Fact-checks on Babylon Bee satire is latest way to censor conservatives
Twitter deleted a humorous tweet from the Trump campaign yesterday after copyright infringement claims from the NFL or an NFL franchise about the tweet. The development serves to buttress how serious liberals are about combating even satire or humorous information from conservatives as liberal sites expand censorship and so-called fact-checking.
The deleted tweet featured San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk rushing for a touchdown.
“The Trump team took that footage and superimposed Trump’s head on Aiyuk’s body. Then they put a picture of the coronavirus on the Eagles’ defender. When played, the video showed Trump hurdling the coronavirus,” says Yahoo News.
The Trump campaign, NFL and the 49ers did not immediately return USA Today’s requests for comment about the campaign’s attempts at humor at the expense of the No-Fun-League (NFL).
Recently, several media sites have also taken to fact-checking satirical conservative sites, like the Babylon Bee, as a way of cracking down on “misinformation.”
The king of fake fact-check sites, Snopes, has been fact-checking articles from the Bee for several years. The archives at Snopes tagged for Babylon Bee articles have fact-checked dozens of Bee news pieces, including a satirical claim that Democrats tried to pass legislation that made eating Chick-fil-A a hate crime, for example.
Yet in a recent development, even mainstream sites like USA Today are following the Snopes suit by filing lengthy fact-check stories on the Bee, apparently in the belief that satire is dangerous to liberals.
On Sept. 27, the paper rated the claim that the “9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned” Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death was satire—based on their research.
“We rate this claim SATIRE, based on our research. A satirical article about the 9th Circuit ‘overturning’ Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death has no basis in fact. It is true that the 9th Circuit has ruled against many Trump-era policies,” says USA Today.
On Sept. 30, the USA Today fact-checked another satirical account by the Babylon Bee regarding Trump nominating himself to the Supreme Court as “false.”
“Based on our research, the claim that President Donald Trump nominated himself to the Supreme Court — in June, no less, when there was no vacancy — is FALSE. That claim originated on a satirical website, The Babylon Bee. In reality, Trump has tapped Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his third nominee to the high court,” wrote USA Today fact-checker, Camille Caldera in all seriousness.
Even the wire service Reuters is getting in on the act. Reuters issued a recent fact-check of a Bee article about Netflix that tweaked the streaming service for a satirical PR blitz where the company claimed to be “mostly pedophilia-free.” The satirical piece was in response to Netflix’s release of the film “Cuties” which has been condemned as softcore porn featuring girls under 12 years old.
In August, Twitter was forced to apologize to the Babylon Bee for suspending their account as “suspected” spam, in what Twitter called a mistake.
“So we’re back on Twitter, at least for the time being. But we share the concerns of others who’ve rightly observed that these ‘mistakes’ tend to work in one direction,” said Babylon Bee’s CEO Seth Dillon about the tendency of Twitter to single out conservative content for suspension.
Just like fact-checks, and copyright claims, which also only single out conservatives.
PHOTO: Getty Images
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