‘This is the same sort of song and dance we hear from Facebook every time it gets caught…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg allegedly admitted the social media company was wrong to “fact check” a pro-life group’s views, according to Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., a vocal advocate for congressional regulation of Big Tech.
“He said that they made a mistake, that there was clearly bias,” Hawley told reporters after meeting with Zuckerberg. “Those were his words. He said there was clearly bias in the Live Action decision, that they were wrong to have censored Live Action, that there was a problem with their supposed independent fact-checker, that he’s very concerned about it.”
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) September 19, 2019
In August, Facebook assigned a “false” fact check rating to two of Live Action’s videos that argued abortion is never medically necessary.
The fact check was based off the viewpoints of two abortion doctors, Robyn Schickler and Daniel Grossman, who argued “all reasons for deciding to seek abortion carer are valid; no one reason is better than another.”
Live Action denounced the fake fact check in a statement.
“The Facebook fact check misrepresents Live Action’s position, relied on the opinion of abortionists with formal ties to abortion activist groups, failed to acknowledge that Live Action’s statements reflect a position that is shared by many in the medical community, and provided dangerous and medically reckless advice,” the pro-life group said.
“No reasonable person would describe Grossman or Schickler as neutral or objective when it comes to the issue of abortion, yet Facebook relied on their rating to suppress and censor a pro-life organization with more than 3 million followers,” the lawmakers wrote.
The backlash forced Facebook to rescind its “fact checks.”
Facebook even reached out to Live Action notifying the pro-life group that it had “opened an investigation to determine whether the fact-checkers who rated this content did so by following procedures designed to ensure impartiality.”
But despite its best efforts, Facebook will always struggle with its internal bias, Hawley said. It’s a problem the company has “struggled with for years,” adding “they still have a lot to do.”
Zuckerberg may have admitted Facebook was wrong this time, but that’s not surprising, Hawley continued.
“This is the same sort of song and dance we hear from Facebook every time it gets caught, whether its taking people’s data without telling them, it’s always, ‘Oh, we made a mistake; we’ll try to do better in the future.’”
Hawley said he called upon the company to “prove it” by submitting to an independent, third-party audit on content moderation.
“Open your books up,” Hawley continued. “Don’t just go out and do focus groups with people. Don’t go do public opinion surveys. Open your books, make your employees available to provide info to actual independent auditors and then make it public. Make the whole thing public. I think that would show good faith on their part; it would show confidence in their procedures.”