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‘I Don’t Think It’s Fair’: BlazeTV Reporter Says Facebook Was Wrong For Dinging His Video

BlazeTV YouTube/screenshot

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Chris White Tech Reporter
  • BlazeTV reporter Jon Miller said one of Facebook’s fact-checkers entered a “mixture” rating on his content without allowing him to rebut the fact-check.
  • Facebook uses third-party companies for the fact-checking process, a spokesperson said.
  • “I don’t think it’s fair,” Miller said of Facebook’s process.

A reporter with BlazeTV said one of Facebook’s fact-checkers incorrectly labeled his video misleading and inaccurate without providing him a sufficient reason for the label.

PolitiFact entered a mixture rating on a video from BlazeTV reporter Jon Miller based on a Conservative Daily Post article that falsely claimed Ebola-infected migrants are being dumped into Texas. Facebook’s fact-checkers flag a report as mixture if it contains a mix of accurate and inaccurate claims, or misleading information.

There’s one problem. Miller told the Daily Caller News Foundation he never made any such claims in his June 12 video.

“They have independent fact-checkers who just flag content they disagree with. I went through point by point to explain why the information in the video was factually accurate,” Miller said, referring to what he said is Facebook’s biased fact-checking process.

Miller argues in the video that the U.S. is not doing enough to screen people who might be infected with Ebola. (RELATED: Here’s What Facebook And Google Did Not Discuss During Hearing On White Nationalism)

“I say several times that there is no evidence of Ebola at the border, but I note that there is no system capable to deal with the influx of refugees at the border from the Congo, where Ebola is prevalent,” said Miller, who has a live-streamed show on the BlazeTV’s Facebook page called White House Brief. He also works as the outlet’s White House correspondent.

WATCH:

Give Me Your Ebola, Your Tuberculosis, Your Mumps-Ridden Masses

Hundreds of illegal immigrants from Africa were rounded up at our own southern border, many from Congo — a country dealing with the largest Ebola outbreak in recent memory. By choosing political correctness over our own safety, we’re putting our own citizens at risk of exposure to that and other deadly diseases.Later, David Thomas Roberts, author of “The Death of Liberty," explains how illegal immigrants exploit our ridiculous tax code and receive BILLIONS in tax refunds.

Posted by White House Brief on Wednesday, June 12, 2019

PolitiFact’s Executive Editor Aaron Sharockman stands by his group’s fact-check and told the DCNF that “BlazeTV appealed, and we denied their appeal.”

Sharockman sent him a list of reasons why his video was flagged, including that Miller supposedly claimed “migrants are not being screened for diseases” and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents are releasing “thousands of people who have been exposed to Ebola.”

Miller’s only option is to issue a correction, he added.

Miller consequently responded with a series of emailed rebuttals: (words in bold type are the claims Sharockman said Miller made, he told the DCNF)

… that CBP agents are releasing “thousands of people who have been exposed to Ebola”

That’s not what I said and is not a quote from my video. I said they are “releasing thousands of people who were exposed to those diseases” — diseases like “Mumps, Measles, Tuberculosis, Scabies,” which is true. I only mention Ebola in the context of being a potential threat if we don’t change the problems I spend the entire video laying out.

… migrants are not being screened for diseases

This is a direct quote from the mayor of Uvalde, Texas Don McLaughlin, who gave an exclusive interview to Conservative Review. He says there is no screening. We should be able to directly quote on record sources without being labeled as factually inaccurate. Furthermore Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan admitted at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing admitted that CBP is not screening for diseases. His written testimony said: “The public health risk — family units are released into our communities with unknown vaccination status and without a standard medical examination for communicable diseases of public health concern, as well as a public health risk of disease outbreak at processing facilities.”

… that we aren’t quarantining people with deadly diseases

The bipartisan Homeland Security Advisory Council report says that “most FMUs are not detained by ICE ERO due to their lack of capacity,” so they are released very quickly by CBP. The report observes how all the “infections” are “not necessarily evident” with the medical observations being done by CBP because “an expectation for clinical acumen by CBP agents and officers is highly unrealistic.”

… that people are at risk of contracting Ebola from one of these migrants 

I even claim “Customs and Border patrol saying there have not been any confirmed cases of Ebola just yet.” I explain that what I perceive to be a lack of caution at the border regarding protocol for migrants taken in from countries experiencing an outbreak of Ebola is concerning due to its spread and I don’t see how there could not be a risk. Interestingly the article fact-checking my video contains misleading and factually inaccurate information about the spread of Ebola. The report claims “the outbreak has been contained to one geographic area.” It has not. It is pretty much everywhere.

Sharockman did not provide the DCNF with the same list of reasons he gave Miller, who said he never received a response to his rebuttal. In fact, Sharockman said the main reason why Miller’s video received a red flag was because of a comment that appears within the first few minutes of the video that states:

“How does Ebola sound to you? Because soon you’d be lucky to catch it right here on our border free of charge. You just contract it from a minor and die. It is called the American Dream. You might think, ‘The ones with deadly diseases, those aren’t the best.'”

“Why didn’t he say, ‘How does thermonuclear war sound to you? Or how about How does meeting Chewbacca sound to you?'” Sharockman said, reiterating his contention that Miller’s video is misleading. He did not respond to further questions asking whether the quote from the video was hyperbole designed to attract eyeballs or a factual claim.

Facebook, for its part, takes a hands-off approach on these matters.

“We rely on IFCN-certified fact-checkers to gauge veracity of stories using publicly available guidelines. In order to appeal or contest a rating, publishers can contact the third-party fact-checking organization directly,” company spokeswoman Claire Lerner told the DCNF.

The red flag dramatically reduced the circulation of the video, Miller said.

“We used to get 1 million, 2 million, as many as 11 million views. Last week we got 40,000 views,” he said, noting that his past videos experienced drop-offs partially as a result of a series of algorithmic changes Facebook made recently.

A mixture rating affects only the labeled posts and not the outlet’s platform more broadly.

“It’s been a week and half now,” he added. “I don’t think its fair to label something as mixed and then not telling people why it’s labeled as such.”

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