The least-trusted major tech company is piloting its latest initiative to combat “fake news” against the backdrop of Ireland’s national referendum on abortion.
In May, the country will vote to keep or repeal a constitutional amendment affirming the right to life of the unborn. According to LifeSiteNews, “Repeal would clear the way for legislation legalizing abortion in the first trimester.”
As the referendum approaches, Facebook is accelerating the launch of a new “view ads” tool with the hopes of “bringing greater transparency to ads running in the context of the forthcoming referendum.”
While transparency in elections may be a worthy goal, Facebook’s record on establishing transparency or fact-checking services in the past have proven troublesome.
As recently as 2016, Facebook announced it would partner with the left-leaning Snopes to highlight “disputed content” on its platform despite the supposed fact-checker’s history of bias and distortion. The relationship was initiated just months after a whistle-blower’s report exposed concerning bias against conservative viewpoints by employees managing the platform’s trending news section.
Another Facebook initiative to combat “fake news” was found to involve a partnership with an organization funded by liberal billionaire George Soros.
On the life issue specifically, Facebook also has a history of censoring pro-life posts. Last year, an ad published by LifeNews.com featuring a Planned Parenthood employee admitting babies born alive were sometimes killed in clinics was blocked because, according to Facebook, the post contained a “false or deceptive claim.”
With an abysmal record on the life issue and history of stifling conservative viewpoints, Facebook is clearly not the right arbitrator for transparency when it comes to issue advocacy. Perhaps it is time that Zuckerberg et al to focus more on how to facilitate a platform for ideas and debate rather than meddle in Ireland’s referendum.