Facebook’s newest ‘fact checkers’ are Koch-funded climate deniers

May 9, 2019 | General
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg keeps dashing any hope that the world’s largest social media platform might be a positive force in the fight against catastrophic climate change.

In its latest disastrous move to fight the online epidemic of fake news, Facebook’s fact-checking effort announced last week that it was teaming up with CheckYourFact.com — an arm of the conservative, anti-science media site The Daily Caller.

The Daily Caller, which has published misinformation about climate science for years, was co-founded by the science-denying Fox News host Tucker Carlson and is backed by major conservative donors, including Charles and David Koch, the billionaire fossil fuel barons who are the single biggest funders of climate science misinformation.

“It is appalling that Facebook has teamed up with a Koch-funded organization that promotes climate change denial” – leading climatologist Michael Mann.

Following the 2016 election — and the growing realization that Russians, white supremacists, and many others have been using the site to promote hate speech, fake news, and misinformation — Facebook began partnering with independent fact checkers.

But this effort has been undermined by a series of missteps by Facebook and Zuckerberg.

Indeed, given how many outstanding nonpartisan organizations could serve as Facebook fact checkers, environmental sociologist Robert Brulle asked, “Why they are partnering with an organization that is part of the right wing echo chamber?”

In an email to ThinkProgress, Brulle, who has authored numerous studies on climate communications and lobbying, added, “This is one of the sites that needs to be fact checked, not used as a reliable source. Facebook should cancel this contract.”

Conclusion: AI-powered tools are better solution in fighting disinformation online. They don’t have an agenda while many fact-checkers may appear to have one.