Facebook-owned Instagram is “fact-checking” satirical posts and memes on the platform via its third-party fact-checkers, and filtering them from hashtag and “explore” results.
A spokeswoman for Facebook confirmed that satirical images of far-left climate activist Greta Thunberg had indeed been tagged with warnings that “fact-checkers” had rated the images as “false,” as originally reported by Summit.
“We work with third-party fact-checkers to help identify, review, and label false information on Instagram,” said the spokeswoman. “When content is rated as false or partly false by a third-party fact-checker, we reduce its distribution by removing it from Explore and hashtag pages. In addition, we label the content so people can better decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share.”
Self-proclaimed “meme artist” LUSHUX reported on Twitter that a humorous image featuring Hillary Clinton claiming to have killed Jeffrey Epstein was also “fact-checked” as false.
The fact-check caption says: “False: there’s no evidence Hillary Clinton killed Jeffrey Epstein. It runs counter to medical examiner and federal prosecutor conclusions.”
BAD THINK pic.twitter.com/JYT3VVQfwR
— @lushsux (@lushsux) December 19, 2019
This is not the first time that a Facebook property has confused satire with factual assertions. Facebook itself landed itself in controversy last summer when it warned the Christian conservative satirical website The Babylon Bee that its content would be suppressed on the platform if it continued to post articles that were disputed by fact-checkers.
The site, which clearly labels itself as satirical, had been “fact-checked” by Snopes. Facebook later admitted that the warning sent to the Babylon Bee was a mistake.
Are you an insider at Facebook, YouTube, Google, Reddit or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.