According to a new report from Quartz, Facebook plans to sign conservative magazine Weekly Standard as a fact checking partner. Several outlets currently work as fact checkers for the platform, though all the outlets Facebook has signed thus far have been approved by the Poynter Institute.
Poynter does not include any right-wing news outlets on its list of media that follow its code of principles, but according to one person briefed on Facebook’s plan to strike a deal with Weekly Standard, the partnership is part of Facebook’s attempts to to “appease all sides.”
No one has applied long enough ago to go through the process that is. Several have applied and are in the process.
The Weekly Standard has a history of publishing far-right talking points, including saying the Iraq war was a “war to be proud of” in 2005 and calling medical marijuana a “charade” in 2010.
The conservative magazine also has a history of denying the reality of climate change, and recently ran an article it called “Dadaist Science.”
“Look under the hood on climate change ‘science’ and what you see isn’t pretty,” Nathan Cofnas wrote for the magazine in July.
In 2009, ThinkProgress reported that the magazine misrepresented an MIT professor’s study estimating the costs of cap-and-trade. At the time, the professor told ThinkProgress’ Joe Romm that “the Weekly Standard reporter ‘feigned stupidity’ in an effort to elicit answers that could be taken out of context and misrepresented.”
In order for the Weekly Standard deal to go forward, Poynter would have to approve the Weekly Standard as following its code of principles, a process that could take several weeks.
The obfuscation being that the code of principles means following the code when fact checking, not when publishing opinion pieces in your own magazine.