As if we needed more evidence that Facebook is biased against conservatives, it appears that the person in charge of deciding which entities are allowed to be fact-checkers for the social media site might not be as fair an arbiter of content moderation as the company wants us to think. Indeed, her political leanings provide more insight into the platform’s censorship practices.
Sky News Australia reported that “an outspoken Twitter activist critical of Donald Trump who brags about being on “team” Hillary Clinton is the supposedly independent expert in charge of who can become a Facebook fact-checker.”
Those who become fact-checkers for the social media company are given the authority to censor news stories they disagree with, demonetize content they don’t like, or even ban certain news outlets and individuals completely. Recently, the company threatened to take down comedian JP Sears’ page because of his videos pushing back against the left’s COVID-19 narrative.
Facebook claims that the process of becoming a fact-checker is “non-partisan,” but according to a Sky News Australia investigation, there is “disturbing evidence of political bias and lack of accountability at the top levels of the certification process.”
The news outlet points out that “International Fact-Checking Network certifier and American University School of Communication professor Margot Susca is unashamedly politically biased but she was responsible for issuing 19 fact-check licenses or reviews for organisations to become fact-checkers.”
These fact-checkers include Check Your Fact, the Associated Press, Decrypteurs, Lead Stories, Media wise, and The Dispatch.
Susca has made appearances on news outlets criticizing President Trump and argued that it would be a “dereliction of duty” to cover his speeches. In 2019, she posted a picture of Hillary Clinton and wrote, “I’ve been on Team Hillary since 08 tbh,” and expressed her disappointment that she did not win in 2016.
“My boyfriend was her nuclear policy fellow for a year when she was in the Senate,” she wrote. “Says she’s the smartest, wittiest, most likeable person. It just never came through I guess. So F*cking sad.”
In a conversation on Russia Today, Susca admitted that she has difficulty being objective about President Trump. She said, “It is hard for me to be an objective observer of this presidential administration when for years now they have continuously tried to delegitimise and marginalise news reporters for doing their constitutionally protected job.”
Despite Susca’s obvious bias, Facebook has given her the power to decide which organizations would be allowed to moderate content on the company’s site. Apparently, she is aware that some might be concerned about her apparent political bent when selecting fact-checkers. Sky News Australia “asked Ms Susca a series of questions about whether the public could have faith in her ability to be objective or whether she felt appearing on Russia Today hurt her credibility. Ms Susca described the questions as ‘threatening.'”
She lashed out at the news company for asking the question. “Look at your own ownership and ethics before you threaten others working on these crucial issues and charge that they lack independence and a commitment to truth. Your email was meant to be threatening and, quite frankly, I find its tone abhorrent,” she said.
The report noted that “fact-checkers certified by the International Fact-Checking Network are not automatically allowed to police Facebook content but Facebook only subcontracts organisations granted a certification by supposedly independent experts such as Ms Susca.”
The International Fact-Checkers Network’s (IFCN) Code of Principles requires fact-checkers to be objective and refrain from supporting political candidates. The fact that Susca occupies her position shows that the network doesn’t exactly live up to its own standards.
Facebook formed a partnership with the IFCN after the group penned an open letter to the company’s CEO, claiming that the company influenced the 2016 election by allowing misinformation on its site. Of course, we all know that “misinformation” to progressives means “any information that doesn’t promote a leftist agenda.”
Let’s face it: Facebook is biased against conservatives. There is no real reason to give them the benefit of the doubt. The company’s employees are far-leftists in Silicon Valley and other bastions of progressivism. They are not exactly fans of free speech or the notion that Americans should compete on the battlefield of ideas. For this reason, suppressing views with which they disagree comes naturally to them.
The fact that Facebook doesn’t even try to hide its apparent bias demonstrates that they don’t care what their users think. Indeed, they know that most of the people who use their platform aren’t aware of Susca or the process of selecting fact-checkers.
Companies like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others seem to have no intention of backing off of their censorship efforts against conservative opinions on their platforms. Instead, they are escalating their censorship against right-leaning users. At some point, this will come to a head. While the government has not yet gotten involved, the actions of these companies show that the state’s involvement is inevitable.