That Facebook’s “fact-checkers” got something wrong is hardly newsworthy anymore; but the giant admitting to it is not something you see every day.
Robby Soave, a senior editor with the Reason magazine, writes that he has been the recipient of one such highly unusual admission. The censorship in this case revolved around an article Soave shared on Facebook, only for it to be slapped with a “false information” label, that came from “independent fact-checkers.”
The write up was titled, “The Study That Convinced the CDC To Support Mask Mandates in Schools Is Junk Science. ” It was based on David Zweig’s Atlantic article that said a particular study relied on by the CDC inflated the data purporting the risk for unmasked students to such a degree that it should be considered flawed. He at the same time didn’t dispute that masks may help stop the spread of COVID-19, particularly in some school contexts.
The outfit, Science Feedback, deemed that the claim the particular study the CDC chose to accept was “junk science” (not that there is “no science” in claims that masks could be useful) was “false information.”
But it was Science Feedback who ended up peddling misinformation. When Soave made contact with Facebook, and the “fact-checker” in question, he was one of the lucky few who got an admission that there was no justification to flag his article.
“The flag has been removed. We apologize for the mistake,” Facebook wrote.