In 2021, it's common for Pulitzer Prize-winning fact checkers to bury information that oppose their agenda - by fabricating and spreading their own misinformation.
- PolitiFact fabricated a quote and framed it as our claim.
- PolitiFact acknowledged the accuracy in our reporting but labeled it "Mostly False".
- PolitiFact spread their own false claims as part of their fact-check.
- Fact-checkers cast doubt and censor information that doesn't fit their partisan agenda.
PolitiFact fact-checked us so we fact-checked them. Here's how they spread misinformation and censor opposition:
PolitiFact fabricates quotes.
This quote is entirely fabricated. It was never 'stated' on our Instagram or our website, nor was anything similar. By definition, this is pure misinformation. They created a straw-man argument, attributed it to us in the form of a made-up quote, and then labeled us "mostly false" because of it.
PolitiFact adds misleading labels like "Mostly False" on accurate content.
Our infographic consisted of data and nothing else. Not even opinionated conclusions. The author, Samantha Putterman, acknowledged the data's accuracy with phrases such as "the data lines up" and "in the ballpark with what we see", but these validations are buried throughout the article - only someone who took the time to read the 1,700 word article would know our post was factually correct.
The author did question one data point, our claim of 15,000+ New York nursing home deaths, even though we cited it in the post. It was from CNN.
It's misinformation to label our post as "Mostly False" after acknowledging its objective accuracy. That label is purely their intentionally misleading opinion.
"Mostly False" and "Missing Context" ratings are not only their opinions, they're malicious tools used to discredit real information and prevent the public from seeing it.
PolitiFact adds their own misleading and false claims.
In their fact-check, PolitiFact claimed that "New York was Ground Zero". That is false.
Multiple states had confirmed COVID cases before New York. The first U.S COVID death occurred before New York confirmed their first case. Florida announced their first case on the same day that New York did. PolitiFact isn't a legitimate fact-checker if their own facts are wrong.
- Jan 21, 2020: Washington State announced first case.
- Feb 26, 2020: The first COVID-19 death was reported in Washington state.
- Feb 29, 2020: California confirmed their first case.
- Mar 1, 2020: New York announced their first case, Florida announced their first two cases.
Instead of checking our numbers, verifying their accuracy, and moving on - the author decided to make excuses for Cuomo, some with their own false claims, and flag our post as "false" for not making similar excuses.
PolitiFact buries the truth.
Flagging posts with the misleading labels lets Fact-Checkers bury the truth. It's another way to paint real information as misinformation. They cast doubt and enable censorship on information.
Casting doubt: Most readers don't read beyond the headlines. If they do, chances are they won't finish the article. Labeling something as "mostly false" is enough for many to dismiss content. In our case, a reader wouldn't know our post's validity unless they read the entire article. They would only see "mostly false".
Enabling censorship: Platforms like Twitter and Facebook gang up with the fact-checkers to suppress and remove content. Each fact-check adds a strike to content and accounts regardless of the fact-check's accuracy. We will still be harmed by PolitiFact's fact-check despite its inaccuracy and bias. Because these fact-checkers identify as 'independent' (they aren't), these platforms can censor content under the cloak of being 'independent'.
Fact-checkers didn't like the conclusions that could be drawn from our infographic so they fabricated quotes, added incorrect context, and flagged it. As a result, our Instagram will be censored (and has already been).