The Poynter Institute, which certifies third-party fact-checkers for the Silicon Valley Masters of the Universe, has published a column accusing Facebook and Twitter of acting as “arbiters of truth” following the mass censorship of the New York Post’s recent article about Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Fox News reports that the Poynter Institute published a column criticizing social media giants Twitter and Facebook for the recent censorship of the New York Post’s bombshell article about Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden and his alleged dealings with a Ukrainian energy company that employed his son, Hunter Biden. Breitbart News reported on the situation extensively here.
Now, the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network Associate Director Cristina Tardáguila has published a column titled “Without methodology or transparency, Facebook and Twitter become the ‘arbiters of the truth.” In the column, Tardáguila states that anyone that doesn’t believe that social media giants censoring news is dangerous is simply “naive.”
“It seems like Facebook and Twitter have decided to assume the position they’ve been avoiding for so long. Less than a month from Election Day, both companies finally became arbiters of the truth on the internet. Naive are those who believe this isn’t dangerous,” Tardáguila stated.
She went on to add: “Professional fact-checkers should be transparent about their methodology, their sources and their organization’s financing. They should also have a public corrections policy and practice non-partisanship. When Facebook publicly acknowledged that it also reduces the distribution of potential disinformation using other methods, the company surprised not only its users, but also the IFCN community.”
Tardáguila then asked about the methodology that companies such as Facebook use to determine newsworthiness: “What methodology do Facebook employees use in those situations? How do they identify what needs to be less distributed? What sources do they rely on to decide that something may be false? And… in those decisions, are the employees really nonpartisan?”
As John Nolte noted in 2019, the Institute called for 500 news websites including Breitbart News to be blacklisted. Nolte commented: “This is straight-up McCarthyism. This is nothing less than the return of the 1950s’ blacklisting crusade against those who hold inappropriate, unacceptable, and unapproved opinions.”
Yet the Poynter Institute now recognizes the dangers of allowing tech firms to censor news stories about their preferred candidate.
Tardáguila’s column ends by stating: “Transparency is essential to the fact-checking community and to the cause of reducing mis and disinformation,” she added. “The decision to reduce or prevent the distribution of the New York Post’s article based on some mysterious, non-transparent criteria and an unknown methodology is a serious mistake. It is a step that brings these companies closer to the slippery slope of censorship.”
Read the full column at the Poynter Institute here.