Fighting Facebook Disinformation and Gateway Pundit

Far-right news site Gateway Pundit used a Facebook page (more than 630,000 followers) to post a fake article claiming that the 2020 election was stolen by former President Donald Trump. Some commenters responded with the threat of violence.

After Gateway Pundit posted a June article on Facebook containing accusations of fraudulent voting in Arizona, commenters should comment that the Governor and Secretary of State should “step through Woodchipper first.” Said. An article about the false allegations of fraudulent voting in Fulton County, Georgia, wrote on Facebook a comment calling for the electorate to be hanged or “shot for treason.”

For years, Facebook has imposed sanctions on Gateway Pundit accounts to limit the spread of their false information. However, Gateway Pundit still uses Facebook pages to expand its reports and raise funds. This page has a striking appeal to readers asking them to purchase a subscription to support the “fight for survival”.

The continued presence of Gateway Pundit on Facebook demonstrates a global struggle for platforms to stop the spread of disinformation and balance content crackdowns with concerns about freedom of speech. .. Facebook has barrageed criticism this year from critics and company whistleblowers who say the practice has caused anger and division to increase user engagement.

In a statement to Reuters, Facebook used fact checkers and artificial intelligence to identify false or misleading material and label incorrect information by warning readers who would like to share it. , Said that it aims to “reduce its spread.” According to Facebook, recidivists such as Gateway Pundit are more demanding, such as pushing posts to the bottom of the user’s news feed (list of posts displayed) or being banned from Facebook’s content promotion services. It is said to be subject to sanctions.

However, Facebook rarely deletes problematic posts or shuts down the page. This only happens in rare situations, such as posts that push the wrong information for COVID. Sites that directly threaten violence may also be shut down, but account owners are not responsible for comments on their pages.

Twitter has taken a more aggressive approach to Gateway Pundit, with the site’s founder and editor Jim Hoft’s @gatewaypundit account and his twin brother writer Joe Hoft’s account. Permanently stopped.

Jim Hoft declined the request for comment. Joe Hoft did not respond to the comment request.

Both Facebook and Twitter have been blown up by right-wing politicians called conservative voice censorship. Jim Hoft testified at a 2018 parliamentary hearing that traffic on his site from Facebook decreased after the platform imposed restrictions on the spread of Pundit’s content, and such sanctions were “burning”. He said it looks benign.

However, Gateway Pundit traffic is skyrocketing. According to one estimate, the 2020 elections have peaked at about 50 million visits a month, demonstrating the power of disinformation about the virus. Reuters found that about 100 of the more than 800 threatening or harassing messages sent to election authorities since November last year cited the site’s frequently exposed fraudulent election claims. ..

Facebook has long recognized Gateway Pundit as a source of false, disruptive content. In a July 2019 internal report on “Potential Misinformation and Risk of Polarization,” the site is listed as one of Facebook’s “Common Misinformation Criminals.” This report was one of the cash of documents provided to the US Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress by Frances Haugen, a leading Facebook product manager who left the company in May and criticized its practices.

Reuters identified 12 Gateway Pundit articles on Facebook, including allegations of unfounded fraud, two of which labeled Facebook as containing false information. In four of these stories, nine Facebook users sought the execution of electoral workers or civil servants. Only one of these four stories was flagged by Facebook as containing incorrect information.

In August, Gateway Pundit reported that Milwaukee officials were threatened after being featured in Pundit’s article alleging fraudulent voting. result? More threats. On the Facebook page of this site, one reader commented:

Fighting Facebook Disinformation and Gateway Pundit

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