Opinion | Facebook’s Conservative Emergency

The German Marshall Fund (GMF) is an influential think tank based in Washington, D.C., named for U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall’s 1948 plan to help European countries resist Communism. What a shame that in 2020 the outfit is promoting political suppression of conservative news, with state media as a recommended replacement.

This week GMF published a report under the headline “New Study by Digital New Deal Finds Engagement with Deceptive Outlets Higher on Facebook Today Than Run-up to 2016 Election.” Recall that Facebook was one of several scapegoats that the left fixated on for losing that election. This year corporations and activists have been waging a media and boycott campaign against the social-media giant to demand it censor more content. The GMF report, which was quickly amplified in the New York Times and Axios, is worth examining because it shows what the exercise is really about.

What are these “deceptive outlets” that most concern the Marshall Fund researchers? In a word, they’re conservative. Engagement with political outlets that “fail to gather and present information responsibly—especially Fox, Daily Wire, and Breitbart—has grown 293 percent,” the report claims.

While left-leaning sites are also labeled as deceptive in the GMF methodology, “the top sites are conservative,” the authors say. They add that “Fox News is of particular interest as it garners the most interactions of any of the sites.” Its “irresponsible and misleading claims” include “that social distancing has not stopped the spread of the coronavirus.”

Such outlets allegedly “pose a threat to informed democratic discourse.” Their content reaches readers because it is “often oppositional to ‘mainstream media’ and so-called elite or conventional wisdom.” The horror!