Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., shared a pro-life meme on Facebook that claims that readers’ grandmothers carried part of them inside their wombs. Facebook chose to impugn the post by claiming it “lacked context.” Well of course it did. It’s a meme. The topic is complex, and the meme only summarizes one interpretation of the facts. It seems clear that Facebook applied a different standard for this expression of a point of view that could be judged an anti-abortion opinion than it had for literally millions of left-of-center memes it users have posted. For example, Facebook had no problem with this idiotic meme posted by a friend of mine who should know better:
Talk about “missing context”! Nor did Facebook have any issued with this meme during the Kavanaugh hearings:
Context? How about outright lies? Nah, there’s no Facebook anti-conservative bias…
If Facebook was genuinely interested in preventing “misinformation,” even obviously satirical memes should be a target. Like this one, a truly moronic pro-lockdown meme from 2020:
Let’s see: the Wuhan virus was not an extinction event like the asteroid strike believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs; the Cretaceous-Tertiary economy resembled the Biden period far more than the Trump economy, which was excellent; and dinosaurs couldn’t talk. Yes, it would have been astoundingly stupid for Facebook to make such criticisms, but only slightly more stupid than its attempt to debunk King’s meme. Matt Margolis explains,
Facebook relied on fact-checking from a site called Factly, which insists that the claim “is not unanimously accepted in the scientific community.”
“Though it was widely believed to be true, some recent research gives a possibility of ovaries growing new eggs though the research is not yet 100% definitive about the statement,” Factly states. “There is no conclusive evidence that new eggs are produced, yet from recent research, a possible ovarian stem cell reserve is disputed among scientists.”
Bizarrely, Factly even cites the Cleveland Clinic on this issue. Here’s what they say on the matter:
“During fetal life, there are about 6 million to 7 million eggs. From this time, no new eggs are produced. At birth, there are approximately 1 million eggs; and by the time of puberty, only about 300,000 remain. Of these, only 300 to 400 will be ovulated during a woman’s reproductive lifetime. Fertility can drop as a woman ages due to decreasing number and quality of the remaining eggs.”
The Cleveland Clinic has a stellar reputation, and one might think that it would be considered a reliable source. Factly has instead decided this is not scientific fact because some research suggests there’s a possibility of new eggs being formed during adult life. However, they concede that the research is “not yet 100% definitive” and that there is “no conclusive evidence that new eggs are produced.”
Margolid concludes from this episode,
But after the leak of the draft majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which strikes down Roe v. Wade, it seems Facebook’s army of fact-checkers has decided to err on the side of censoring anything that is remotely pro-life — even something that is widely accepted as scientific fact.
I think that’s a fair assessment.
I wonder what Facebook would think of this meme?