Facts checks and Facebook

In a speech Joe Biden gave on International Women’s Day, he said the military is creating maternity flight suits for pregnant women in the military. Naturally, the internet had a field day. “Politifact,” a supposedly reputable “fact checking” website, in their page about the story, said it was “mostly false,” and reported that the story was merely a claim by “bloggers.”

The blog they cite as an example, “Trending Politics,” was promptly blocked on Facebook for promoting “disinformation.” However, that blog just used the video of Joe Biden itself as a source. For the record, in that video Biden said, verbatim: “We’re making good progress, designing body armor that fits women properly. Tailoring combat uniforms for women. Creating maternity flight suits. Updating requirements for their hair styles. And some of it is gonna take a, uh, you know, an intensity of purpose and mission.”

So why is this “claim” considered “mostly false” you might ask? Because the military had this idea before Trump left office. Politifact links to a post on an Air Force website from Nov. 18 (after Donald Trump supposedly lost the election). Never mind the fact that Biden used the word “we” when talking about this program and claimed ownership of the “purpose and mission.”

This is a standard “fact check.” It’s all just a bunch of semantics and word games. Those who promote this sophistry know that the majority of true believers will see that fact check and think “oh, Biden didn’t say that.” Keep all this in mind next time you hear about those “independent fact checkers” and how they are the ones who get to decide what gets blocked on Facebook.

Jean Durtal


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