Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Tucker Carlson onstage at IGNITION: Future of Media at Time Warner Center on November 29, 2017 in New York City.

Tucker Carlson onstage at IGNITION: Future of Media at Time Warner Center on November 29, 2017 in New York City. (Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Turning to 'Liars': Outrage From Critics as Facebook Solicits Far Right Site for Fact-Check Help

"The Daily Caller allowed a white [supremacist] to write and publish an article promoting his own white supremacist rally, where a woman was murdered."

Eoin Higgins

Facebook is partnering with an extreme right-wing website's fact-checking arm, a move that is generating condemnation from both mainstream and progressive critics. 

Axios reported on Wednesday that Facebook would be working with The Daily Caller's for-profit fact-checker website Check Your Fact to uncover bias and false statements in stories on the social media site. 

In a statement to The Wrap, Facebook downplayed its partnership with Check Your Fact, putting the new alliance in a broader context.

"Since we launched our third-party fact-checking program in 2016, we've been working with partners around the world who share our goal of stopping the spread of misinformation on our platform," Facebook's head of news integrity partnerships, Meredith Carden, told The Wrap. "We now work with 47 partners around the world who fact-check content in 24 languages."

Check Your Fact purports to be separate from the Caller, but the site's editorial decisions on what to check and how at least hint at right-wing bias. At this writing, the top three "fact-checks" on Check Your Fact are:

  • Did Bernie Sanders say the U.S. has 'had enough with white men in places of power'?
  • Does Emmanuel Macron want the rebuilt Notre Dame to represent a more 'diverse' France?
  • Did Teddy Roosevelt say, 'to anger a liberal, tell him the truth'?

"Facebook has come under fire for working with certain fact-checking partners in the past," said Axios, referring to the site's work with now-defunct right wing site The Weekly Standard

While the decision to work with the Standard did come with a large amount of criticism, not least because of the magazine's enthusiastic cheerleading for the Iraq War and its role in perpetuating the WMD myth that led to the U.S. attack on the Middle East country. 

But, as The Guardian pointed out, the Caller is further to the right than the Standard.

The Caller was founded by the far-right Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who regularly delivers monologues on his show, "Tucker Carlson Tonight," that have been described as indistinguishable from white supremacist talking points.

In March, Common Dreams reported on audio from a talk radio show in which Carlson made a number of bigoted and racist statements, such as calling Iraqis "semi-literate primitive monkeys" and saying that people in the Middle Eastern country should "just shut the fuck up and obey" American directives.

Critics note that the issue is more than just Carlson; the Caller has itself a long history of falsehoods, misrepresentations, and a habit of publishing white nationalists and right-wing conspiracy theories.

The site even published articles by Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler, though, as NBC's Ben Collins pointed out, the Caller took the articles down after an attendee murdered counter-protester Heather Heyer in 2017.

Despite Check Your Fact's claimed editorial independence from the Caller, the two sites are run by the same people. 

"We're pleased to announce our partnership with Facebook," Caller co-founder Neil Patel said in a statement to The Wrap about the Check Your Fact alliance with the social media giant.

Patel touted Check Your Fact's history and claimed the site's influence was felt across America. 

"In the two years since we launched Check Your Fact, we've had incredible success," said Patel. "Our fact-checks have been viewed by millions of users and have led some of the country's biggest news outlets, including The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, and Vox, to issue corrections."

Given the the Caller's past and connection to Carlson, critics pounced on the Check Your Fact announcement as another example of Facebook's right wing sympathies. 

"The credible fact-checkers all bailed on the program, so Facebook has turned to liars instead," said web app developer Anil Dash.

"The Daily Caller allowed a white [supremacist] to write and publish an article promoting his own white supremacist rally, where a woman was murdered," said Julia Carrie Wong, a Guardian reporter (Wong is not the writer of the Guardian piece cited above). "Now Facebook is going to allow the Daily Caller to judge the truthfulness of actual journalistic outlets."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

As Progressives Call for End to Blockade, Biden Announces More Sanctions Against Cuba

The move comes after Democratic leadership in the House blocked an amendment to roll back limits on how much money people in the United States can send to family on the island nation.

Jessica Corbett ·

Progressives Issue Dire Warning as House Bill to Extend Eviction Moratorium Dies

"If Congress does not act now, the fallout of the eviction crisis will undoubtedly set us backwards as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravish our communities, needlessly contributing to more death and destruction."

Brett Wilkins ·

Citing Donziger Case, Dems Raise Alarm About Use of Private Prosecutors in Federal Court

Private prosecutions of criminal contempt charges, said a pair of senators, "are highly unusual and can raise concerning questions of fundamental fairness in our criminal justice system."

Jessica Corbett ·

'About Damn Time': DOJ Says Treasury Department Must Give Trump's Tax Returns to Congress

"This case is now bigger even than Donald Trump's crimes. Neither the courts, nor the machinery of our government, exist to bodyguard a corrupt private citizen from transparency."

Jake Johnson ·

'Just Say That the Election Was Corrupt,' Trump Told DOJ in December

"It was a failed coup. Call it what it was. It didn't work! But they sure as hell tried."

Kenny Stancil ·