Meta Suspends “Fact Checker” Accused of Being Activist

If you’re tired of censorship and dystopian threats against civil liberties, subscribe to Reclaim The Net. The “fact-checking industry” as some call it has produced yet another controversy, this one concerning Australia’s upcoming referendum. Following our report earlier this month about how Meta was paying an “independent” fact checker, and the subsequent followup from Sky News in Australia, the attention on the relationship between the RMIT fact checker and Meta, has made a significant development. RMIT University’s RMIT FactLab has been suspended – at least temporarily – by Meta amid accusations that it was involved in censoring dissenting voices in the Australian media. This is happening in the context of the Australian Indigenous Voice referendum to change the country’s constitution in order to set up a body that would be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. But a democratic debate ahead of the vote has been disrupted by RMIT’s actions, say a number of “no” campaigners as well as some conservative media in Australia. Previously, reports said that the university allegedly had a $740,000 annual contract with an Ireland-based Meta subsidiary. In confirming the temporary suspension of RMIT FactLab as a “fact-checking” partner, Meta cited accusations coming from Voice referendum opponents, but a spokesman also said that RMIT was not properly accredited with the Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). “The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) requires participating organizations to demonstrate a commitment to nonpartisanship and fairness. The IFCN will determine whether RMIT FactLab’s expired certification should be reinstated,” the…Meta Suspends “Fact Checker” Accused of Being Activist