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'Fact-Checkers' Caught Spreading Misinformation

Writer who exposed the Twitter Files says fact-checking organizations are 'guilty of the exact thing for which they are criticizing others'

Following a lengthy investigation, multiple fact-checkers whose work has resulted in the censorship of millions of social media posts are now being exposed as some of the leading purveyors of misinformation.

“Fact-checkers claim to have special powers to discern the truth, but they don’t. And now, a new, months-long investigation finds multiple instances where fact-checkers spread misinformation and then demanded censorship,” investigative reporter Michael Shellenberger said in a post on social media platform X in support of his exposé, which was conducted with co-writer Phoebe Smith.

According to Shellenberger’s latest piece Narcissism Of The Fact-Checkers, during the COVID-19 pandemic social media giant Facebook alone “removed 20 million posts and labeled more than 190 million claims related to COVID-19,” adding that the company relied on International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) approved organizations for its content moderation policies.

As Shellenberger noted, Facebook censored stories suggesting the COVID-19 virus may have come from a lab. Yet, there is a large and growing body or work suggesting that not only was this theory considered plausible, it was considered possibly true by government officials pressing Facebook to censor.

Two top scientific advisors to Dr. Anthony Fauci testified before a House Select Subcommittee that the virus most likely spilled over to humans from animals. But, communications between the men and their colleagues through e-mails and the messaging app Slack reveal they believed it was entirely possible the virus was cultured in a laboratory. The documents also make clear that pressure from “higher ups” led to the suppression of the lab leak theory, according to Shellenberger and Smith.

Fact-checkers have been forced to “make an embarrassing series of retractions,” the pair explained.

Politifact was forced to retract a false debunking of a doctor who stated the now-accepted belief that COVID-19 was a man-made virus created in a lab.

The BBC was forced to issue a retraction last week after a false claim UK politician Nigel Farage did not have his bank accounts closed for political reasons, when in fact he did.

“Despite the terrible track record of fact-checkers getting the facts wrong, spreading misinformation, and demanding censorship, the fact-checking industry has shown no remorse, humility, or self-awareness,” Shellenberger and Smith wrote.

They added, “Around the world, fact-checkers engage in biased fact-checking and demand censorship of others while displaying no apparent concern that they themselves may be guilty of the exact thing for which they are criticizing others.”

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