Facebook has said it finds claims that survivors of a violent tragedy are actually actors duping the public to be “abhorrent.” The company has said that content with such claims violates its community standards, and has pledged to remove such posts.
But when contacted by CNN over the last week about two InfoWars videos on Facebook which strongly suggest survivors of the Parkland shooting were acting, the company chose to leave the videos online.
…The company has pledged to tackle the issue of false news and misinformation, but it has allowed pages like InfoWars that produce such content to remain on the platform and to escape punitive measures it says are in place to stop bad behavior.
…Facebook has failed to affix much of InfoWars’ conspiratorial and false content with fact checks. A Facebook spokesperson said when a piece of content is fact-checked, it is demoted and its audience is reduced by about 80% on average.
…In a video it created in May promoting its efforts to combat misinformation, Facebook specifically pointed to PizzaGate, a fringe right-wing conspiracy theory that falsely linked top members of the Hillary Clinton team to an underground child sex ring, calling it “dangerous.” But multiple posts on InfoWars’ Facebook page share the theory — and do not appear to be affixed with a Facebook fact check. Nor was one added after CNN brought the posts to Facebook’s attention.
…On Wednesday, when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg attempted to explain Facebook’s position on the matter, he gave new fuel to the controversy by saying he did not know if Holocaust deniers intended to deceive others when sharing Holocaust-denying material. Zuckerberg later walked back his comments.