Live Action slams Facebook after investigation finds fact-check of abortion claim was 'fair and accurate'
Pro-life group Live Action slammed Facebook's fact-checking system after an investigation into fact-checker Science Feedback found its conclusions fair and accurate.
“Facebook has a serious problem – instead of allowing the free exchange of ideas and debate, it has made itself the ultimate authority over what ideas can and cannot be shared on the platform," Live Action President and founder Lila Rose said in a statement. "Facebook disallowed the professional, medical judgment of thousands of OB-GYNs when it banned our speech."
Last month, Live Action was told by Facebook that its fact-checkers had marked two videos containing the statement "abortion is never medically necessary" as false. The tech giant also said that Live Action, its links and Rose's page would have reduced distribution and other restrictions for repeatedly sharing false news.
One video, titled “The Pro-Life Reply to ‘Abortion Can Be Medically Necessary,’” featured neonatologist Dr. Kendra Kolb. The second video, titled "Abortion is NEVER Medically Necessary," featured a speech given by Rose. Live Action and Rose's Facebook page reach more than 3 million followers combined.
|Facebook was blasted by Live Action over a controversial fact-check that took place last month. (Getty Images)|
Facebook removed the strikes against Live Action two weeks ago while the fact-checking organization, known as Science Feedback, conducted an internal review of what took place.
“Science Feedback’s conclusion appears sound and fair, based on the best evidence. Their fact-check is an accurate attempt to inform readers on the veracity of a claim and strictly adheres to their scientific fact-checking methodology," Sarphan Uzunoglu, an assistant professor of multimedia journalism at Lebanese American University who hasn't taken advocacy positions on abortion, said in a statement published by Poynter Institute, a prominent journalism organization.
Uzunoglu examined the process by which the claim was selected for review and did the same for the most recent 10 fact-checks done by Science Feedback. Based on his work, and Science Feedback's explanation of the editorial processes involved in published the fact-check, the International Fact-Checking Network came to the following conclusions:
"The findings of Science Feedback’s fact-check were based on publicly available scientific evidence and as not the result of any bias. The claim that “abortion is never medically necessary” is false and inaccurate. The process used by Science Feedback to select the original claim to review was sound and not the result of any systemic bias, and a review of the 10 last fact-checks indicates no systemic bias in the selection of claims to check. The failure to declare to their readers that two individuals who assisted Science Feedback, not in writing the fact-check but in reviewing the evidence, had positions within advocacy organizations, and the failure to clarify their role to readers, fell short of the standards required of IFCN signatories. This has been communicated to Science Feedback."
Rose is demanding that Facebook reform its fact-checking process immediately.
“Today’s ruling only confirms that the justification for banning our views is a corrupt ‘fact-checking’ system masquerading as independent when really it is the enemy of fairness and free speech," Rose said.
In a meeting with Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apparently said his company's handling of the entire controversy was "clearly biased."