinformation, and the question becomes ‘who decides what is misinformation?'” said Griffith.
Zuckerberg repeated the three categories of fake news he outlined in his recent Vox interview, the “economically inclined” spambots, “state actors” like “Russian fake account networks” that Zuckerberg said would be tackled with A.I. systems.
Griffith continued, drawing attention to numerous incidents of anti-conservative censorship on Facebook, including censorship of Diamond and Silk, a political candidate, a Catholic university and a firearms shop. Griffith asked how Zuckerberg planned to create a system whereby it’s not “Facebook alone, but the industry saying ‘wait a minute, this is probably misinformation’ and sending up guidelines that everybody can agree are fair?”
Zuckerberg cited his “third party fact-checkers.”
“If people flag things as false news or incorrect, we run them by third-party fact-checkers who are all accredited by the Poynter Institute of Journalism.”
Zuckerberg claimed there are “firms of all leanings around this” who do fact-checking.
However, the Poynter Institute itself is funded by left-wing foundations, including the Open Society Foundations, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Endowment for Democracy. It is not a politically neutral organization. Its list of accredited fact-checkers, which purportedly requires members to commit to “nonpartisanship,” includes partisan fact-checkers like PolitiFact and Snopes.