Bokhari: Establishment and Social Media Giants Fail to ‘Fact Check’ TIME Magazine’s Refugee Hoax Cover

Time Magazine has come under fire for its cover on migrant families being separated by Donald Trump's administration -- since the child depicted was not affected by the practice

There are many examples of bias at Facebook, Twitter, Google and the purportedly impartial “fact-checking” organizations they now rely on, but one of the best ways to reveal the naked partisanship hiding under their masks is to look at what they don’t fact-check.

Last week, Time ran a now-infamous cover featuring President Trump looming over a crying immigrant child. The picture of the crying child had already been shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media amid left-wing outrage over what the media has called a “family separation policy” at the border.

The cover, the Time story that accompanied it, and the original image that spread on social media, were misleading in every way. As Time now admits, the child wasn’t “carried away screaming” by border patrol agents. They were kept together. The child wasn’t crying because she was separated from her mother – she was, in her mother’s own words, simply “tired and thirsty.” Moreover, the child’s father says her mother was seeking a job in America, and not “fleeing violence” in Honduras as some claimed.

Despite being directly published by the platform in an official Twitter moment, there was no apology from the social network for spreading misinformation. Facebook did not provide links to “related coverage” on the story, as they have previously done to Breitbart stories. Nor did they shrink the links to Time’s story in line with their broader policy on “fake news.”

PolitiFact and Snopes, two “fact-checkers” relied on by both social media and the mainstream media, also dropped the ball. PolitiFact, which has received extenstive, favorable coverage from Time, displays nothing about the magazine’s cover on its list of latest fact-checks.

But the prize for fake fact-checking surely goes to Snopes. Whereas PolitiFact simply ignored the Time cover, Snopes argued that it was the conservative critics of the fake image that were wrong. “Contrary to claims, media outlets have consistently reported that the girl was never separated from her mother” reported Snopes.

This is despite the fact that Time magazine itself ran a correction to the story. By that time, the image had already been shared thousands of times, including by Democratic senators.

The response to the Time cover exposes the lie behind the Democrat-MSM campaign against “misinformation” on social media, as well as the purportedly impartial “fact-checkers” being pushed on the social media companies to correct it. The establishment media and their allies in Silicon Valley are just fine with misinformation spreading around the internet, as long as it’s their misinformation.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. You can follow him on and add him on Facebook. Email tips and suggestions to


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