In what is the umpteenth example of pro-abortion hypocrisy, a New York Times editorial by an abortion activist is calling upon Facebook to censor “fake news” sites like Life News for spreading what she calls “false information” about abortion and its impact on women, the unborn, and society.
Steve Ertelt, founder and editor of Life News, one of the world’s most respected pro-life news organizations, takes on Rossalyn Warren and her recently published tirade on The New York Times about how abortion articles in “reputable” news outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post are being ignored while those published by fake news sources such as “LifeNews.com” made Facebook’s list of “most shared” articles.
“Perhaps that’s because most Americans realize that the New York Times and The Washington Post have an extensive liberal bias and are firmly embedded in the pro-abortion camp,” Ertelt suggests.
Warren goes on to complain that articles from LifeNews.com, which has almost one million Facebook followers, ought to be looked at by Facebook’s “fake news” police.
“Yet Warren’s post is entirely fake news — where she puts forward her opinion and substitutes it for fact. Simply claiming that a website is fake news doesn’t make it fake news, especially when Warren is completely unable to offer even one shred of evidence to support her theory,” Ertelt argues.
“Not only does Warren not even mention a single news story from LifeNews.com that is supposedly fake news she offers absolutely no, in her words, “credible evidence” refuting or rebutting even a single word or sentence written at LifeNews.com.”
She doesn’t offer this because she can’t, which is why her oped sounds more like a 10 year-old’s temper tantrum than a reasonable argument.
Due to the absence of any factual information t support her argument, Warren criticizes the way Facebook defines “fake news.”
“Facebook says it has been tackling the sources of fake news by eliminating the ability to “spoof” domains and by deleting Facebook pages linked to spam activity,” she writes.
For example, pages owned by Macedonian publishers who were using them to push fake news about the 2016 election are typical of Facebook’s fake news targets.
“But anti-abortion sites are different,” Warren complains. “They do not mimic real publications, and they publish pieces on real events alongside factually incorrect or thinly sourced stories, which helps blur the line between what’s considered a news blog and ‘fake news’.”
And her examples of these factually incorrect and thinly sources stories are?
You guessed it – zero.
Facebook policy also tackles fake news by removing the profit incentive because most fake news is financially motivated. But Warren isn’t happy about this tactic either. Why? Because “anti-abortion, anti-science content isn’t being written by spammers hoping to make money, but by ordinary people who are driven by religious or political beliefs. It’s to convince readers of their viewpoint: that abortion is morally wrong,” she writes.
Does this mean that folks who are driven by political beliefs, for example like herself, should not be permitted to offer their viewpoint either? Why is it just the pro-life opinion that has to be silenced?
Now that the election is over, Facebook says its fact-checking partners are focusing on the “worst of the worst” such as clear hoaxes spread by spammers for their own gain.
This too, rankles Ms. Warren.
“Simply put, without increased pressure, Facebook’s technical efforts and its human efforts, like fact-checkers’ trawling through flagged content, make it likely that the company, in the months to come, will be seeking out only the ‘obvious’ flags of fake news stories and not the misinformation that is fueled by real people with no financial incentive. That is why those of us who are concerned by the misinformation around reproductive rights need to make ourselves heard.”
This isn’t about abortion supporters making their voices heard. It’s about pro-abortion supporters trying to censor the press.
And she also reveals a barely disguised jealousy that real abortion news is more popular with the public than Planned Parenthood’s latest talking points.
As Ertelt points out: “She seems to be substituting a claim of fake news for her apparent jealousy that pro-life organizations have amassed such a strong following on social media from the majority of Americans who have real issues with virtually unlimited abortions.”
And yes, people on Facebook are engaging pro-life content more than abortion-rights content “at a disproportionate rate,” but not because of the company’s algorithms, as she asserts.
It’s because, “Most people don’t ‘like’ killing babies in abortions,” Ertelt retorts. “Thank God sanity prevails outside the ivory tower.”
He concludes: “Sorry Ms Warren but just because your side can’t compete in the arena of public opinion doesn’t mean you get to change the rules. The public clearly has an appetite for news and information from an accurate and pro-life perspective. It’s unfortunate that the only way you feel you can compete is to make false claims about websites like LifeNews.com and call for censoring us simply because most Americans aren’t buying what you’re trying to sell. That’s how Communist countries like North Korea operate but not here.”
At least not yet.