Facebook has censored an ad drawing attention to Democrat senate candidate Raphael Warnock’s praise for far-left hate-preacher Jeremiah Wright, known for his infamous line “God damn America.”
The ad was bought by American Crossroads, a nonprofit linked to Karl Rove. It highlights Warnock’s praise for Wright, but was taken down by Facebook after it was “fact-checked” by Lead Stories, one of Facebook’s approved third-party fact-checkers.
Lead Stories claims the ad “leaves out context,” because it implies he was “communicating the same sentiment” as Wright. But Lead Stories also admits that Warnock referred to Wright as a “preacher and a prophet.”
In a comment to Breitbart News, the fact checker said they were unaware Facebook had taken down the ad.
“Our ratings result in labels being placed on or adjacent to content, but Facebook doesn’t inform us specifically on what other actions they take,” said Lead Stories editor-in-chief Alan Duke.
The ad is still viewable on YouTube:
Facebook’s “fact-checkers” include USA Today and the Washington Post, both competitors of conservative media.
When a post is fact-checked on Facebook, its distribution is reduced. This empowers the mainstream, corporate media to punish their competitors and force them to adhere to their worldview.
For example, in June, USA Today allowed an intern to “fact check” a Breitbart News story because they disagreed with Breitbart’s use of the term “amnesty.”
In other words, Facebook’s system forces Breitbart News to follow the mainstream media’s definition of “amnesty,” or else be potentially subject to reduced distribution.
Facebook is already in the spotlight for election interference after founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent hundreds of millions of dollars in key swing districts that contributed to Joe Biden’s winning vote margin.
Now it faces allegations of interfering in the Georgia runoff as well.
On Twitter, far-left activist Judd Legum revealed that he had pressured Facebook to continue censoring the ads.
8. UPDATE: Facebook has now removed ALL of American Crossroads ads for violating its policies.
(All of these ads were attacking Warnock.)
This is a Super PAC run by Karl Rove and funded by Mitch McConnell's operation. pic.twitter.com/4yLlpiFQUi
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) December 21, 2020
Legum made no secret of his motivations.
“Control of the Senate is at stake,” said the far-left activist.
Breitbart News has reached out to Facebook and Lead Stories for comment.
Lead Stories’ editor-in-chief, Alan Duke, provided this statement to Breitbart:
Lead Stories is not involved in removal of anything from Facebook. Our ratings result in labels being placed on or adjacent to content, but Facebook doesn’t inform us specifically on what other actions they take. We publish fact checks that the platform can use as a basis for action, but they don’t share the information with us about what they do or why. You will need to ask Facebook about that. Until you asked me, I was unaware the Warnock ad was taken down.If the publisher of this content objects to our conclusion, they can appeal the rating. We will review it promptly. I’ve not seen an appeal as of yet.
We published about 127 fact checks so far in December and few are political ads. Most of the rated content are memes, text posts, and articles. Occasionally, we see political ads in the que of content that has been found by Facebook’s community review process to have questionable claims. If those ads are getting a high level of sharing, we do our own research which might result in a fact check being published.
Lead Stories makes decisions on what to fact check based on several factors. Political bent is not one of them. If there are more debunks of content on one side compared to the other, that is a reflection of what is happening on social platforms. It is just math. If we see a false claim from the left, we are just as eager to debunk it.Lead Stories does offer an easy way to track what we debunk based on right or left. At the top of each page we have links to a red feed and blue feed. Deciding which side is being debunked is not simple, considering lately much of the misinformation has been Republicans attacking Republicans. The attacks on the Republican governor and secretary of state of Georgia are a good example of this. Another recent example is the claim that Chief Justice Roberts partied on Jeffrey Epstein’s private island.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. His new book, #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election, which contains exclusive interviews with sources inside Google, Facebook, and other tech companies, is currently available for purchase.