Big Tech pours millions into global fact-checking initiative

Google and YouTube, two of America’s largest big tech giants, just handed over a $13.2 million joint grant to the Poynter Institute’s so-called International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) “to support fact-checking initiatives worldwide.”

“The associated grants distributed through this new fund will support fact-checking organizations at varying stages of their development. Dollar amounts will be adjusted to equalize the purchasing power of the fact-checking organizations’ home nation. Details of grant distribution will be announced in 2023,” according to a press release from the Poynter Institute that was published Tuesday.

“In addition to the grants to directly strengthen and expand fact-checking, Google and YouTube will offer supplemental financial support for the IFCN to establish a neutral and independent selection committee; improve the reporting, monitoring and evaluation of the funded fact-check efforts; and expand the capacity of the IFCN to serve the international fact-checking community,” the release continues.

The news has already spurred sweltering criticism because of the so-called fact-checkers’ sordid history of being extremely biased to the left.

Indeed, one of the Poynter Institute’s most recognized fact-checkers is PolitiFact, and as previously reported, PolitiFact reeks of bias.

A study conducted earlier this year by the Media Research Center found that between Jan. 20th, 2021, and Jan. 19th, 2022, President Joe Biden, a Democrat, was fact-checked only 40 times, whereas his critics were fact-checked 230 times.

The MRC later conducted a follow-up study that found that between Jan. 20th, 2022 and Sept. 19th, 2022, PolitiFact only fact-checked the president 18 times, whereas it fact-checked his critics 108 times.

The MRC also found that even when PolitiFact has fact-checked the president, it’s done so with kid gloves. For instance, it’s never used its “Pants on Fire” ratings for anything he’s said, despite the number of gargantuan lies he’s told.

“Biden could say the evacuation from Afghanistan was an ‘extraordinary success,’ and we have ‘zero percent’ inflation, and there were no factual objections. On April 22, he claimed he was a ‘full professor’ for four years at the University of Pennsylvania, which is simply false. They called it ‘Half True,’” the watchdog group notes.

Conversely, PolitiFact has issued 79 “Pants on Fire” ratings against the president’s critics, and quite frankly, many of these ratings are bull.

PolitiFact also has a history of issuing false fact-checks, such as the time earlier this year when it fact-checked Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr after he called out then-Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams for supporting the MLB’s Georgia boycott.

“Carr said that Abrams ‘supported the MLB boycott.’ Both before and after the league’s boycott, Abrams threw cold water on the idea, saying in a Twitter video, ‘To our friends across the country please do not boycott us,’” the supposed fact-check reads.

“She echoed those comments to the leading newspaper in Atlanta and in an op-ed in USA Today. She also personally lobbied Major League Baseball not to take that step before the boycott was announced. We rate the statement False,” it continues.

But the fact-check was bull. For instance, it neglected to mention that the op-ed that Abrams wrote and that was originally published in March of 2021 was later heavily edited as backlash against the MLB’s boycott, which was poised to destroy jobs and hurt Georgia’s economy, began to grow.

“Boycotts work. …. The impassioned response to the racist, classist bill that is now the law of Georgia is to boycott in order to achieve change. Events hosted by major league baseball, world class soccer, college sports and dozens of Hollywood films hang in the balance,” the original op-ed read.

“At the same time, activists urge Georgians to swear off of hometown products to express our outrage. Until we hear clear, unequivocal statements that show Georgia-based companies get what’s at stake, I can’t argue with an individual’s choice to opt for their competition.”

Abrams’ support for the boycott doesn’t get any clearer than that.

Despite Poynter’s shoddy history of fact-checking, the institute remains convinced that more of its brand of so-called fact-checking is needed in this world.

“The world needs fact-checking more than ever before. This partnership with Google and YouTube infuses financial support to global fact-checkers and is a step in the right direction,” IFCN executive director Baybars Örsek said in a statement.

Critics staunchly disagree:

Vivek Saxena


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