(NewsGlobal.com)- Facebook’s parent company Meta announced that it would not fact-check Australian politicians running in the next federal election despite its plan to limit the spread of so-called “misinformation” and bolster election integrity by expanding its fact-checking network in Australia.
In other words, Facebook is expanding its “fact-checking” operation in Australia to further crack down on election “misinformation” except if the “misinformation” is coming from the people running for office.
Meta’s head of public policy in Australia, Josh Machin, explained why politicians are exempted from Facebook’s expanded fact-checking network this way: politicians are already “high scrutinized.”
Since “journalists,” academics, and “experts,” not to mention their political opponents already hold politicians to account, Facebook won’t bother holding them to account.
Of course, this presumes a level, unbiased playing field where “journalists,” academics, and “experts” don’t take sides.
It also presumes that Facebook’s “fact-checking network” will consist of completely unbiased, neutral “fact-checkers” whose only objective is to factually, accurately review content.
So either Meta is deeply naïve or deeply dishonest.
Meta plans to spend lots of money, including offering “one-off grants” to fact-checkers whose job will be to “reduce the spread of misinformation across Meta services.” Given how frequently so-called “fact-checkers” rate true things “false,” this won’t have the desired effect.
The report on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop was rated “false.” Facebook removed posts sharing the New York Post report. It didn’t “reduce the spread of misinformation;” it censored the truth to protect the favored presidential candidate.
It would be naïve to think all the Australian-based “fact-checkers” Meta hires will be free of such thumb-on-the-scales partisanship.
According to Josh Machin, in addition to throttling down or outright removing so-called “harmful or misleading electoral misinformation,” the company will also instruct Australian voters on how to make informed decisions on what they should be reading or sharing on Facebook and Instagram.
This sounds downright Orwellian.
But who checks the “fact-checkers?”
If the 2020 election and the COVID pandemic taught us anything, it’s that Facebook can’t be trusted to accurately inform users of what is or is not “misinformation.”