Facebook Fact-Checker Funded by Chinese Money

Lead Stories, is a partner of TikTok, and is overseen by the Poynter Institute.


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We’ve all surly noticed the crazy uptick in “fact-checks” on Facebook, as well as every other social media platform, in the last several months.

Democrats, Big Tech, the mainstream media, and China have been censoring the truth by disguising it as lies.

Most Americans recognize this is happening.

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That’s why it should come as no surprise that one of Facebook’s “fact-checkers” is partly funded by Chinese money.

A company named Lead Stories has a partnership with TikTok, who American authorites have already deemed a national security threat for it’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

On top of that, the company overseeing the quality of the fact checkers is actually run by the Poynter Institute, yet another TikTok partner.

With more on this collaborative conspiracy, here's the Epoch Times:

While Facebook portrays its army of fact-checkers as independent, the money behind at least one carries a distinct taint.

One such fact-checker, Lead Stories, is partly paid through a partnership with TikTok, a social media platform run by a Chinese company that owes its allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). TikTok currently is being probed by U.S. officials as a national security threat.

Moreover, the organization that’s supposed to oversee the quality of fact-checkers is run by Poynter Institute, another TikTok partner.

Lead Stories says it’s been contracted by ByteDance “for fact-checking-related work,” referring to TikTok’s announcement earlier this year that it has partnered with several organizations “to further aid our efforts to reduce the spread of misinformation,” particularly regarding the CCP virus pandemic, which originated in China and was exacerbated by the CCP regime’s coverup.

Lead Stories was started in 2015 by Belgian website developer Maarten Schenk, CNN veteran Alan Duke, and two lawyers from Florida and Colorado. It listed operating expenses of less than $50,000 in 2017, but had expanded sevenfold by 2019, largely because of the more than $460,000 Facebook paid it for fact-checking services in 2018 and 2019. The company took on more than a dozen staffers, about half of them CNN alumni, and became one of Facebook’s most prolific fact-checkers of U.S. content.

This year, the funding sources included Google, Facebook, ByteDance, and several online advertising services. Advertising brought it less than $25,000 last year, the group said.

“The bulk” of the funding still comes from Facebook, it says.

Part of its revenue comes from subscriptions to “Trendolizer,” its viral content tracking tool. “For privacy reasons, we cannot reveal the list of Trendolizer users … but none of them individually accounted for more than 5% of our revenue,” it says.

The Trendolizer website only shows three pages “powered” by it: Trendolizer.com, LeadStories.com, and StoryTide.com, a news aggregator started by LeadStories in 2016.

Lead Stories didn’t immediately respond to emailed questions from The Epoch Times.

Censorship

Facebook’s fact-checking partnerships have drawn criticism as they facilitate censorship. A post that’s flagged as false by the partners not only gets furnished with a warning label and a link to the fact check, but Facebook “significantly reduces the number of people who see it,” the company says on its website.

The fact-checkers themselves can choose what content to review and decide what is labeled as false and why. Any complaints about the verdict must be raised with the fact-checkers, who aren’t known to readily reverse themselves, even when their fact checks themselves require fact-checking.

Lead Stories has recently focused on disputing claims about voter fraud, contributing to censorship of the topic on Facebook.

So how desperate are these "fact-checking" agencies?

Apparently lead Stories is so desperate, it just fact-checked a critique of itself by Molly Hemingway of the Federalist.

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Breitbart has more on Hemingway's story, and the "fact-check" that followed:

An article by Molly Hemingway in the Federalist critiqued the fact-checker for its decision to fact check stories about voter fraud in Georgia:

A Big Tech-backed “fact” “checking” outfit claimed to debunk explosive evidence in support of Republicans’ claims of significant election problems at a Thursday Georgia Senate hearing. It didn’t. Not even close.

Newly discovered security footage from Georgia’s State Farm Arena showed dozens of ballot counters, media, and Republican observers leaving en masse at the same time from the ballot-counting area for Fulton County. After they left, a small remnant of about four workers began pulling trunks containing thousands of ballots from underneath a table with a long tablecloth and running them through machines.

The footage supported claims from Republicans that they were told counting had stopped for the night, only to find out hours later that it had kept going on.

Newly discovered security footage from Georgia’s State Farm Arena showed dozens of ballot counters, media, and Republican observers leaving en masse at the same time from the ballot-counting area for Fulton County. After they left, a small remnant of about four workers began pulling trunks containing thousands of ballots from underneath a table with a long tablecloth and running them through machines.

The footage supported claims from Republicans that they were told counting had stopped for the night, only to find out hours later that it had kept going on.

Hemingway then reported on Twitter that her article, critiquing the fact-checker, had been fact-checked.

“With contemporaneous news stories and legal filings, I critiqued a Facebook-funded “fact” “checker.” So Facebook is using the very same “fact-checker” I criticized to censor me — and claiming that fact-checker is “independent.” This is Kafka-esque,” said Hemingway in a tweet.

“To be clear, nothing in the attached “fact” “check” actually deals with anything I wrote — and it is not claiming anything I wrote was erroneous or in need of correction. It’s just pasted on my piece to suppress it being shared.”



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