We Don’t Need No Stinking Facts: Social Media Turns Lies into Truth

August 10th, 2021 5:43 PM

It’s said we live in a post-truth world. If so, the social media companies and their so-called fact-checkers helped put us there. Facts no longer matter. Saying that women are men, the Wuhan lab leak theory is false or even claiming the president and vice president never were skeptical of the vaccine — those are the new approved “truths.” 

Fact-checking doesn’t rely on facts. It often pushes a liberal narrative on everything from abortion to the coronavirus. PolitiFact and other so-called fact-checkers have a history of fact-checking factually true statements that don't suit liberal narratives.

That’s precisely what Facebook’s approved fact-checker PolitiFact did when it rated a graphic from the Media Research Center as both “Partly False” and “FALSE” in the same muddled fact-check — even though the image merely shared a chart from the Center for Disease Control. 

PolitiFact came after the Media Research Center (MRC) for citing a graphic first released by the CDC. PolitiFact tried to combine three fact-check categories into one. It failed to note its issue as one of context, and chose to instead label the entire graphic as “FALSE,” but called it “partly false information” on Facebook. MRC spokesperson Iris Miller quipped, “If you disagree with the data or the chart, you should fact-check the CDC.” But punishing the MRC for using a CDC graphic is hardly the first time a supposed fact-checker undermined speech that debunks liberal narratives. 

That’s only the latest example. Conservatives have been complaining for years about being suspended or banned on social media or the death of many cuts with constant fact-checks restricting access to their comments. 

Here are a few other notable examples:

Twitter Censors Users Across Political Spectrum for Acknowledging Biological Sex

Twitter has infamously censored multiple commentators for referring to people by their biological sex or even acknowledging that men and women are different. 

Blaze Media’s Allie Beth Stuckey was locked out of her Twitter account on Thursday after she tweeted that Olympian Laurel Hubbard is “still a man.” Hubbard, a New Zealand weightlifter, is a transgender person who competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Radio personality Erick Erickson replied to Stuckey’s comment by tweeting “This is absurd,” and observing “Laurel Hubbard is a man even if Twitter doesn’t like it.” He was censored shortly thereafter. Feminist journalist Meghan Murphy filed a lawsuit against Twitter after she was banned for saying that “women aren’t men tho.” In a YouTube video, Murphy explained that “Twitter has begun silencing individuals and political views they don’t want heard.”

PolitiFact Flags Family Circus meme for Saying Minors Can Get Hormone Blockers

PolitiFact fact-checked a meme imitating comic strip Family Circus, poking fun at the idea that minors who don't have the legal right to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or drive cars can, however, opt in for life-altering gender identity procedures. The fact-checker claimed that the meme was “False” and wrote: “No, young children cannot take hormones or change their sex.” Even the fact-check acknowledged that “Professional medical organizations recommend against puberty blockers for children who have not reached puberty, which typically begins between ages 10 and 12” and “Hormone treatment” is “typically not considered until patients are at least 16 years old.”

The apparent humor of the comic juxtaposed how a minor who cannot legally smoke, drink, or drive can opt-in for life-altering medical procedures. It has a point. The New York Times, for example, cited a case where a minor had “puberty blocker injections every three months for two and a half years, starting at age 14.” One may ask whether the fact-check was specifically over the usage of the age 5, but the whole point of comic strips is often hyperbolic humor or based on abstraction, such as this June 2019 New Yorker cartoon amid President Donald Trump’s June 2019 air strikes on Iran, implying a president could cynically use military invasion for a “reëlection campaign.”

PolitiFact flags Wuhan Lab leak Narrative, Later Admits Error

PolitiFact initially had a field day with the claim that COVID-19 originated in a Wuhan, China, lab, calling such claims “debunked conspiracy theor[ies].” After revelations from U.S. government officials and the media, PolitiFact had to archive the fact-check, acknowledging “When this fact-check was first published in September 2020, PolitiFact’s sources included researchers who asserted the SARS-CoV-2 virus could not have been manipulated. That assertion is now more widely disputed. For that reason, we are removing this fact-check from our database pending a more thorough review.” In short, PolitiFact, a fact-checker, completely jumped the gun on claiming a narrative was false. A non-archived fact-check still criticizes Trump, saying he was “least accurate” when he “said the ‘virus came from a Chinese lab.’”

PolitiFact Cites Chinese Govt Narrative on Covid Deaths 

PolitiFact poorly chose to listen to the Chinese Communist regime’s propaganda about its number of COVID-19 deaths. Facebook fact-checker PolitiFact produced eight fact-checks that either used or relied on World Health Organization (WHO) numbers that have proven to be untrue. A new report from CNN shows that communist China was lying about how many of its citizens had contracted COVID-19 and how many deaths resulted from it. The fact-checker disputed the claim, "CORONAVIRUS: Reports of 10,000 DEAD in Wuhan, China," on Jan. 24, 2020, which was given a “Pants On Fire” rating – PolitiFact’s worst rating. Meanwhile, leaked documents show that communist China lied when it initially claimed there were 2,478 newly confirmed cases on Feb. 10, according to CNN. CNN’s report showed that on Feb. 10 there were “more than double the official public number of confirmed cases” in China. 

USAToday Fact-Checker Condemned LifeNews for Dubbing Planned Parenthood ‘Abortion Business’

Criticizing Planned Parenthood for profiting from abortions is forbidden apparently. ​​USA Today wrote that “[T]o call it an abortion business is a stretch, as the organization provides other services far more often,” said Haley BeMiller, a local government reporter for the USA Today-owned Green Bay Press-Gazette. The fact-checker rated LifeNews.com’s story as “partly false.” The piece that was fact-checked stated, “Governor Tony Evers announced today that he will force state residents to fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business as part of his state budget.” LifeNews.com never claimed that the money given to Planned Parenthood would go to abortions. The fact-check seemed to think otherwise.

PolitiFact Flags TikTok for Quoting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Comments on Vaccines

PolitiFact flagged a Tik-Tok video that “Says Joe Biden and Kamala Harris distrusted COVID-19 vaccines.” as “FALSE.” The quotes in the video were technically accurate, but they caused Facebook to flag the video as “Missing Context.” Because sharing inconvenient truths without sufficient padding for liberal narratives is misinformation apparently. The short summary in Tom Kertscher's article proclaimed “Video clips appear to show Joe Biden and Kamala Harris raising doubts about COVID-19 vaccines, but they were raising concerns about the rollout by then-President Donald Trump, not the vaccines themselves.”

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your local representative and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form and help us hold Big Tech accountable.