Check Your Fact is rare among the fact-checkers working with Facebook, in that it is affiliated with a conservative media outlet (The Daily Caller). Despite the overwhelming liberal bent of the majority of the social media platform’s fact-checkers, the left were upset by the inclusion of Check Your Fact.
The left hurled allegations of white supremacy at The Caller and agitated for its removal from the program. Nandini Jammi, co-founder of the left-wing activist group Sleeping Giants, wrote on Medium that Check Your Fact is “white supremacist-owned,” referring to Tucker Carlson, and demanded to know how it got approved. A disgruntled Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) also grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over why the company allowed it to become a fact-checking partner.
Another liberal attack lobbed at Check Your Fact was about climate change. E&E News complained that the site was associated with an outlet that “routinely promotes climate doubt.” Check Your Fact editor David Sivak replied, “We don’t have an editorial stance on climate change, or any other topic for that matter.”
“We’re fact checkers, and we take our credibility seriously. Look through any of the articles Check Your Fact has published over the last two years, and you’ll quickly see that. We’re fair and always give the reader a complete picture,” Sivak added.
In March 2020, ThinkProgress founder and influencer Judd Legum of Popular Information tweeted: “That gives The Daily Caller the ability to label anything posted on Facebook as ‘false information’ and dramatically reduce its distribution.” He added, “It’s now using that power to boost Trump.”
Legum accused Check Your Fact of helping Trump by flagging Politico’s story: “Trump rallies his base to treat coronavirus as a ‘hoax’” and another coronavirus “hoax” story from NBC as “false information.” Mathew Ingram of Columbia Journalism Review jumped into the fray and defended Check Your Fact’s fact-check. He called it “accurate.” TechCrunch whined that it was a “bigger concern” that other fact-checking partners couldn’t audit The Caller’s decision (presumably to overrule it).
- Left-wing activists Sum of Us created a petition to urge Facebook to remove Check Your Fact as a fact-checker. The group partners with a Who’s Who of left-wing foundations including Tides Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Wallace Global Fund, Park Foundation and Omidyar Network.
- The Guardian responded to Check Your Fact’s inclusion by accusing The Daily Caller of pushing “misinformation” and publishing “false and offensive” content. Check Your Fact’s editor replied, “I’d be happy to put our track record up against anyone else’s. If you comb through the articles we’ve published on Check Your Fact over the last two years, you’ll quickly see that our fact checks are fair, in-depth and hold figures on both sides of the political aisle accountable, including Trump.”
- Facebook added Check Your Fact as a fact-checking partner in April 2019, because the group had gained approval from the liberal Poynter Institute’s International Fact Checking Network Board. Axios noted that Facebook’s agreement with the Poynter Institute requires it to accept all fact-checkers who earn that status.
- Check Your Fact was reinstated as an IFCN member in early 2019 after being removed for several months for lack of funding disclosures.