Facebook & Instagram Strike Heritage for Accurate Post About IRS Job Requiring ‘Deadly Force’

August 15th, 2022 10:57 AM

A post that dared to accurately point out that an Internal Revenue Service job posting required a willingness to use “deadly force” apparently triggered Facebook’s leftist fact-checking partners.

Both Meta companies Facebook and Instagram slapped The Heritage Foundation with a “Missing Context” label for posts that read: “ICYMI: ‘Be willing to use deadly force if necessary’ (The IRS edited this job listing yesterday).” An archived IRS article indicates that a job listing for “special agents” within the Criminal Investigation branch of the agency did in fact say that “major duties” required agents to “[c]arry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary.”  

But leftist Facebook fact-checking partner Lead Stories constructed a straw man that Facebook and Instagram put under The Heritage Foundation’s posts. The fact-check papered over the language of the initial job listing. An updated version of the job listing revealed that the “deadly force” language was edited out following major backlash. “Fact Check: IRS Is NOT Trying To Arm All Its Agents,” the Lead Stories headline blares.

The Heritage Foundation never said in its posts that the IRS was trying to arm “all” its agents, but inserting one’s own meaning into a benign post is convenient when Big Tech’s goal is to censor content that makes President Joe Biden look awful. 

The Lead Stories article specifically targeted a Facebook post by the “pro-liberty youth organization” Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) that included a snapshot of the IRS “Criminal Investigation” job description. YAL included its own commentary along with the snapshot: “The IRS is hiring! The government wants its IRS agents armed and its citizens disarmed. We'll let everyone just marinate on that for a second.” 

Lead Stories twisted the YAL post in an attempt to make it seem like the group was saying “all'' IRS agents were required to be armed. “Is the IRS trying to arm all its employees?” asked Lead Stories. “No, that's not true: A job posting from the IRS Criminal Investigation unit, which carries firearms, does refer to carrying firearms.” 

In fact, Lead Stories propagandized, “the unit consists of only 2,100 law enforcement agents, according to a spokesperson.” How peachy. Facebook also plastered YAL’s post with a “Partly false information” label. [Emphasis added.] 

Even though the controversy was severe enough for the IRS to edit the “deadly force” language out of the job description entirely, Lead Stories’ primary source to rebut the accuracy of the YAL post was … the IRS:

The job description for the Criminal Investigation unit is not unusual for the unit, [IRS spokesperson] Anny Pachner said. It is standard compared to some other federal law enforcement job descriptions, she said, which Lead Stories verified by looking at the special agent job description from the FBI.

But when Lead Stories apparently broached the stealth edit of the job post to eliminate the violent language, the IRS just played dumb: “Lead Stories followed up with Pachner for information on why the ‘Carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary’ line was removed from the C[riminal] I[nvestigation] unit special agent job description. Pachner told us she would look into the change. We will update this story with any response.” [Emphasis added.]

The Heritage Foundation is a member of MRC’s Free Speech Alliance. 

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