AOC to Zuckerberg: Why is a white supremacist-tied publication fact-checking for Facebook?

Reflect / YouTube AOC Questions Mark Zuckerberg on Cambridge 1571882987.jpg...
Reflect / YouTube

Can Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez debate Trump next fall, even though she’s not running? She has quite a knack for making clueless rich men squirm.

Today, while testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg looked gobsmacked in response to AOC’s line of questioning.

At one point she asked Zuckerberg whether he removed proven lies from the social media platform (first tweet), and he didn’t seem to have an answer. And then she went for the jugular (second tweet).

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Can you explain why you’ve named The Daily Caller, a publication well-documented with ties to white supremacists, as an official fact-checker for Facebook?

ZUCKERBERG: Congresswoman, sure. We actually don’t appoint the independent fact-checkers. They go through an independent organization called the Independent Fact-Checking Network that has a rigorous standard for who they allow to serve as a fact-checker.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: So you would say that white supremacist-tied publications meet a rigorous standard for fact-checking?



ZUCKERBERG: Congresswoman, I would say we’re not the one assessing that standard. The International Fact-Checking Network is the one setting that standard.

So what is AOC talking about?

Here’s some background, from an August 2017 article by the Southern Poverty Law Center:

On Monday, August 14, the Daily Caller very quietly removed white nationalist Jason Kessler’s contributions to the publication after the violence and chaos in Charlottesville. The white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally was organized by Kessler.

But the white nationalist problem at Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller, a conservative political outlet launched in 2010 as a “response” to the Huffington Post, is bigger than just Kessler. Throughout the 2016 election and since, the Daily Caller has not only published the work of white nationalists, but some of its writers have routinely whitewashed the Alt-Right, while one editor there is an associate of key Alt-Right figures. Two Daily Caller contributors, including a senior investigative reporter, were recently announced as speakers at the upcoming white nationalist H.L. Mencken Club conference organized by Paul Gottfried, a godfather of the Alt-Right.

In addition, Tucker Carlson, the founder of The Daily Caller, has gone on record as saying the whole concept of white supremacy is a “conspiracy theory.” Which, of course, is factually incorrect.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I would think Facebook could afford to find better fact-checkers. It’s just another example of the laziness and half-assedry that has long infected the social media giant.

Meanwhile, AOC also pressed Zuckerberg on Facebook’s new cash-for-lies policy:

Zuckerberg’s response to whether politicians should be able to purchase ads on Facebook that contain known lies? “I think lying is bad.”

I guess we can count that as a breakthrough.


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1 Comment on "AOC to Zuckerberg: Why is a white supremacist-tied publication fact-checking for Facebook?"

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Johnnie Dorman
Johnnie Dorman

Zuckerburg thinks we’re all “suckerburgs.” Facebook jail seems to only be for regular Americans, but for lying politicians and their supporters, like lying white supremacists.