Facebook has buried the page of Conservative non-profit group PragerU and “reduced distribution” of its posts claiming that PragerU has engaged in “repeated sharing of false news.” The decision comes on the heels of a fact check of a PragerU video about polar bears by Facebook third-party fact-checker Climate Feedback.
Conservative non-profit group PragerU is once again facing censorship from tech giants. Facebook has reportedly reduced the reach of PragerU’s page on its platform and implemented restriction for the “repeated sharing of false news,” according to notifications that PragerU has received from Facebook following Mark Zuckerberg’s third-party fact-checker Climate Feedback labeling a PragerU video on polar bears as fake news.
In another tweet, PragerU called Facebook out, stating “if you truly value freedom of expression, as you often claim, you wouldn’t hide behind fact-checkers targeting ideas they disagree with.”
Soon after PragerU’s tweet, readers began reporting that certain content that they attempted to share from the group’s Facebook page was being met with warnings from Facebook that PragerU was sharing false information.
The video that was labeled as false by Facebook’s third-party fact-checkers can be found here. and relates to the alleged effect of climate change on the polar bear population. When attempting to access the video, a large overlay appears on the video stating that according to ClimateFeedback, PragerU’s video is false news.
Breitbart News has previously reported on the website Climate Feedback, reporter James Delingpole reported on the site in 2017 debunking a report from the site and stating that it was “set up last year at the height of the left’s “fake news” witch hunt, hosted and primarily funded by the University of California Merced’s Center for Climate For Communication – ie your tax dollar at work… – and describing itself as a “Signatory” of something called ‘International Fact-Checking Network.'”
Climate Feedback now alleges that PragerU’s video is “cherry-picking,” stating: “There is no scientific evidence that the global polar bear population is growing and there is evidence that several subpopulations are declining. Only two of the 19 polar bear subpopulations are likely increasing in size.”
The author of the scientific study referenced by PragerU, Susan Crockford, responded to the video in a blog post. In a statement on the blog, Crockford discussed PragerU’s video, saying:
Thanks for the opportunity to respond. I stand behind the accuracy of the video but wish they had cited my scientific paper, my fully referenced new book, The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened, and/or The State of the Polar Bear Report 2019, also fully referenced. [links provided to Crockford 2017, 2019, 2020] I will post a full response on my blog but would like to point out the following.
Regarding the challenge of the adjective ‘thriving’ used in the video, in the review both Derocher and Stirling referred to Barents and Chukchi Sea polar bears as doing “OK”. I contend this is a gross misrepresentation of the published literature on these bears. There have been a number of papers published on Chukchi Sea bears documenting that body condition and reproduction are better now than in the 1980s and a recent paper on the body condition of female Barents Sea bears stated: “Unexpectedly