Accuracy in Media

Google has its new fact-check system up and running, but the websites it has chosen to scrutinize have something in common – almost all represent conservative viewpoints.

Not only that, but according to a story on the Daily Caller, the system also is “asserting sites made ‘claims’ they demonstrably never made.”

When people search for a media outlet such as the Daily Caller, Google gives details on the sidebar, including which topics the site typically covers, the Caller reported. It also has a section for “Reviewed Claims” – items that have been subject to fact challenges.

But the Reviewed Claims section appears almost exclusively on conservative sites. Fox, Gizmodo, ThinkProgress, Slate, Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Salon, Vice and Mother Jones have no such section. The New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times not only do not have any Reviewed Claims section, and they have sections added to list all the awards they have won.

The only liberal site that has a Reviewed Claims section is Occupy Democrats.

The fact-checking is done by Snopes, PolitiFact and the Washington Post’s FactChecker, which have historically had a liberal bent.

The Daily Caller cited several examples where the new system already has run amok. After the Daily Caller reported that one of the members of Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election had donated to Hillary Clinton, the Post’s FactChecker awarded three Pinocchios – four is the maximum – to Daily Caller.

It evaluated the claim that Mueller is hiring people that “are all Hillary Clinton supporters” and found it “misleading, if not false.”

But the Caller had said no such thing. It merely reported that a member of the team had donated to Clinton.

“This method applies to several other checks,” the Daily Caller wrote. “Claims concocted or adulterated by someone outside TheDC are attributed to the TheDC, in what appears to be a feature that only applies to conservative sites.”

In another example, the Daily Caller wrote a story about a transgender woman being convicted of raping a young girl in a women’s bathroom. Snopes assessed a claim – that the rape occurred because bathroom bills had been passed – that the Daily Caller never made. It rated the story a “mixture” of truth and lies – but the lies involved were introduced by the fact-checkers themselves.

In still another case, Google uses a highly partisan climate site – climatefeedback.org, which has had many of its facts challenged – to declare a Daily Caller story about ocean acidification untrue.

Google also took Daily Caller to task for what clearly was a tongue-in-cheek article about a professor who claimed the solar eclipse in 2017 was naturally racist.

But Google includes in its Reviewed Claims section of the site a Snopes assessment that it was false the professor had made that claim, even though Vox itself had “pointed out the absurdity of the educator’s literary tirade on Mother Nature’s purported racial prejudice, and the damage it might have done to real arguments of apparent racism,” the Daily Caller wrote. “While Snopes got some flak for its choice, no one seems to have noticed the absurdity of the world’s go-to search engine providing fact-checks to purposefully irreverent content, rather than hard news stories.”

Google is trying to establish itself as an honest broker of what is true and what is not. We can debate whether it is a fit referee given a lawsuit now pending against it by a former employee who was fired for pointing out the organization’s leftist political bias.

If it wants to be taken seriously in this pursuit, it will need to scrutinize sites of all political persuasions with fact checkers who themselves are not committed to one side or the other. Better still: Use the old system; let people judge for themselves which media outlets convey news in an honest way.




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Comments

  • samo war
  • bookworm

    Is freedomdaily.com one of the censored sites? I keep getting “Bad Request 400”.

  • Chip

    I don’t trust Google at all. Everyone knows they are anything but unbiased. Here is more prof of their liberal ways. It’s for this reason that I would never purchase any of their products and have been starting to use Firefox for my search engine.

  • imadeplorable

    I’ve been using Outlook for mail for years, and a few days ago it started censoring Christian sites! I get newsletters from different conservative sites, and on several occasions when I clicked on a link to read a story, Outlook put up a warning that it was an unsafe site and didn’t want to load it, even tho I’ve been reading these newsletters for years, and Outlook knows they’re safe! Fortunately there was a link underneath the huge, “Danger” warning where I could click to load the page anyway.

    So, have those “tolerant” liberals decided they won’t ever talk us over to their (dark) side with lies, and decided to now just start censoring all the conservative (truthful) sites?

    Has anyone else had problems with censoring?

  • Paul Anderson Ed.D.

    Google can check all the facts it chooses: but the term facts is relative, depending on which side of the fence one stands on. I can assure you, everyone has an opinion, and that opinion doesn’t always agree with Historical evidence. When you purchase a book, you are getting someone’s view, whether political, social or economic. Speaking of relative, the Philosopher presents his views regarding a topic, which is a relative thought.

    TRUTH can only be found in God’s Word, not in a book or the mind of mankind.

  • AndRebecca

    When I’m doing a search on google, I might get the site I’m looking for, but for sure I’ll get all the left-wing sites against it. And these are the people who used to say they were against censorship! What lying propagandists!

  • jaimelmanzano

    Bias is limitless. Using Yahoo, as an example, produces news reports that are more opinionated than factual. Anyone know how to cut this political invasion out of the Yahoo service?

  • imadeplorable

    Yeah, don’t they love to lecture us on the First Amendment! They quietly took over the news outlets, and it appears they’re now working hard at making sure only their stories are told.

  • imadeplorable

    Just because someone believes something doesn’t make it a fact. I can say it’s a fact the earth is flat. Does that make it so? An opinion is not the same as a fact. An idea is not a fact. When someone puts forth a lie as a fact, it’s not merely that person’s view, it’s a betrayal of humanity, truth, and God.

    Truth, and facts, are everywhere. They exist all around us. We are truth. A tree is truth. God told us to be as Bereans and test everything against His word. Ask Him for the ability to discern the truth, and prepare yourself to feel as if you’re standing in a strong wind that suddenly blows up and fills you with knowledge.

    And that’s truth and a fact.

  • TED

    Peddling bullshit in order to make money … which was originally called “advertising” … has infected EVERY nook and cranny of American society. EVERY business, organization, institution, group, etc., has their own “spin” … and it’s ALWAYS about “selling more product” and “making more money”. There are NO exceptions!

  • David Addams

    Let’s See:

    Google lies about what Conservative sites have posted online.

    Said lies negatively impact the Internet Traffic to those sites, which lowers ad revenues.

    Sounds like a clear-cut case of slander.

    (And if Google isn’t careful, they will face a class-action suit for that.)

  • Charlie Pace

    True. Truth doesn’t lean right or left. It stands on its own.

  • Gz7

    Duck Duck Go!

  • Nora Bryson Felton

    This is what happens when you exchange the Truth for a lie

  • Mesa Mike

    Google fact checker. Now there’s an oxymoron.

  • Mesa Mike

    Sorry to hear that. I use Firefox’s Mozilla. I quit using anything Microsoft years ago, but today everything has gotten so bad — with all the literal fascist companies in Silicon Valley. I try to limit by exposure and definitely don’t use Google to download apps and, so, sometimes just have to do without.

  • PStarr

    I NEVER use “Google” to search. When people say “google it,” I cringe.

  • imadeplorable

    Thanks for the nudge. I’ve known for years, of course, that Microsoft was really bad, but until lately I’ve had no trouble w/ Outlook. I’ve now downloaded Thunderbird. Should have years ago.

  • Jim Rice

    Be vigilant Patriots, but be Smart too. Your enemy who used to be NYT, WaPo and a like are dying the death of a thousand cuts BUT they’ve shifted to Silicon Valley (Alphabet, Google (same), FB and a like) are the new Maxist Media/Pravada/Politburu. 1A is dead – they control what is said/written or not!

  • Evermyrtle

    Perhaps, they don’t know that there are XXVI (26) other amendments. or is it that they only agree to the first amendment, without of which, it is not the Constitution!

  • Evermyrtle

    Don’t think that things will get any better because we are warned in 2 Timothy 3:13-14, that men and seducers will get worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived, as time goes on, but HIS people must continue striving to make a difference!!

  • Evermyrtle

    Very true, but the world, as a whole, deny’s GOD’S WORD and that is where all of the problems lie!! GOD the “CREATOR” of all things, gave these things to us and told us how HE expected us to use them but we as the human race think that we know better than HE and do as we pleas, with what HE has given us!!

  • Will – Kay Lake

    Use Mozilla Fire Fox, it’s amazing what is happening to Google…so sad….

  • Will – Kay Lake

    Use Mozilla Fire Fox…every time I get that warning, I go to Mozilla and it’s all just fine!
    Awful!!

  • imadeplorable

    Thanks, yeah, I downloaded Thunderbird which is Mozilla’s email program. I appreciate the tip. Such a shock and disappointment that in America, now, we have such censorship and totally dishonest media. Only a few independent, trustworthy voices left. So sad.