Now this is absurd. Contributing to the Left’s faux outrage over a satirical video CRTV posted Monday featuring host Allie Stuckey, BuzzFeed News actually contacted Facebook to attempt to get Facebook to say CRTV violated its community standards.
In an article filed in its “debunked” category, titled “A Doctored Video Of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Spreading On Facebook,” BuzzFeed News reported on Stuckey’s video — a fake interview with Democratic House candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, featuring footage from her embarrassing interview on PBS’ “Firing Line,” poking fun at the Democrat and satirizing her ignorant answers.
In the video, Stuckey asks Ocasio-Cortez questions like, “Do you have any knowledge whatsoever about how our political system works?” In answer, edited footage from Ocasio-Cortez’s PBS interview shows her shaking her head “no.” Stuckey asks more questions, edited Ocasio-Cortez gives fake “answers,” hilarity ensues. This is not Stuckey’s first parody video, and she’s done satire before, including writing for the Babylon Bee.
As with satire articles in Clickhole and The Onion, not everyone among the video’s more than one million viewers got the joke. So BuzzFeed News raised concerns that the original post text did not label the content satire and that some of the viewers thought it was a real interview.
“CRTV, which created the video, did not say why they created the video,” the article notes, as if a joke needs explanation.
An update and a winking emoji were added to the video’s description 16 hours after it was originally posted saying, “Yes, this is satire created from excerpts of the viral Firing Line interview with Ocasio-Cortez.” The original post did not say the video was fake. Facebook told BuzzFeed News that the video did not violate their community standards and pointed to the “satire” disclaimer in the description.
However, some of the video’s promotion by the company does not make it clear that the video is “satire.” It has been shared more than 18,000 times on Facebook, including to pro-Trump and conspiracy theory groups.
The article quotes from some of the Facebook comments on the video, including one individual who wrote that “fake news from the right is just as damaging and dishonest as fake news from the left.” That’s a backdoor way for the article to accuse CRTV of spreading fake news. BuzzFeed News isn’t saying CRTV’s satire is fake news, you see; just the random Facebook viewers BuzzFeed News selectively quoted!
Also notice how BuzzFeed News asked Facebook if Stuckey’s video violated community standards, for two reasons. The first was to bring the video to Facebook’s attention in the hopes that their oh-so-brave journalism got the icky conservatives at CRTV banned. Failing that, because banning the video would be ridiculous, the second reason was to show that dirty, greedy, terrible Facebook isn’t banning “fake news” conservatives and oh, isn’t that awful? And oh, doesn’t Congress need to regulate Facebook and stop fake news?
This is part of an ongoing attack from the Left on Facebook for allegedly not doing enough to combat “fake news” on its platform. BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith reportedly took the lead on policing which media outlets get represented at Facebook, criticizing the inclusion of the conservative Daily Caller at a recent Facebook meeting with media executives and defending legacy media as unbiased. Now this BuzzFeed News article is contributing to the chorus of leftists saying CRTV’s video was “doctored” as a hoax, willfully ignoring its obvious satire, and highlighting how Facebook did not ban the content as fake news.
Oh, and the point about the CRTV video post being updated with a winking emoji “16 hours after it was originally posted” is real fake news. The edit history on the post shows it was updated less than two hours after the original post. But don’t worry, no one is going to tattle on this BuzzFeed News article to Facebook.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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