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ThinkProgress Accuses Facebook of Censorship After Conservative Factchecker Correctly Points Out an Error

"Brett Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week." Except he didn't.

KavanaughRon Sachs/SIPA/NewscomIan Millhiser, justice editor at ThinkProgress, is upset that The Weekly Standard—a right-of-center magazine whose editors have been granted the power to formally factcheck articles for Facebook—recently labelled one of his articles "false."

But the claim made by the article's headline—"Brett Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week and almost no one noticed"—is at the very least quite misleading.

ThinkProgress is a left-of-center news site published by the Center for American Progress. Its writers have previously expressed concerns that Facebook would award an explicitly conservative media outlet factchecker status, a privilege enjoyed by just four other organizations: the Associated Press, Factcheck.org, Politifact, and Snopes.com. Articles tagged as false will lose "80 percent of future traffic," according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and thus the stakes are indeed quite high for media organizations.

"At its peak, Facebook provided as much as 40 percent of ThinkProgress' traffic," writes Millhiser. "Facebook recently changed its algorithm in ways that reduced the amount of traffic it sent to most news outlets, but it still accounts for between 10 to 15 percent of our readers. The difference between keeping those readers and losing them could decide whether we can hire more reporters who will continue to report on subjects that the Weekly Standard may have ideological disagreements about."

Millhiser continued:

As a legal matter, Facebook is treading on very dangerous ground by providing no oversight of its own "fact checking" operation.

In its landmark decision in New York Times v. Sullivan, the Supreme Court held that an outlet can be liable for defamation if it publishes false information "with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not."

By deferring to The Weekly Standard's "expertise and process," Facebook acted with reckless disregard of whether The Weekly Standard's article was false or not.

Millhiser appears to believe that (1) The Weekly Standard erred in labelling the article false, (2) Facebook erred in giving The Weekly Standard this power in the first place, and (3) by refusing to correct these errors, Facebook may have exposed itself to liability for defamation.

Claim #2 is a judgement call, and I can't say whether it's correct. Maybe giving ideological groups factchecking powers was not a good move for Facebook. I won't tackle that topic here.

But claims 1 and 3 collapse if The Weekly Standard's fact-checkers made the right call regarding the "false" article. (Actually, 3 strikes me as dubious, regardless. Defamation is a high bar to clear.) Let's take a look.

Again, the headline is "Brett Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week and almost no one noticed." But Millhiser's article makes a more nuanced argument. As he summarizes it in the follow-up post:

Kavanaugh cited in his confirmation hearing the "Glucksberg test"—which refers to Washington v. Glucksberg, a 1997 Supreme Court decision establishing that the Constitution does not protect a right to physician-assisted suicide. Under Glucksberg, courts should determine which rights are protected by the Constitution by asking which rights are "deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition."

Kavanaugh also said in 2017 that "even a first-year law student could tell you that the Glucksberg's approach to unenumerated rights was not consistent with the approach of the abortion cases such as Roe vs. Wade in 1973, as well as the 1992 decision reaffirming Roe, known as Planned Parenthood vs. Casey."

Our article also cited law professors Jim Oleske and Jamal Greene, both of whom reached similar conclusions regarding Kavanaugh's embrace of Glucksberg.

Does this information imply that Kavanaugh would be inclined to overturn Roe v. Wade? A reasonable person might infer that this is so. The article concludes with this statement: "Judge Kavanaugh appears to be telegraphing his belief that Roe, Obergefell, and the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which provides that the government cannot prosecute consenting adults for having sex, were not correctly decided."

If the headline had said that Kavanaugh had "appeared to be telegraphing," or "hinted at," or even "heavily suggested" he would kill Roe v. Wade, that would be one thing. But "said" is a strong word. It makes it sound like Kavanaugh directly stated his intention to kill Roe v. Wade.

In his follow-up, Millhiser concludes that this all hinges on the definition of the verb "said." So he turns to the dictionary, which does indeed list "indicate, show, and communicate," as possible definitions for the word. But said is generally used as a synonym for indicate, show, and communicate when the subject of the sentence is a thing that can't use words. That look in your eyes can say a great deal, but not literally—a "look" doesn't use words. People, on the other hand, do use words, so when writers describe a person as having said something, it's implied that they did so with their mouths.

This may seem like nitpicking, but we're in the midst of an intense news cycle revolving around the question of whether Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. A headline that straightforwardly claims he admitted he would do so is manipulating readers' expectations, and thus the claim should have been hedged in the headline—even just a little bit—as it was in the article. If the claim is The Weekly Standard was wrong to say this headline is false, then I rate this claim: Mostly false.

Photo Credit: Ron Sachs/SIPA/Newscom

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  • Just Say'n||

    "ThinkProgress is a left-of-center news site"

    That's a weird way of correctly identifying "ThinkProgress" as a blatant progressive propaganda outlet. They don't even report or comment on news. They spin the news.

  • ||

    The title 'Justice Editor' says pretty much everything you need to know.

  • XM||

    LOL Justice Editor

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    XM, it's a perfectly reasonable title. As they edit out any just or correct.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    That was what they called me at the 7-Eleven when I was ordering the Natty 30 racks for students. The JustIce Editor.

  • ||

    It sounds like Judge Dredd's correction pen.

  • Red Tony||

    Progs are left of center in the same way concentration camps are detention centers.

    It's true, but it understates reality.

  • Juice||

    Fulfillment centers?

  • Hamster of Doom||

    An extra chocolate ration for YOU, my lad!

  • FlameCCT||

    Progressive Plantations (Marxist Utopias)?

  • Zeb||

    Well, he didn't say "center-left". "Left of center" goes all the way to the fringes of the far left.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Should just call them what they are.

    Evil.

  • ||

    Some of the stupidest things are published on ThinkProgress.

    It's for the unthinking mind that lacks imagination.

  • FlameCCT||

    "It's for the unthinking mind that lacks imagination."

    IOW Progressive Plantation serfs!

  • DjDiverDan||

    Only if by "spin the news" you mean "make s#it up."

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    There are no good guys in this story. Except perhaps for the 7-11 guy that sold BUCS the Natty 30 rack, whatever genre of porn that is.

  • Nardz||

    Try harder, chipper

  • MasterThief||

    It's a marxist propaganda site. The sad part here is that as much as they spread bullshit I still disagree with Facebook taking an active role in diminishing the reach of their content regardless of how disconnected it is from reality.
    I actually somewhat enjoy the daily standard, but I don't want them given the ability to help censor their opposition. I sure as hell don't want the 4 other factcheckers listed to do so because they have a leftist bias. When it comes to politifact, I'll go so far as to say they are themselves propagandists spreading fake news from a heavy left perspective.

  • Kazinski||

    But actually Facebook is saying they will stop promoting their website which is quite different than censoring their content. I think shadowbanning is deceptive practice which could violate FTC or state regulations, but I do think FB should be free to promote or not promote anything on almost any basis.

  • MasterThief||

    I appreciate the difference, but would still prefer that such content be spread more organically rather than being given limited exposure due to a third party claiming it's "fake news." That their fact checkers are noticeably partisan with a 4:1 split of left vs right wing bias further puts me against them somewhat hiding content that these sources claim are false.
    Of course they are free to do as they wish with the platform and transparency is far better than the alternative. Still, I don't find this to be a step in the right direction and actually figure they do leave it too open to corrupt self-serving activists.

  • Flinch||

    Save your son or daughter from being part of a mill like that: if they want to major in Communications... pull the plug, and refuse to pay for it.

  • damikesc||

    TWS is too right wing for them?

    Kristol's shitty mag, right?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Go to some Lefty rag and read the comments some time. Those people could not even handle the comments here at Reason. They would need immediate security forces for their insecurity.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It's one of the more common boogiemen on the left, perhaps not as much as National Review, but in the same space.

  • Just Say'n||

    The Weekly Standard is hot garbage, though. They're right about that. I can't think of a publication that has more willingly pimped war, outside of the NYT and WSJ opinion pages, than the Weekly Standard.

  • ||

    ^ This. TWS is the "conservative" magazine of "well, okay, we'll let you have the Welfare State if you'll let us have the Warfare State."

    Worst of both worlds.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'm too bothered by their Hawkishness, and so I will admit I honestly don't recall many of their stances on other issues. I think there is probably some fundamental divide in our principles though with how hawkish they are.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Misleading headlines being used to give those that only read headlines a false narrative is not new. I see it all over the place.

  • BYODB||

    Say, for example, here at Reason?

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    To be sure, Robby often softens his position in the article itself. And I've heard that often the express write the headlines for the plebes' articles...

  • Zeb||

    I don't know how it works on the blog here, but in general, journalists working for a real publication don't write their own headlines.

  • BYODB||


    Ian Millhiser, justice editor at ThinkProgress, is upset that The Weekly Standard—a right-of-center magazine whose editors have been granted the power to formally factcheck articles for Facebook—recently labelled one of his articles "false."


    Wow, just one article? ThinkProgress was basically a laundry list of lies and disinformation the one time I found myself there.

  • damikesc||

    Maybe he misread the verdict as one article being true and he wondered where he erred that time.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Which might be why Millhiser complains. Only his team should be able to fact check the other team.

  • BYODB||

    Well yeah, obviously. That's what every media company thinks. And I really mean that, too.

  • Flinch||

    Odd that TP should be worried: TWS seems to be on their side of the page in being 'never Trump'. But to sum up their position: in keeping with "who's watching the watchers" it seems they are making a case for a Department of Redundancy Department? I guess the specter of diversity appearing anywhere near fakebook has them handwringing and wailing at the stars. But not to worry - Zucks solution is to blot out the sun and just take a chainsaw to content distribution at the first accusation to come up. In all cases, the goal is not to rate and inform but decide the severity of the blackout. After all, "...your content is yours!". Yeah, right. The question is: will he even have a website left when the smoke clears? Progs seem to want to politicize anything that can be quantified, which is it's own danger in that politics is the realm of the agitated. That chainsaw is never going to stop until it kicks - right back in his face, wondering how the hell SJW's killed his business.
    I'd rather he just listed who's lobbing spitballs and screaming "j'accuse!" on a full time/professional basis rather than repackaging political lobbying into quiet anonymous algorithms and opaque policy that have zero chance of making them stop.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Brett Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week and almost no one noticed

    If a progressive publication says it, then it has to be true. We're not into alternative facts, like those other people. This is known.

    I can't believe you fell for it.

  • SQRLSY One||

    "Brett Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week."

    So if it is true that he would kill it, he is then a murderer, and who wants a murderer on the SCROTUS?

    Even if there's only a 2% chance that the accusation is true, we can't risk it!!! No murderers allowed on the SCROTUS, OK!?!?!?

  • Red Tony||

    It's the SCOTUS, not the SCROTUS.

    The SCROTUS is what the doctor found inside your arm. It's why you had to get that surgery, remember? Brett Kavanaugh isn't looking to sit on your SCROTUS.

    At least, I hope he isn't.

  • Microaggressor||

    No, I like SCROTUS. Let's keep doing SCROTUS.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Sometimes I wish there were a little more murderers in Washington. But then I recover my better self.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    "Few" -- a "few more murderers", not "a little more murderers".

  • Tankboy||

    Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Our legislators should pass laws defining the conditional legality of abortion. If our legal system depends on the whims of SCROTUS for this issue, there can be no certainty. Mainly, this uncertainty makes abortion a permanent politicking issue, which is probably why there is no law. And also, let's not look at why abortions are disproportionately performed on minorities. Margaret Sanger, anyone?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    If its a Lefty source- its guaranteed to be misleading, possibly incorrect, and usually false.

  • Red Tony||

    misleading, possibly incorrect, and usually false.

    loveprostitution outs himself as a lefty source.

  • ||

    "Brett Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week."

    With his bare hands.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Such a manly man he is.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Something even Chuck Norris could not accomplish

  • Headache||

    Helen Keller would be proud.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    One is tempted to come away with the impression that this whole fact-checking process is just a bunch of self-interested constituencies vying for point-scoring once Facebook et. al. started introducing truth-based social networking.

    I have to confess, if there was one thing I never saw coming...

  • ||

    I have to confess, if there was one thing I never saw coming...

    Really? I'm wondering how long it will be before FB monetizes it.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    That's why I was interested in this: "Maybe giving ideological groups factchecking powers was not a good move for Facebook."

    I think that's valuable. All groups are ideological to some extent, or else most articles would come back neither true or false, because one cannot derive a simple true or false statement from a complex series of opinions and arguments.

    I think maybe just having input from various sources, and letting people decide based on this information is the most fair. But, most people would just ignore it, and for some reason this is now the governments problem. So expect the Ministry of Truth soon.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Facebook is the ministry of truth now. And if they won't take up the mantle, Diane Feinstein will do it for them.

  • John||

    It is cute that they think anyone believes what they see on Facebook.

  • Flinch||

    Feinstein... China... When Zuck took his IPO money to Singapore, can we assume he's with HSBC?

  • ||

    When Zuck took his IPO money to Singapore, can we assume he's with HSBC?

    That was Eduardo Saverin

  • John||

    How about Facebook, not fact check at all and leave it to its users to decide what they want to believe? The whole concept of "fact-checking things that other people publish" is idiotic. If the Weekly Standard thinks Millhouser is full of shit, they should say so. If Millhouser thinks that the Weekly Standard is full of shit, then he should say so. It is called debate. Calling something "fact checking" is just a silly way to claim to have a monopoly on the facts and thus avoid having to defend your position.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    How about Facebook, not fact check at all and leave it to its users to decide what they want to believe?

    I'm fine with this as well. Buyer beware is a lesson everyone should learn and be constantly aware of. I'm only discussing in the framework of "doing something" which is the best possible. Otherwise, I agree with everything you say. Fact-checking can be valuable, but it has been extended to realms where it no longer makes sense.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Just as it would be fine for the users to decide what they want to believe, it would also be fine to provide one or more fact checking services for users if they want to use such a service. It would be no different than say Consumer Reports for retail products.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    And the fact checking services could themselves be scored based on reputation or other criteria.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    The problem is the 80-20 rule. 80 prevent of the people are below average intelligence and cannot figure these things out for themselves. I had a lefty friends go on a tirade about soda taxes and how advertising was kryptonite to inner city folk who had to be saved from themselves and their manipulated purchasing choices. News is no different from soda.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    >> 80 prevent of the people are below average intelligence and cannot figure these things out for themselves.

    I have spent an extravagant amount of time trying to figure out how to make other humans ask questions of the things they just spouted out of their mouths, and after much research, I'm going to ask you:

    So, how 'bout them Bears?

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Upon re-reading, let it be known that I'm not arguing we're an intelligent species. Oh ho, no. I've met the public.

  • Nardz||

    The Bears had an underrated defense last year, having a knack for big plays, and the additions of Khalil Mack and rookie Roquon Smith (go Dawgs!) make them legitimately scary on that side of the ball.
    Bringing in Nagy as head coach will be a huge improvement, though he has a lot to learn - as seen when he turtled after getting a big lead on Green Bay.
    Jordan Howard is an elite back and their line is good. Trail Cohen could have a big impact if used on jet sweeps like Tyreek Hill was in KC. Their receiving corps is light years better than last season and with some specific strengths.
    I'm still skeptical of Trubisky. He showed some good things Sunday night, but left a lot on the table. Scheme might be holding him back, and I hope we'll see what can happen if they let him loose.
    I think they finish around .500 this year, with a real shot to make some noise in the playoff race.

  • Nardz||

    *Tarik Cohen

  • Zeb||

    80 prevent of the people are below average intelligence

    How does that work?

  • Nardz||

    Apparently we have some really, really smart mofos throwing off the curve.

  • JesseAz||

    The problem is the fact checkers don't stick to facts. Politifact especially is fond of the "true but tangent" false ratings for conservatism.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Is it wrong of me to want to purge the progressives from our shores?

  • Nardz||

    No.
    No it isn't.

  • ||

    "...factchecker status, a privilege enjoyed by just four other organizations: the Associated Press, Factcheck.org, Politifact, and Snopes.com."

    Totes trust in those.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Yeah, Snopes became a most excellent organization once they started fact checking stuff like the Iran nuclear deal. They should have stuck to urban legends.

  • ||

    Seriously. What a fucking joke.

    What qualified them to tackle that?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    They cobbled together a bunch of incorrect news stories, used them as sources and said "See?".

    That works fine for stuff like urban legends about Chevy novas with rocket engines flying into the hillside outside of a small town in Kansas, not so much on global Realpolitik.

  • JesseAz||

    Are you trying to say you can't trust a man who married his whore? (Snopes)

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Wait...

    The Nova with rockets wasn't real?

  • Morbo||

    No, but the Robin Reliant Space Shuttle was.

  • Flinch||

    Ah, the perfect vehicle for people who have been crushed by sequential divorces and have not a shred of hope left but to clerk at the post office and siphon fuel out of government vehicles on their break to keep it running. Every time I see one of those, I cringe and pray 'not me, no never'.

  • Flinch||

    They believed they could google better than us. It's a dumb new world.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Trump : We've got 25 trillion dollars and debt and it's getting worse. We need to stop spending.
    Fact Check: We are actually only about 21.5 trillion dollars in debt.
    Verdict: Mostly false.

    Harris: Donald Trump is a cannibal that eats babies.
    Fact Check: Baby back ribs are on the menu at the restaurant in Trump Tower.
    Verdict: Mostly true.

  • VinniUSMC||

    Sums it up quite nicely.

  • John Galt Jr||

    (sneer)

    U.S. expects to hit $1 trillion deficit earlier than planned

    The U.S. deficit grew by $222 billion from this time last year — reaching a total of $895 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    Why it matters: This increase was due mostly to the new Republican tax law and Congress' routine decision to increase spending, which grew by 7% compared to revenue growth of only 1%. The CBO now says the deficit will approach $1 trillion by the end of this fiscal year, but in April the agency didn't expect the deficit to reach $1 trillion until 2020.

    Don't forget, Trump campaigned on paying off the entire debt in 8 years! From his tariffs!
    Breitbart Do the math.

    Tariff revenues of (19/8=) $2.4T per year ... vs Revenues of $3.3T per year!

    Tariffs are paid by consumers. So Trump PROMISED to increase consumer prices by the equivalent of a 73% tax increase! ... which says all you need to know about the "mental capacity" of Trumptards. (smirk)

    Do the math: $895 deficit, 10 months FY = $89.5 billion per month
    2 months at $89.5 = 179B + 895B = $1.074T.

    Left - Right = Zero

  • VinniUSMC||

    Funny that your link never once actually quotes Trump as saying he would "paying off the entire debt in 8 years! From his tariffs!"

    It's almost like you're just a bald face liar, like the rest of the DNC. Fuck off Hihnfection.

  • David Nolan||

    I linked to the cite ... thus now PROVING you a fuckng liar, Yet again

    See the link, right after Trump's FAILED promise? That's how we communicate a source -- to adults who are old enough to understand this common practice.

    Or ... you're saying Breitbart is full of shit, AND part of the DNC!!!!.

    Are you somehow compelled to publicly humiliate yourself with your attacks and stalking?
    No ACTUAL Marine would be so tragically lacking in morals and integrity.

  • John Galt Jr||

    U.S. expects to hit $1 trillion deficit earlier than planned

    The U.S. deficit grew by $222 billion from this time last year — reaching a total of $895 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    Why it matters: This increase was due mostly to the new Republican tax law and Congress' routine decision to increase spending, which grew by 7% compared to revenue growth of only 1%. The CBO now says the deficit will approach $1 trillion by the end of this fiscal year, but in April the agency didn't expect the deficit to reach $1 trillion until 2020.

    Don't forget, Trump campaigned on paying off the entire debt in 8 years! From his tariffs!
    Breitbart Do the math.

    Tariff revenues of (19/8=) $2.4T per year ... vs Revenues of $3.3T per year!

    Tariffs are paid by consumers. So Trump PROMISED to increase consumer prices by the equivalent of a 73% tax increase! ... which says all you need to know about the "mental capacity" of Trumptards. (smirk)

    Do the math: $895 deficit, 10 months FY = $89.5 billion per month
    2 months at $89.5 = 179B + 895B = $1.074T.

    Left - Right = Zero

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Time for hospice. And don't be afraid to turn up the morphine drip.

  • Longtobefree||

    Facts do not need checking. They are facts.
    That headline is not a fact, it is a propaganda statement.

  • Zeb||

    Thanks for the clarification. Here I was thinking that they were checking already established facts that everyone accepted as true.

  • Mickey Rat||

    So 20% of the fact checking organizations being an overtly conservative viewpoint is unacceptable.

  • Number 2||

    ThinkProgress' citation to New York Times v. Sullivan, and the suggestion that Facebook has violated that standard, is legal horseshit. Indeed, it is the very sort of blustering threat that the Lefties (and others) accuse Trump of making in response to stories he doesn't like.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    YOU'RE NOT THINKING ABOUT PROGRESS, ASSHOLES!

  • Dave Boz||

    "Brett Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week." All by himself. No case need be brought or accepted by the Supreme Court. His colleagues need not agree. He'll just reach out and kill it, all by himself. That's one powerful seat; no wonder the Dems are so concerned about who occupies it.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Are you Boz Scaggs dad?

  • Dillinger||

    wtf universe is this where the first three paragraphs are a thing?

  • Hamster of Doom||

    All the multiverses out there, and we got stuck in this one.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I am atill trying to get back to Yellow Tony's dimension.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    ...back? Shit, do tell, man.

  • Red Tony||

    *unzips fly*

    Yes, please proceed.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I am not falling for that again. There is no dimensional portal in your pants.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    ...again?

    Man, you never tell me the good stuff. Hmmph.

  • Red Tony||

    Again? When did you fall for it the first time?

    Was it with FishpersonTony?

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Hi, Red Tony. We've never been officially introduced. I've noticed we often seem to have the same line of thought. Since I am a questionable person of suspicious character - I'm keeping my eye on you, bub.

    *sidles away, watching you closely*

  • Red Tony||

    Wait, are you another alternate universe me, or a different past me, or a multiverse-theory future-past-me?

  • Hamster of Doom||

    I'm just a really opinionated mammal, yo. This whole Tony-verse is merely a playground I'd love a ticket to, except I'm concerned I haven't the proper shots.

  • Rat on a train||

    We could be stuck with Cronenberg Trump.

  • Red Tony||

    Aw, geez, Rick, y'know, I mean, aw, geez, Rick.

  • Flinch||

    I'll take it. That one looks even crappier.

  • Joe_JP||

    David Lat, who some around here thought convincing regarding perjury claims, tweeted this:

    "You don't need to agree with @imillhiser on the underlying issue (Kavanaugh and Roe) to question whether what @Facebook is doing here is a good idea; it's not a stretch to imagine the shoe being on the other foot someday."

    For the "lol The Left" crowd, maybe he would be more convincing.

  • Joe_JP||

    The issue at best seems to turn on debatable interpretation.

    Using "false" there is dubious. It isn't just some sort of "censorship!" issue.

    It's at most a difference of opinion. Facebook seriously downgrading the reach of the article to its users for that reason is as David Lat says something a person might reasonably "question" even if they disagree with IM.

  • soldiermedic76||

    No it isn't debatable. They made a declarative statement that he stated he will kill Roe v Wade. His statement could be interpreted that way, however it was not declarative, therefore their (Think progress) headline was false. When you make a declarative sentence and the facts do not back your statement it is false. The correct headline would have been Kavanaugh's past statements indicate he is willing or favors killing Roe v Wade. But nowhere did he state he would. Period. End of debate.

  • soldiermedic76||

    And if it requires you to read between the lines or to infer something, then it is not self evident, and therefore the ThinkProgress's headline is false. No ifs ands or buts about it.

  • Violent Sociopath||

    Facebook is doing to ThinkProgress exactly the same shit that Facebook has been doing to conservative media outlets since time immemorial: subjecting them to tendentious "fact checks" by partisans and downgrading their reach accordingly. The shoe has already been on the other foot, and I'm absolutely fucking delighted to hear the progtards, having been given a taste of their own medicine, squealing like stuck pigs.

  • Jerryskids||

    "Brett Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week and almost no one noticed" also falls apart if you're going to claim that "said" means "indicated", what the hell do you think the Dems have been screaming about Kavanaugh if not that he's indicated he'd be in favor of overturning Roe v Wade? I mean, the guy was nominated by a Republican, of course he's in favor of overturning Roe v Wade. Not to mention overturning the 15th and 19th Amendments and probably the Concordat of Worms. But to say that "almost no one noticed" Kavanaugh and his opinion on Roe v Wade is simply stupid.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I truly hate this current construct in internet articles. "... and almost no one noticed." "One weird thing that..." "You'd never know that..." things like this. They are non-statements that take up space in a title while conveying no information.

    I suppose if we're generous it conveys the fact that one is now a part of a special elite aware of the reality of what is happening. This is probably what they are trying to imply, but it's nonsense.

  • Paloma||

    Or "If you can score 15 correct answers out of these 20 questions, you are probably a genius."

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Those are fun.

    It's like, say the threshold for a 'bright' human is, oh, 108. And genius is, like, 135 or some shit. Then make 'Forrest Gump' about, oh, 80-85-ish.

    Okay, so now, lol, there's as much difference between a genius and a normie as there is between a bright human and a border collie and since, lol, our universities give no fucks at all beyond funding oh sweet bejesus we're fucking doomed lol.

  • soldiermedic76||

    In the book Gump was a idiot savant. That is not a how the movie portrayed him.

  • DenverJ||

    "the guy was nominated by a Republican, of course he's in favor of overturning Roe v Wade. Not to mention overturning the 15th and 19th Amendments"

    Uh huh. Hey, you know who passed the fucking 15th amendment? Hint: it wasn't the Democrats- they were too busy lynching uppity niggers and attending Klan meetings. And spare me the horseshit about the parties switching places; its still the Democrats who are obsessed with race.

  • Mark22||

    But... but... Southern Strategy!

  • Zeb||

    Satire, dude.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Who would have thought that fact checking would be weaponized?

  • Hamster of Doom||

    No one. This was inconcievable.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Y'all suck. I have been waiting to dump someone in that joke for *hours*.

    The only thing worse than pedantic shitheads is unreliable pedantic shitheads.

  • John||

    More than anything, these people are just stupid. Millhouser is just a moron. He doesn't even understand what NYT v. Sullivan means. It doesn't mean "they relied on someone I think is a poopy head". It means Facebook has to know something is false and publish it anyway. The only people who go into journalism are people too retarded to do anything else.

  • Brian||

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    ^ thread winner

  • Brian||

    As a legal matter, Facebook is treading on very dangerous ground by providing no oversight of its own "fact checking" operation....[DEFAMATION!]

    Isn't this the kind of shit that Trump says that makes him an asshole?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Yes.

  • Number 2||

    See my comment above.

    Yet another reason why Trump's opponents have more in common with him than they want to admit.

  • ranrod||

    marxist censors run social media and most now understand that FACT

  • M.L.||

    Just let people post what they want, and more importantly let people see what they want according to who they choose to follow or like. Forget about being the arbiter of truth and falsity.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Sounds just like what a wrongthinker would say. Get him (or her) (or xe) (or xer) guys!

  • Red Tony||

    What if it's xim?

    Or Zim?

  • GoatOnABoat||

    "In his follow-up, Millhiser concludes that this all hinges on the definition of the verb 'said'."

    Obviously a pupil of Bill Clinton's... "It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is.

    Nearing the 20th anniversary of his impeachment, no less. The more things change...

  • Wally||

    Hah, just what I thought. It depends on what the definition of the word "said" says.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    ThinkProgress is a left-of-center news site published by the Center for American Progress. Its writers have previously expressed concerns that Facebook would award an explicitly conservative media outlet factchecker status, a privilege enjoyed by just four other organizations: the Associated Press, Factcheck.org, Politifact, and Snopes.com.

    Sounds to me like their panties are really in a bunch because 1 out of 5 "factcheckers" leans conservative.

    Cry me a fucking river. These are likely some of the same people who have been pushing for FB to take a more active role in essentially censoring what gets posted on FB's platform, now they want to bitch and moan that not all of the appointed gatekeepers are good like minded progressive pinheads like themselves. Gee, maybe we'd be better off if FB got rid of the "factcheckers" and trusted users to sort out for themselves what is and isn't fact.

    Nah, that's just crazy talk. Sheeple need Top. Men. to tell them what to think. /sarc

  • ||

    Sounds to me like their panties are really in a bunch because 1 out of 5 "factcheckers" leans conservative.

    While at least 3 of the other 4 have a definitely recognizable progressive slant.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Do you ever wonder who that stubborn dentist was who never agreed Trident reduced tooth decay?

  • ||

    My reading of the tone of those ads was that the fifth guy was crazy and shouldn't really be licensed to practice dentistry, anyway. Probably was against fluoridation, too.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Probably was against fluoridation, too.

    I knew it! You're out to contaminate my precious bodily fluids!

  • GoatOnABoat||

    The 5th dentist is being shown the benefits of Trident and fluoridation at one of our state-of-the-art retraining facilities. Dentists of the world unite!

  • The Last American Hero||

    The guy that endorsed Crest?

  • Flinch||

    Given how people typically search for "facts" these days, they really only use one: the AP. The others just add heft to the leaked/planted/paid for noise they promulgate and service daily.

  • Eddy||

    I think I just heard Cynthia Nixon on TV saying her favorite book is Alice in Wonderland.

  • Eddy||

    Not a joke.

    You see, PBS is looking for the Great American Novel and is taking nominations.

    https://to.pbs.org/2kI0z25

    They include Atlas Shrugged on their list.

    But they have Twilight, too, which probably has a better chance in a poll of PBS viewers than does Rand's work.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Hahaha, watch millions vote for Harry Potter.

  • sarcasmic||

    But they have Twilight, too, which probably has a better chance in a poll of PBS viewers than does Rand's work.

    Doubt it. Those books are so poorly written that only teenage girls and trailer-trash dropouts would find them compelling. PBS snobs would likely recognize them for the garbage that they are.

  • Mickey Rat||

    It is favorite reads, not quality literature. 50 Shades of Grey is on the list as well. The list is so dumbed down that G.R.R. Martin's series os listed under the TV show name rather than the name of the book series.

  • Paloma||

    How in the HELL did Crime and Punishment get on the same list as The DaVinci Code? God, people are stupid.

  • Flinch||

    Maybe because War & Peace... is a crime for being so long, and you feel punished for spending the time reading it?

  • Sevo||

    So, per the link this morning, moonbeam has pledged that CA will be a unicorn paradise or something, sometime in the near future. If anyone can figure out how to do that.
    Been watching the newsfeeds, and unless you live in SF or are an AGW-wonky, you probably wouldn't know that moonbeam is hosting a 'World Conference' for the ENVIRONMENT(!!!!!!!) in SF this week. Co-hosted by that asshole Bloomberg, who never met a regulation he didn't think was just wonderful.
    Well, the local TV news is covering it, and today featured many 'indigenous peoples' speaking about how they are full of wonderfulness since they don't use much fossil-fuels (except to fly here to tell us they don't) and how they live in harmony with nature with their slash-and-burn ag methods (oh, wait!).
    Pretty sure all those colorful head-rags were bought at Fisherman's Wharf last night, but what they were really peddling is a very simple message:
    "Give us your money!"
    --------

  • Sevo||

    Cont'd

    "Organizers say this is really what it's about: delegates from around the world meeting, speaking through six translators to give indigenous people a seat at the table.
    "We believe we can save the earth only if we work together hand in hand," said Rukka Sombolinggi of Indonesia.
    "It's about restoration resilience and conservation in that the indigenous people have a lot to show," said Manuel Pulgar Vidal of Peru."
    https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2018/09/11/
    climate-change-summit-held-after-gov-
    brown-signs-historic-energy-bill/

    No, you don't. You are members of dead-end cultures who can offer 'color' to tourists and pretty much nothing else.
    One of Trump's towering accomplishments: Taking the US out of that Paris redistribution party.

  • Mark22||

    "It's about restoration resilience and conservation in that the indigenous people have a lot to show,"

    Ah, environmentalists with an admiration for paganism and pre-Christian culture. Literally, just like the Nazis.

  • Nardz||

    Animism, not paganism, in the case of "indigenous Americans".

    Paganism is on point.

  • J. S. Greenfield||

    Umm, (3) is not just dubious because defamation is a high bar. It's dubious -- actually, just plain wrong -- because Facebook is not a publisher for the purposes of this case.

    Rather, Facebook is an "interactive computer service" hosting "information provided by another information content provider." Under Section 230 of the CDA, Facebook is not the "publisher or speaker" of such information. Furthermore, Facebook cannot be "held liable on account of...any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be...objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected."

    Quite simply, Facebook is immunized from liability for this kind of content.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Corps keep taking responsibility for content published in exchange for monetizing the provider's data, eventually someone's going to think they're responsible for the content they publish in exchange for monetizing the provider's data.

  • David Nolan||

    It's getting even crazier. BOTH sides are full of shit here (gasp)

    Kavanaugh also said in 2017 that "even a first-year law student could tell you that the Glucksberg's approach to unenumerated rights was not consistent with the approach of the abortion cases such as Roe vs. Wade in 1973, as well as the 1992 decision reaffirming Roe, known as Planned Parenthood vs. Casey."

    He said Glucksberg was not consistent with Roe. Never said either one was "correct." Or that both are wrong.

    Let the hysteria flow freely.

    Glucksberg is conservative authoritarian. 9A has NOTHING to do with history or traditions. It was a refusal to do so, since rights had been evolving for hundreds of years, and would likely continue to do so. And despite the authoritarian right's ignorance, rights have always been declared/acknowledged by judges and tribunals.

    Rights are "acknowledged" when government action is deemed abusive and challenged and ruled, That's how it works. Those who screech legislating from the bench" are confusing laws with the constitution, and often demanding "legislation from the pulpit" (which starts with denying Separation)

  • Sevo||

    You, shitbag, are not David Nolan.
    Fuck off.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    As always, I encourage readers to judge for themselves.

  • Mark22||

    Hihn, what we conclude is that you are a senile troll using sockpuppets.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Having been crushed on any issue.
    Cyber-bully an invented author, totally devoid of any relevant context to whatever crushed your sorry ass.

    what we conclude is that you are a senile troll using sockpuppets.

    Says the anonymous coward. (duh)
    Libertarians don't give a shit about authoritarians, by definition. And your bellowing shows why.
    But thanks for sharing your feeeeeeeeeeee-lings.

  • Sevo||

    "As always, I encourage readers to judge for themselves."

    We have, Hihn. You're a tired piece of shit who should stay away from any keyboard.
    Fuck off.

  • Nardz||

    I concur

  • Flinch||

    Except for those pesky Americans: just up and TOOK rights from a sitting king - no judge or tribunal, or anything resembling decorum. Oh, the humanity....
    In evaluating power [in our 3 branches of government], there's a good question. Who steals the most power: the weakest or the strongest branch? I would suggest it's the weakest, as the strong don't need to connive - they just do what they will. If that is true, it would seem our courts are the bottom tier as evidenced by writing or re-writing many a statute [be it "emanations & penumbras" or some other ruse] as well as the recent kleptomania surrounding Trumps travel ban. Congress gave plenary power to the executive branch where immigration intersects with national security, and no court should have touched it. Congress could have changed the law or impeached - those were our real remedies, if needed.
    Courts and tribunals are the bottom rung of power, which is maybe why Shakespeare was right concerning lawyers.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Who steals the most power: the weakest or the strongest branch? I would suggest it's the weakest, as the strong don't need to connive -

    If you weren't an authoritarian goober, you'd know that all three branches are equal.
    And we libertarians know WHY that pisses you off so much.

    "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers"

    Typical of thuggish right-wingers

    P.S, Also a nitwit who confuses lawyers with courts and tribunals ... while lying through his ass about Shakespeare.
    But thanks for publicly humiliating yourself! I suspect you cannot help it.

  • Rob Misek||

    I think it's more important that the genocide stops.

    750,000 abortion murders of healthy innocent helpless children every year in the US and you're mincing words.

    It doesn't get more Orwellian.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Oh, sure it does. Imagine what we do to the ones we give names.

  • Flinch||

    It never stops. But, it should be a private matter and taxpayer funding cutoff.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    it should be a private matter and taxpayer funding cutoff.

    There is no taxpayer funding. But there is a Christian Taliban, morally equivalent to the Muslim Taliban.
    They have manipulated you. Stop allowing it.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Yes because Lutherans and Episcopals are busy throwing gays off buildings and stoning adulterers. Fucking stupid bullshit statement. With not an ounce of fucking self awareness on your own bigotry

  • David Nolan||

    What is more Orwellan than denying the core value of Equal and Unalienable Rights, endowed by a Creator, as innate to all humans?

    To deny the fetal child's right to Life is precisely equal to the woman's unalienable right to Liberty is to deny the very definition of unalienable. All such rights are absolute.

    When two rights are in conflict, both absolute, who would dare demand that either can possibly be superior to the other? Only an authoritarian statist, as seen on both the left and the right

    On the left, Authoritarian Statists deny the fetal child's unalienable right to Life.
    On the right. Authoritarian Statists deny the woman's unalienable right to Liberty
    Both seek to impose their preference by government diktat.

    But only the Right suffers a moral contradiction. They claim a fetus has been granted full God-Given Rights at conception. So how does a woman lose any God-Given Rights at pregnancy? Are any other God-Given Rights only temporary? How many. For how long? And on what authority?

    Abortion has existed for all of human history, for thousands of years by herbal abortifacients, and never challenged. Not until it became surgical instead of herbal. Does surgery also make a broken leg sinful? Heart bypass?

    War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
    George Orwell, "1984"

    Embrace individual liberty, as endowed by our Creator, however you may choose to define that creator.

  • Rob Misek||

    There is no contradiction about abortion.

    Every human has a right to life.

    The baby is not the initiator of a pregnancy and can not be held responsible for it.

    The woman chose to participate in the only activity that is designed in nature to.result in the creation of new life. That was her only choice.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    ANOTHER thug rejects unalienable rights.

    Every human has a right to life.

    And to a package called Liberty, another package called Pursuit of Happiness ... and all those which are never named in the 9th Amendment. ALL UNALIENABLE. ENDOWED BY A CREATOR. You'll learn about that in high school. And Biology. And (maybe) your Church.

    The baby is not the initiator of a pregnancy and can not be held responsible for it.

    You brainwash easily, since that has no relevance. To anything.
    On what authority do you reject the founding principle of Equal and Unalienable Rights, as endowed by a Creator, however you choose to define that Creator?

    Now we see how TOTALLY you've been manipulated.

    The woman chose to participate in the only activity that is designed in nature to.result in the creation of new life.

    For lower animals! Not to humans. (lol)

    Humans are the only species created by God, with the capacity to feel enjoyment from sex, even when procreation is impossible. Human females do not need to be in heat! ASK YOUR MOM!

    So your sick morality applies to dogs, cats, lions and earthworms. As you defy the Will of Almighty God.

    REJECT THE ANTI-CHRIST WHO CONTROLS YOUR SOUL.
    Accept the one true Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Beg His forgiveness. May God forgive your blasphemy.

    You obviously flunked Biology, Religion, and US History.
    I won't test your skills in arithmetic.

  • Rob Misek||

    You are held responsible for your own choices.

    If your choices result in your forfeiting your rights, that's on you.

    You don't get to murder someone else.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Now the goober -- having been CRUSHED -- goes TOTALLY off the rails!
    1) Rejects unalienable rights, as charged!
    2) Assumes human females must be in heat for sex!

    They walk among us. And they vote.

    Will he sink even lower?
    Will another one pop out of the swamp?

  • Zeb||

    The woman chose to participate in the only activity that is designed in nature to.result in the creation of new life.

    If every human organism has the right to life, then the circumstances of that being's creation shouldn't matter.

    Anyway, we've all had arguments about abortion before. Do we need to do it again?

  • Rob Misek||

    Obviously, the genocide continues.

    Yes, how you came about isn't relevant to your right to life.

    Those who condone murder make up all kinds of excuses to. I refute them with the truth of logic and science.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Yes, how you came about isn't relevant to your right to life.

    Nor your shameful bullshit here and here

    And now again

    Those who condone murder make up all kinds of excuses to. I refute them with the truth of logic and science.

    You humiliated yourself on both of those, at the first link above.

    Are you paid to troll, ior do it from you from your obvious contempt for the Will of Almighty God?

  • Sevo||

    Fuck off, Hihn.

  • VinniUSMC||

    The only thing worse than Think Progress is the Facebook group "Occupy Democrats". Followed closely by "The 98%". No fact checking is necessary if you see one of these 3 things is the source. It's nearly guaranteed to be bullshit.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Followed by the lowest of all, Trumptards

  • VinniUSMC||

    Coming from the Hihntarded Hihnfection himself, I think Trumptards should take that as a compliment.

    Take your meds Hihn.

  • David Nolan||

    Are you the same faux Marine who was so totally and publicly humiliated elsewhere on this page?

  • David Nolan||

    Are you the same faux Marine who was so totally humiliated, elsewhere on this page.

    My nephew was a Marine. I asked him how common it is that a Marine -- current or ex -- would be a cyber-bully stalker. He was the one who said "faux Marine."

  • JFA||

    Think Progress gut busted using a "click bait" headline. They have no one to blame but themselves. Oh I forgot liberals are against personal responsibility.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    All this is why even a generally non-controversial, somewhat right-of-center nominee for SCOTUS is well advised to say as little as possible, and if possible less than that, in response to questions. Any hint of having actual thoughts traveling through his (her) brain will set the left off on a hot fit of a temper tantrum. Abortion and marriage (starting at least with Loving v Virginia) are not federal Constitutional issues. But once the court took them up and opened that door, no restrictions on the court's power could or can be acknowledged. Tell that to a leftist and watch him go off like John Belushi giving an opinion on SNL's news segment.

  • Heraclitus||

    TP gets up to 40% of its traffic from Facebook? WTF?! Let's just stop right here and ponder. Do people really get that much of their news from Facebook? Or is it that they (and many others) produce click-bait headlines just so that they can get onto Facebook and propagate themselves? The whole get-your-news-from social media" thing is downright sick. What is wrong with us? I found my way to this article because I bookmark Reason.com. I don't agree with much of what it argues but I respect its alternative viewpoint. We need more people taking this approach and not simply following click-bait headlines that resonate with them.

    And before everyone gets in the own-the-libs mode, let's not forget that there are plenty of right-wing sites that peddle click-bait headlines. It's a disease that is destroying the Republic. The question is, how can we get this to stop? How can we get back to news outlets that don't depend on click-bait, echo-chamber reporting that is ideologically loyal instead of loyal to the truth?

  • Rob Misek||

    Seriously, criminalize lying.

    All corruption, even that which you perceive but can not describe, is based on lying.

    Combined with making voluntarily recording everything we witness everywhere we go a human right, the real power of corruption, hiding lies, will be virtually eliminated.

    Then asking a few direct questions about any practice, including "clickbait" should quickly resolve any credibility issues.

  • Duelles||

    A first year reader of Reason could simply say Bull Shit to Milhiser and be done with it.

  • M.L.||

    Remember when people could post virtually whatever they wanted on the Internet? Ah the good days.

    Now we mostly get hordes of 110 IQ liberal and "libertarian" redditors smugly posting a retarded XKDC comic about how since all of the transmission lines are the private property of Comcast, AT&T and a few other oligopolists, they own the Internet and can "showing you the door."

  • David Axelrod||

    Thinkprogress might be the only "news" source that has less credibility than CNN.

  • USA Patent Attorney||

    Yes, mainly, this uncertainty makes abortion a permanent politicking issue, which is probably why there is no law.

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