A Small Number of Fact-Checkers Now Define Our Reality

A Small Number of Fact-Checkers Now Define Our Reality, by Kalev Leetaru.

Social media platforms have come to define the modern digital world — and the real world it’s meant to represent. …

Yet these platforms are not neutral forums. They actively intervene to remove speech with which they disagree. Increasingly, they also turn to a small number of fact-checking websites to arbitrate what constitutes “truth,” placing a small number of people in charge of, essentially, defining reality.

To vet the news stories shared by its more than 2 billion users, Facebook relies on just 54 organizations, in 38 countries, that must render one of nine verdicts for each article. A story deemed to be false is penalized to “significantly reduce the number of people who see it,” according to Facebook, while repeat offenders “have their distribution reduced … their ability to monetize and advertise removed and their ability to register as a news Page removed.”

A small number of fact-checking organizations thus wield enormous power over news organizations. In contrast to the tens of thousands of moderators employed by social media companies to enforce their speech rules, the fact-checking organizations they rely upon employ only a small, often token, workforce with the power to define truth itself.

Over the past three months, the RealClearPolitics Fact Check Review has monitored 222 claims on topics of civic or public concern from major U.S. fact-checking sites PolitiFact, Snopes, FactCheck.org, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Combined, a total of 69 individuals reviewed those claims

Much of it left to a couple of US left wingers:

Of Snopes’ 55 relevant claim reviews, just two fact-checkers (Dan Evon and Bethania Palma) accounted for more than half of them over the last three months.

Never in the field of human propaganda have so many been deceived by so few.