The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
The Tennessee Conservative has joined hundreds, if not thousands, of Tennesseans who have had their Conservative content on Facebook censored by independent “fact-checkers.”
One of the memes The Tennessee Conservative posted on Facebook was incorrectly “fact-checked” and censored by PolitiFact.
The subject of the meme itself had to do with flights being delayed/cancelled due to the federal vaccine mandate imposed by Biden. We posted the meme on October 14th.
One of our Facebook followers, Angela Frost said “They are fact checking a meme? I didn’t even think that was possible, but they literally make themselves look dumber and more desperate day by day.”
The Politifact “Fact-Check” flagged our meme as “False” stating that “No, Donald Trump didn’t lead ‘greatest economy in the history of the world’ – “Independent fact-checkers say this information has no basis in fact.” Obviously, this explanation had nothing to do with the meme we posted.
TTC Facebook follower, Julie Quan said, “What’s the ‘fact check’ got to do with the actual meme posted? Just goes to show how unreliable and how leftist agenda driven the ‘fact checkers’ are.”
The Tennessee Conservative sent an appeal to Politifact at firstname.lastname@example.org, stating that our post was incorrectly fact checked.
Note: If you have a post on your Facebook page that has been “fact-checked” and you would like to have appealed, you will need to email the specific party that flagged your post. Read on to find all known associated “fact-checker” appeal emails. A template can be found HERE for the appeal email.
We heard back from Tina Dyakon, Director of Marketing of Poynter stating that we had followed the proper appeal process and our case would be reviewed. Through following this process, the censoring block was taken off our post.
Rebecca Catanlanello, Politifact Deputy Editor, said “We have removed the rating on grounds that it was inappropriately tagged.”
Following, when Brandon Lewis, founder of The Tennessee Conservative attempted to live-stream the Big 7 weekend digest on Facebook, this error began to appear no matter where our URL was shared.
Lewis reached out to Cantanlanello stating, “How do I get this cleared up since it was your mistake? Can you or your team work with Facebook to repair this? … This could cause significant harm to my company… How long will your erroneous fact-check notice affect my ability to utilize the FB platform?”
We have not heard back from Politifact regarding this as of the time of publication.
Facebook does not actually fact-check content itself. It sends posts that its algorithm flags as “potentially false” to its partners. The partners can review the content flagged by Facebook or search for and identify “false content” themselves.
There are no less than ten partners in the program evaluating U.S. content, including:
- AFP United States – email@example.com
- The Associated Press – FCAppeals@ap.org
- Check Your Fact – firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Dispatch – email@example.com
- Factcheck.org – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lead Stories – email@example.com
- PolitiFact – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Science Feedback – email@example.com
- Reuters Fact Check – firstname.lastname@example.org
- USA TODAY – email@example.com
In our case, the fact-checking party was Politifact, which falls under the Poynter banner.
Among other things, Poynter specializes in “Ethics and Fact-Checking” and “Advancing Newsroom Diversity.”
Also, under the Poynter banner, is the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, the International Fact-Checking Network and MediaWise.
It should be noted that Poynter receives partial funding from Google.org.
While The Tennessee Conservative fared fairly-well in having our content cleared (this time), other Tennesseans have not been so lucky.
Recently Conservative Tennessean Phil Dedrick’s entire Facebook page was disabled. Facebook deleted 17 years worth of his posts along with all his photos and personal info.
Dedrick had around 2,500 Conservative Facebook friends and between 400 – 500 followers.
“I probably will never get them back, but hopefully many of them will research and find me,” Dedrick said.
If you navigate to Dedrick’s Facebook page, all that is left is his personal photo and background photo that includes President Donald Trump and his family.
Dedrick said, “I do want you all to know that I signed a lawsuit involving FB for censoring me in the past along with hundreds and/or thousands more …I guess they received the suit, saw my name and then they did their damage to my FB profile page…”
However, Dedrick did create a new Facebook page which can be found HERE.
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Conservative Tennessean, Loretta Wollering (who follows us on our MeWe page) said, “Facebook has been flagging practically everything. People can’t post anything anymore – even things that are reported in mainstream news. It’s nuts.”
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About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com