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In yet another sign that we are in fact now all dead and inhabiting Stupid Hell, Facebook has contracted with a fact-checking company owned by the Daily Caller. How will this affect the reliability of the news you see on Facebook? Fuck if we know, because despite its efforts to convince people it cares about fighting fake news, Facebook remains a cesspit. Just about the best thing we can say about this development is that "Check Your Fact," the fact-checking subsidiary of Tucker Carlson's Home for Scared Whitefolk, has a completely separate staff from the mothership, so there's that very, very small favor.

The fact-checking partnership was originally reported by Axios, which actually manages to provide a somewhat amusing read for a change, and yay Axios, some of the amusement appears intentional!


Of course, one of Axios's many "yes but" qualifiers is itself an exercise in rank both-siderism, because a second new fact-checking site evaluates science, which we all know is merely a matter of opinion:

Yes, but: Both of the outlets approved by the Board are considered by some to be partisan: CheckYourFact.com arguably leans right, as it's a for-profit subsidiary owned by The Daily Caller, Inc., although editorially independent. Science Feedback fact-checks news and information primarily based on whether it is rooted in science. Some conservatives disagree with this characterization, arguing climate change is not a settled science.

Those conservatives are factually wrong, but hey, big tent. Talk about crawling up an awful yes-butt.

Axios also points out that this was less a decision by Facebook than an artifact of the social media company's decision to outsource responsibility for certifying fact-checkers to the Poynter Institute's nonpartisan International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). Under the 2016 agreement between Facebook and Poynter, once the fact-checking network certifies an outfit that applies, Facebook has to use its services. Yes, even if the fact-checker is owned by an organization that is gross and lie-y. Here's why that's not supposed to worry you too much, at least in theory:

Poynter's International Fact-Checking Network is considered credible, and is used to enforce standards for fact-checking broadly, not just at Facebook.

-- The board is made up of well-known fact-checkers from around the world, including from the Washington Post and Poynter.
-- The IFCN board votes on certification of fact-checkers without any input from Facebook or other partners.
-- It looks at a set of criteria when reviewing fact-checking partners to be a part of its network, including non-partisanship and fairness, transparency of sources, transparency of funding and more.

Nonetheless, that system has still allowed for some seriously dubious "fact checks," like that time the Weekly Standard labeled a ThinkProgress article about Brett Kavanaugh "false." As is often the case with bad fact-checking, the "false" label largely ignored the substance of a fairly complex article and decided the entire piece was worthless because the headline struck the Weekly Standard dickweeds as "misleading." Then the Weekly Standard went belly-up not long afterward and the issue became moot.

Now, it's possible that fact-checks done by Check Your Fact will be somewhat more reliable. For one thing, Check Your Fact was actually certified by Poynter/IFCN, while Facebook decided to contract with Weekly Standard even after Poynter found serious shortcomings in its fact-check branch. For "balance."

Then again, as the Guardian notes, the timing of this new partnership is awfully unfortunate for Facebook, huh?

This week, a Wired investigation on Facebook reported that a vice-president at the company had once argued that the Facebook newsfeed should treat the content from Daily Caller and Breitbart, another rightwing outlet, in the same manner as stories from mainstream news outlets.

Probably just an embarrassing coincidence, don't you think?

We took a quick look at Check Your Fact, and it didn't look too obviously terrible. Its front page has some nice, detailed debunking of internet memes, especially fake quotes. There's a piece noting that no, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez never said a nasty thing about Ben Shapiro, and also Teddy Roosevelt never said, "To anger a liberal, tell him the truth."

Check Your Fact even seems able to handle some subtlety, albeit with a bit of a rightward slant. In an assessment of a Julián Castro tweet stating Donald Trump's healthcare agenda "has left millions more Americans uninsured since he took office," the site looks at a number of different assessments of how the number of people without insurance has changed, and notes that different methodologies result in different estimates. Fair enough. It's not terrible, but it makes only passing reference to Trump's attempts to sabotage the ACA, like this seemingly "neutral" description:

The Trump administration ended federal payments for cost-sharing reductions (CRSs), or discounts offered by insurers to reduce the cost of deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance for consumers, after it decided the payments were unlawful.

And more worrisome, the piece doesn't at all address the Congressional Budget Office's projection that ending CSRs would drive up premiums and lead to lower enrollment in Obamacare. So we'd hate to see a Wonkette piece on the uninsured rate get labeled "Unsubstantiated" based on that.

We were glad to see that, in our very limited scan, Check Your Fact appears far less intent on whipping up old folks into a frenzy over immigrants and socialism than the Daily Caller's main product. Also, would it be too much to ask for a "search" function that only brings up "Check Your Fact" articles? We tried the search bar and got a lot of links to the Daily Caller instead. No thanks!

Also, Facebook still sucks. Now watch this article get labeled "False" because of the illustration.

[Guardian / Axios / Wired / Check Your Fact]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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