Tucker Carlson, who recently blamed Lindsey Graham for Trump confessing his COVID-19 lies, is fuming mad after his latest pandemic report put him in the crosshairs of fact-checkers on Facebook and Instagram. A video of the Fox News host promoting a conspiracy theory that the coronavirus is man-made is now flagged with warning labels by the two social media giants, and Carlson is not happy.
“Facebook has censored our video with a Chinese whistleblower. Big tech wants control over the facts you see,” Carlson griped on his Wednesday night episode.
However, the facts are not on Carlson’s side. The controversial video from Carlson’s Tuesday night broadcast was captioned, “Chinese whistle-blower to Tucker: This virus was made in a lab & I can prove it,” which set off internal triggers inside Facebook as part of the platform’s ongoing initiative to prevent the spread of misinformation about COVID-19. Via Variety:
On the warning labels placed over Carlson’s posts on Facebook and Instagram, the company links to three fact-checking articles on the issue: two from FactCheck.org — “Baseless Conspiracy Theories Claim New Coronavirus Was Bioengineered” and “Social Media Posts Spread Bogus Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory”— and one from USA Today, “Coronavirus not man-made or engineered but its origin remains unclear.” The consensus among pandemic experts is that COVID-19 appears to have originated as a bat-borne virus in China before it mutated and jumped to humans.
While Facebook and Instagram took a pro-active stance against Carlson, the video is still actively shared on Twitter with no warning whatsoever. As for YouTube, there is simply a link at the bottom of the video directing users to the Center for Disease Control’s website. There is no mention of the YouTubed video containing misinformation, or that it promotes a conspiracy theory published by non-profit groups with ties to far-right figure Steve Bannon.