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Hawley, Cruz And Lawmakers Challenge Facebook Over Live Action Fact-Check

  • Lawmakers sent a letter to Facebook challenging a fact check on the pro-life organization Live Action’s content.
  • Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and  Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz were among the lawmakers who sent the letter.
  • Live Action has said that they were targeted by pro-abortion fact checkers, and that Facebook “took sides” and “called us the spreaders of false news.”

Lawmakers challenged Facebook in a Wednesday letter, calling on Facebook to remove restrictions on Live Action content fact-checked by abortion doctors.

Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley sent the letter to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg along with Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, and Mike Braun of Indiana.

The letter reminds Zuckerberg that Live Action was fact-checked for videos that contained the statement “abortion is never medically necessary.”

The Aug. 30 fact check, published in Health Feedback, targeted an August 9 video that included the statement “abortion is never medically necessary.” Another video shared by Live Action was also fact-checked. The video featured Dr. Kendra Kolb saying that “abortion is never medically necessary.”

The fact check said that the statement was both inaccurate and misleading.

“This is a widely-held view, one shared by the thousands of members of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstretricians & Gynecologists, among others,” the letter reads.

“As a result of the ‘false’ rating, Facebook suppressed Live Action’s website and Lila Rose’s Facebook Page, prohibited the organization from advertising and promoting its content, and notified users who had shared the videos that they had shared ‘false news.’”

The fact-checkers were Daniel Grossman, professor and director of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco and Robyn Schickler, OB-GYN and fellow at the Physicians for Reproductive Health, according to Health Feedback.

Hawley and his fellow senators signing the letter pointed out that Facebook says their fact-checkers are certified through the International Fact-Checking Network – a network that frequently touts itself as non-partisan.

“But Facebook’s “independent fact check” of the Live Action videos was performed by two pro-abortion activists with significant ties to abortion-rights advocacy organizations, both of whom are paid to perform abortions,” the letter says.

“No reasonable person would describe Grossman or Schickler as neutral or objective when it comes to the issue of abortion, yet Facebook relied on their rating to suppress and censor a pro-life organization with more than 3 million followers. These are clear violations of the IFCN principle and of Facebook’s supposed commitment to non-partisanship.”

The senators called on Zuckerberg to allow, at a minimum, an “external auditor” to question employees and examine internal Facebook documents and procedures. They also demanded the company “immediately issue a correction” and “remove any restrictions” now placed on Live Action’s or Lila Rose’s Facebook pages.

“The only thing more astonishing than your claim to nonpartisanship is your complete failure to back that claim with proof,” the senators wrote in the letter.

Live Action founder Lila Rose told the DCNF in early September that Live Action was targeted by the abortionists.

“They took sides,” she said of Facebook. “They sided with the two abortionists and they called us the spreaders of false news.”

“We were targeted by these abortionists for reporting done on them and on the abortion industry,” Rose added. “And Facebook became a willing accomplice in their targeting by allowing the fact check to go through and by penalizing our accounts.”

Rose thanked Hawley, Cramer, Cruz and Braun in a statement provided to the DCNF for “their leadership in condemning Facebook’s decision to make two abortionists the arbiters of the national debate on abortion.”

“Facebook’s attack on Live Action and me is an attack on the entire pro-life community,” Rose said in the statement. “The platform should be a place for the free exchange of ideas, not one where only pro-abortion arguments are allowed.”

Rose also said that Live Action asked Facebook to rescind the fact-check, send a notification to users about the change and apologize and reform their fact-check process.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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