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Facebook relaxed misinformation rules for conservative pages (nbcnews.com)
131 points by chanfest22 50 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 95 comments

I think from a lot of peoples point of view, the fact checkers have a left-wing bias. Seen from that perspective, Facebook is just correcting for the bias.

People on the right often don't even want the fact-check system to exist in the first place. It was pushed by left-wing people who hoped they could use it to kick out the right.

This sounds a lot like tribalism. The left-wing people coordinating an attack on the right-wing people to win some battle. Isn't human communication on a global scale slightly more nuanced than that?

The fake-news battle is mainly shaped around the American left-vs-right battle. You are right that there are many other groups in the global sphere, but they are not influential in this battle. What happens to them is mostly a side-effect of the battle.

Talking about people like Bolsonaro, Modi, Duterte or for that matter Boris Johnson.

Perhaps even including from the point of view of people who notice that what the fact checkers declare to be true depends on which partisan side it supports. For example, it's amazing how fast the official unemployment figure switched from being the One True Measure of unemployment and any claim that differed from it a lie when Trump was running against a Democrat incumbent, to suddenly not being so once Trump was the incumbent. There also seems to be a noticable bias in the overall rating given on a lot of sites, with conservative claims shifted a step or two towards "false" compared to liberal or left-wing claims with an equivalent level of actual accuracy as described in the text.

The thing is, on some level I think a lot of the cheerleaders of fact checking as a weapon against right-wing information must know this and want it. There's been quite a bit of outrage over organisations fact-checking left-wing claims as false, especially when it's a fact checker affiliated with a decidedly non-left wing and non-Democrat supporting site that does it, including claims that it's destroying democracy, dubious arguments about false equivalence, and using the possibility of Facebook penalties to imply it's suppressing left-wing speech.

(There was also a really revealing incident where, after a state Democrat party got caught really blatently violating Facebook's rules against voter suppression ads in a tight election, nearly all publications just didn't cover it despite thorougly covering the announcement of those rules. I don't think they got penalized beyond having the offending ads pulled, so the victim narrative would probably have been hard to pull off.)

Which fact checkers are labeling current unemployment figures a lie?

I suspect that Facebook is powerful enough to choose election winners whose policies will favour them. Much moreso, and with much less visibility, than regular media companies.

This whole thing is just insane. Facebook, as a platform, has enabled mass amounts of misinformation, hatred, and groupthink, to the point of becoming a serious concern for our democracy. It is fundamentally designed into the platform to give more exposure to provocative, polarizing content. And somehow, people think the solution to this problem is to give Facebook the explicit job of deciding what is true and what is not.

The answer to the problem is simple. Facebook should not exist. This is a service that handles a significant percentage of the information flow in the world, and yet it's fundamental goal is to optimize for ad spending. Which means it needs to keep people using it as much as possible and as engaged as possible. Your text messaging service doesn't care if you use it or not, and it doesn't care what information to send or receive from other people. Facebook uses everything at it's disposal to keep you addicted to it, and that comes at the cost of being a balanced, thoughtful way of communicating. The model is broken and it is not going to be fixed.

Yes, in the developing world it is the source of most of the hate campaign.

It was okay when we could just see our friends activities now it's just a hate wagon

It was good early on. So was Instagram. I think the beginning of the downfall was the like button for Facebook and the heart for Instagram. Once you introduce a voting system that determines what gets exposure and what gets buried, it seems like the inevitable outcome is that the garbage floats to the top. Especially as things scale to include huge groups of people.

I think with Facebook there's another problem of "you may not be in the huge group of people", and you may not be even aware of the particular floating garbage. Not only you only are fed with the garbage from your social group, but also are basically deprived of the other groups' views.

Is it the source of hate campaigns though? Or is it the medium the hate campaigns are using to spread their message? Because I believe it's the latter, and if you ban it, the hate campaigns don't vanish, they just start using other mediums.

>Because I believe it's the latter, and if you ban it, the hate campaigns don't vanish, they just start using other mediums.

While true that it may not be a source per se, Facebook enables those ideas whereas they would normally (at least, in the past) be relegated to the darkest corners of the web.

Take QAnon for example. The source is 8kun, which is accessible only through Tor and consisting of incel and white supremacist communities. Do you think the majority of people posting this material are getting it from the source in this case?

I believe that they use Facebook because it's easy to use, not because it's the only available option outside the dark web. That is to say if Facebook removed them, they'd switch to some other platform.

Might slow them down (won't have FB's built-in audience), but not nearly as much as only being available on the dark web. Hate campaigns worked pre-internet, and they'll still work post-FB. Maybe not as efficient, but I don't think efficiency is the limiting problem there.

True, but those other mediums would not work quite as well, so we would likely be better off.

Facebook at its core is a green list of people or voices you approve of. Any misinformation, hatred, or groupthink... is coming from the world you approve.

And with regards to groupthink, there is surely some basic level of personal burden arising from the freedom of association.

It doesn't matter. You can argue that "people shouldn't fall prey to groupthink" and I'd agree with you. But they do. We're talking about a group of 2.6 billion people, not an individual. On average, people are a product of their environment. And the environment, in this case, is a bad one. It promotes all the wrong things and the incentives are in all the wrong places.

the "environment" is in fact our society.

you assume the cause is facebook, when in fact facebook is the effect of a sick society.

but, facebook does help in bringing to light our abysmal failure in building society.

It is a circle. Society influences facebook, facebook feeds back into society. For example, I’m convinced facebook’s amplification of pro-brexit and pro-trump messages in those campaigns was instrumental in their victory. No facebook, no president trump. I’ve also seen how facebook turned my sister into an anti-vaxxer.

In essence you can look at facebook as a platform for information warfare. It tends to amplify lies, and some forces are more able to exploit that.

It is your sister. You probably talk to her. Try convincing her. If you fail, is the Facebook to be blamed? I do not think so.

Yes. Because what is one voice (even family) vs the 100s of voices and constant reaffirmation of lies and misinformation.

That's not true though is it? You see things in your feed from people other than your "friends" (ad content, friends of friends, businesses, news pages and "news" pages)

I do agree but perhaps Facebook hastens a journey that some users were already on, towards more socially destructive behaviour. Perhaps the social proof of seeing those users encourages others to join on that path?

Ultimately though i agree with your point which means even if i am right in thinking Facebook accelerates and encourages bad practices - it doesn’t matter because responsibility lives with each user, each individual.

> ...perhaps Facebook hastens a journey that some users were already on...

My suspicion is that we had built up guard rails that were somewhat effective in mitigating against the vulnerable falling completely into the cracks. We should have been doing better, but they were somewhat effective.

I do think you’re spot on that one of its issues is that it encourages other vulnerable folks to join the path leading over the edge. And it makes it significantly easier for the predators to lure them.

While all of us would like to believe we’re special, a large part of who we are comes from our inputs, while a lot of us are careful to vet what inputs we allow to plug into us, many of our people are absolutely not careful whatsoever–many are absolutely and thoroughly addicted to outrage (picture how many people we see who are constantly outraged about something which will never impact their personal lives whatsoever), combine that outrage addiction with the ability to weaponize mis/disinformation, and then combine this with the fact that everyone now has a megaphone, and then combine this with the fact that platforms like fb want to amp up that outrage addiction in order to secure it’s place on these people’s input hierarchies—take all of that, add in a mess of other pressures such our society’s refusal to address very real problems, and we can start to get a small glimpse of the ways in which fb’s algorithms are causing major problems.

People are weak, ignorant and distracted. In a well functioning society, systems, including Facebook, have to be designed to compensate for, rather than exploit those characteristics.

Yes but mixed in with "pictures of your vacation" there's a reshare from disinformation pages

You almost have it. It’s not fundamentally Facebook that is broken. It’s the “curated feed”... by becoming responsible for what users see they become responsible for the effects of this curation. In the old-old days when the “feed” was just stuff from the people you deliberately added yourself. Yes there was garbage but it wasn’t spread around algorithmically in order to help increase Facebook engagement and therefore their revenues.

This was why I was so disappointed when Twitter switched the default page to the global algorithmically curated feed. The change from deliberate control by users saying “I want more of this” over to automatic and algorithmically driven control where the platform begins saying “we think you’ll like this, that, and a bunch of this extra thing because other people also like it” is the crossing of the rubicon. Once on the other side they are now undeniably responsible for the results.

What you say of its fundamental goal can be said of any other newspaper or any source of information.

No, a traditional newspaper optimizes for number of subscribers/readers, not for time spent reading the newspaper. It's online ads that change the equation.

Traditional newspapers all rely on online ads these days

Exactly. For-profit social media and news media are both chock-full of perverse incentives.

The only solution I can think of is to somehow promote the use of non-profit providers, but I know of no good/usable ones in either case. For news, there are individual, independent bloggers, and for social media there are closed chat groups or something, but that's about it.

That's not the solution at all. Many of current media like Breitbart/Fox as well CNN/MSNBC leverage a fundamental bug in human psyche: emotional and shocking content keeps our attention! So these media try to hype/spice/misinform as long as it gets attention. You cannot counteract it by non-profits providing boring news.

I don't know if there is any solution at all. I expect both sides to maximize spiced up news delivery for maximal attention and devotee base. At equilibrium, we may have these equally weighted strong groups which may randomly win election by small margin each time. This might not be too bad because over longer term all decisions and laws would be averaged out over two opposing philosophies resulting in overall centrist and balanced system.

It'd certainly be a start if there were at least some good alternatives for people to use. It wouldn't solve the problem, but at least there'd be an opening for norms and viewing habits to change a little.

I agree with your line of thinking, but on what law can we base the notation that a platform that designed to give more exposure to provocative and polarizing content shouldn't exist?

They could give them anything more than minuscule slaps on the wrist for their long list of transgressions:

1. Anti competitive behavior

2. Advertising fraud (incredible how frequently their view/click counters are found to have bugs which consistently benefit FB)

3. Privacy violations (shadow profiles esp for minors)

There are dozens of bases upon which Facebook can be punished for being a horrendous contribution to society.

You could use the same tactics that were used to discourage smoking: forbid it for minors, force them to display a "health" warning banner, start a public health campaign shaming people for using it, etc.

Shower thought: we've been (some countries more some less, some earlier some later) in a collective physical lockdown which was challenging to deal with but most people coped with it just fine. Surely, technology helped we had our entertainment and we managed to maintain some social bonds with friends and family via video.

What if we engineer an "information lockdown"? Three months of no internet, no TV, only word of mouth communication of official billboards at the local level.

Would we cope with that just fine? Would it help us learn somethings about us and learn to appreciate things, as the physical lock down has done for some things (like cooking, time with family, etc)

> Facebook, as a platform, has enabled mass amounts of misinformation, hatred, and groupthink, to the point of becoming a serious concern for our democracy

I don't disagree, but I've wondered why that doesn't lead to people using it less?

One thing I've noticed is people care a lot less about misinformation favorable to their point of view. I've only see people angry about it against their perspective.

Another observation is that people get upset about the most egregious & outrageous lies. I've actually wondered how dangerous those are. Someone willing to believe Obama wasn't born in the United States probably was going to vote against him no matter what. They've made up their mind & are just looking to now justify their decision.

I think the more dangerous points are things that are right on the line of truth/fiction.

Facebook, like a knife, is a tool. And like most tools, humans will find the most destructive way to use a tool.

Replace "Facebook" with "the Internet" and this whole statement still reads correctly

This is equivalent to saying the world is full of evil and pain, the world should not exist.

I don't understand why you think the world was better before Facebook and you definitely don't have the proof

Except, Facebook is nothing like the world.

I'm legitimately concerned Americans don't realize how incredibly perfect Facebook is for hijacking the democratic process. It's actually frightening to watch how it's being used.

Yes it's affecting all countries and democracies but looking at where America was pre 2016 to now, it's really quite tragic.

this makes very little sense to me, when I first came to America I could hear conservatives constantly complaining that the media has a very heavy liberal bias. Media constantly denied it obviously.

Now with Facebook and social networks conservatives have their own information distribution system which cannot be controlled by the mainstream media, so the obvious criticism is "hijacking of the democratic process".

Think about it though, you can build a network with fake accounts or even just through a concerted effort to to do and spread disinformation, conspiracy theories and hate, polarise a nation and influence elections.

It’s social networks weaponised and it’s absolutely beautiful by design, convenient, free and here is the real kicker? It’s completely legal and largely unregulated !!!

By the way, I’m not on either political side here but are you trying to say I’m sticking up for republicans ?

facebook is the state, try and stop it. we’ve been conquered. why should government be constrained by geography in the digital era?

If Facebook goes away another service takes it place. That's the nature of capitalism. Unless the concept of social media is explicitly outlawed then how does that solve anything?

I hate when words drift in meaning and I am not happy to see the "conservatism" label being used with clearly alt-right media. I would go as far as argue that the GOP does not not represent conservative values any more and the party is Conservative in name only.

(Likewise I hate it when socialism is labeled as liberalism in the US, or when cronyism and corruption are labeled as capitalism.)

"I hate when words drift in meaning"

John McWhorter discusses this as an inevitability with language. (Indeed, he wrote a book with title / subtitle "Words on the Move: Why English Won't - and Can't - Sit Still (Like, Literally)").

He discusses various examples of this happening, both in political and non-political contexts. His suggestion is to just accept it, and to help communication remain clear by using new words once old words become too ambiguous to be useful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmcqcyyR1Y0

Good point. I wonder what would be the new names for

* a political and social philosophy whose central tenets are tradition, organic society, hierarchy, authority, and property rights.

* a political and moral philosophy based on liberty, consent of the governed and equality before the law.

* an economic system characterised by private property and the recognition of property rights, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system and competitive markets.

You probably need to say “traditional conservative” or something like that to get at what you are talking about. What you see is what conservatism is now. Unfortunately.

These labels were never really defined anyway. Yes, I hate it too, just like "left", "right", "democracy" (is North Korea a democracy? they have elections! turnout is 100%, anyone can run for office! they even have 3 parties and independents too! yaay!)

But at the same time it's the "no true scotsman" if we say that the moment some Conservative (or conservative?) says something dumb they stop being true Conservatives.

Those are very good points.

I can't see history being especially kind to Mark Zuckerberg.

I'm not so sure.

Bill Gates was Zuckerberg of 80s and 90s. Very unethical tactics, self admitted bully. Tried to screw his best friend of MS stocks. MS monnopoly strategy hindered innovation software development for a long time.

Now in the retirement he is perceived favourably and seen in positive light.

He is actually hated fervently by a large crowd that believes in various Covid conspiracy theories. Most any recent video of Gates on Youtube will have top comments that are along these lines.

Sure, but this "large crowd" is still a tiny tiny fraction of the number of people who hated Gates in the 80s and 90s.

The thing is, history is written by the winners. Depending on which side wins ultimately wins the cultural and political battle, I could see future school children learning in history class how Mark Zuckerberg was a hero for standing virtually alone for the principles of free speech when all the other big media and big tech companies sought to censor conservative voices. If the other side wins, then Mark Zuckerberg will be vilified as an ally of the horrible, racist alt-right.

History, and how history views stuff is not a passive thing, but an active thing based on winners and losers.

This is an old trope, and only half true. You only have to look at the Bible to see that some figures who absolutely won in their lifetimes and for many years afterwards can nevertheless ultimately be remembered as demons - King Herod and Pontius Pilate being good examples here.

I thought the trope 'history is written by winners' is not just that the winners of the time when it happened, but more importantly the 'winners' (i.e. rulers) of the time when the story is being told. Our perception of history change, because the powers that be (i.e. the winners) change.

And Rome became a Christian empire and the story that remained was what we know today.

I agree with you in the long term, but in the short term, it will be quite the opposite, given the level of control his platform currently enjoys.

Really? Who actually views Zuckerberg positively?

A lot of kids consider him the ultimate success story. In India, the prime minister welcomed him like a hero. That alone would have influenced a billion people to think of him positively.

I personally don't like the guy, but believe me, there are a ton of people that assume his success is a sign of him being good and righteous.

Zuckerberg also tried to push the whole "internet.org" thing in India and was absolutely lambasted by Indian people on his own Facebook page. It was beyond awesome to see 1000s of people piling on well-articulated condemnations of Zuck's cartoon-evil PR doublespeak.

I do. Despite the amount of pressure he has on him, he’s done better with trying to support free speech than I would expect most people have have done.

I blame most of Facebook’s missteps on the aggregate decisions of many FB employees that have less conviction on free speech than he does.

No company the size of Facebook could achieve a perfect response in real-time. Facebook’s greatest challenge is being headquartered in a place that is an ideological echo chamber chamber with not enough diversity of thought politically.

While I agree that FB is operated mostly by people with a strong political bias, I do not think that is the biggest problem with FB. I think its much simpler than that: FB makes money out of user engagement and the most direct way to engagement is via outrage. To correct this it would take the decency to accept a loss in revenue. Zuckerberg does not seem to be the man for that task.

There are probably a few, but "who likes him today" isn't necessarily a good predictor for how they're considered in the future. Plenty of people weren't liked much in their time but have lots of fans today.

Anyone who kept comparing themselves to or searching for "the next Mark Zuckerberg".

As soon as he was entering the political spotlight, the answer is almost always no-one.

Facebook and he hosted me at their Menlo Park headquarters and fed me as many burritos as I wanted. That's honestly way more than 99.9% of the people I've met have done for me, so I don't have a negative view of the guy.

On one post people are saying: FB should not exist! On another post people are saying: country X is bad as it bans FB!

It’s just so funny to see this.

i really love to watch tech companies being forced to dance the censorship dance. Yeah, that s how it works, when you join the dance, you dance

>Facebook's fact-checking rules dictate that pages can have their reach and advertising limited on the platform if they repeatedly spread information deemed inaccurate by its fact-checking partners.

"fact-checking partners" such as BuzzFeed (no, really!), partisan Politifact, hyper-partisan Vox and the Washington Post.

BuzzFeed news are fine, surely?

Are you mistaking daring to assert the existence of truth with partisanship - in "fact"-checking it doesn't matter if a democrat, republican, or banana declares something to be true as long as they are truthful. Vox, for example, do not aim to be a news site in the sense of equal reporting - they take positions and will say things are right or wrong. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don't but I have never seen anything deliberately misleading or in bad faith from them.

Re: Vox (and allegedly BuzzFeed [I assume News], etc.), there was an interesting discussion about them last year: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18895136

Do you have some examples of where you don't agree with the fact-checking services of any of the sources you've shared?

tl;dr: My impression is that if we checked the narrative of the left with the same rigor we use for that of the right, a lot of news would disappear from social media.

This WP title and article:


It proclaims, without a hint of a doubt: "A ‘mass invasion’ of polar bears is terrorizing an island town. Climate change is to blame."

The article is about a single episode of a population of polar bears feeding off a garbage dump in a remote Russian village. It's hard (or just simply wrong) to attribute a single episode to a global climate shift. And experts have pointed out that the bears appear well fed and that garbage can be attractive to them [1].

The article ends by linking the "heartbreaking video" of a sick, emaciated polar bear wandering somewhere in Canada. The video was widely spread as a proof of climate change harm to polar bears, but experts said it was probably just a sick individual. National Geographic itself had to publish a correction a year later [2].

Now imagine a conservative media making such quick connections between, say, a bump in immigration rates and a crime. Or even saying: "that crime spree? Immigration is to blame". That's obvious fake news, right?

[1] https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/12/18222072/polar-bear-invas... [2] https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/08/explore-...

Climate change isn't a partisan issue. Policy will be, but the "narrative," as you call it is established science.

> Now imagine a conservative media making such quick connections between, say, a bump in immigration rates and a crime. Or even saying: "that crime spree? Immigration is to blame". That's obvious fake news, right?

Both illegal and legal immigrant groups have lower incarceration rates than native born Americans. So, whenever a right-wing pundit says that immigration is to blame for crime rising, there likely is statistical fuckery or outright lies.

However, it is hilarious how, even while being treated with kid gloves, you are still whinging about there being a bias against the right wing.

> Both illegal and legal immigrant groups have lower incarceration rates than native born Americans. So, whenever a right-wing pundit says that immigration is to blame for crime rising, there likely is statistical fuckery or outright lies.

I needed an example and honestly made up one- I had no idea of the situation in the US and I find these statistics very interesting, thanks!

The reason I chose this particular example is because in Italy- where I'm from- the statistics are the total opposite: more than 1/3 of all inmates are foreigners, with some ethnicities wildly over-represented in proportion to their share in the population. The connection between immigration and crime rates is one of the most used right-wing arguments and topic of contention between left and right in Italy.

The figures for Italy are skewed by pre-trial detention, which is disproportionately applied to immigrants:


Slightly skewed. According to ISTAT, Italy's official statistics agency, foreigners are 32.6% of people convicted for any crime and almost 37% of the inmates population.


According to this article that aims to prove that "immigrants committing more crimes than natives" is fake news,

"On the total of the extra-EU immigrants that are trialed for any crime, the illegal ones are 70% of the total for voluntary causing harm, 75% for homicides, and 85% for burglaries and robberies".

And illegal immigrants are just about 10% of the legal ones.


> According to ISTAT [...] foreigners are 32.6% of people convicted for any crime

I believe that is the figure for prisoners, which includes people in pre-trial detention. The page is very unclear, because the text talks about 'condannati' (which google translate renders, maybe wrongly, as 'prisoners' rather than 'convicts'), but the graph is labelled with 'detenuti', which I think unambiguously includes people who are detained but not convicted.

> I believe that is the figure for prisoners

The text says very clearly: "32.6% of people convicted, 36.7% of prisoners in jails".

The graph is about prisoners, with a break down by area. In my area, foreigners are almost 60% of the jails population!

Using incarceration as a proxy doesn't really help, because there's an inherent bias. Sure the true rate (of committing crimes) is probably also higher (for immigrants than for natives), but we still would have to adjust for socioeconomic status.

Of course, at the same time I have a rather stubborn view on integration (that it's almost non-existent, just as a real social safety net is very thin), and until that gets sorted out I understand people's not so well funded, but still technically rational fears of migrants.

Generally poverty and crime are the two that correlate heavily and so in sectors of the population where you have high levels of poverty then you also have high levels of crime which is why safety nets and welfare are so important for reducing crime.

If you think about immigration that is a subset of the population that have high levels of poverty, low levels of access to welfare and so if things go wrong they get desperate quickly. And they also have more problems than locals at getting work due to discrimination and a host of other reasons.

That might explain why immigrants in that country have higher crime rates but it doesn’t invalidate the point that cutting immigration would be one way to lower crime rates.

But it does invalidate it, as the comment does not attack the cause, it's just blaming an outcome of poverty rather than the poor. It's why often those same commentators blame the poor for being poor rather than attacking structures that continue to trap people in poverty

Cutting poverty is a more effective measure.

Actually I'll go further if you were serious on cutting crime you would be advocating to cut poverty!!

‘Impartial’ fact-checkers are revealing their partisanship against Trump https://nypost.com/2019/02/09/impartial-fact-checkers-are-re...

Can someone explain to me why this is downvoted? The examples seem to support OPs point and seem pretty damning to me.

A lot of people flag according to their own political position, not the quality or validity of the content.

This is happening increasingly on HN as election nears.

The first example makes me question the rest of their examples. I find it noticeable that they are reluctant to link to the fact checking they are referencing.

The first mentions Politico contending that "one in third" is only 'partly true'. Yet the closest I can find to Politico fact checking that line,[0] is merely a reference to the Doctors Without Borders report, without any mention of how true it is (besides, Politico doesn't really do fact checking either, nor claim to be impartial).

Edit: Looks like it happened on Twitter (see reply), so I stand corrected.

That being said, I am confident there are biases in fact checking, all humans are subjective. And even if every fact check a site did was impartial, their choice in which things they choose to fact check would surely be not, or at least be open for questioning. What makes one statement more worthy of a fact check than another?

[0] https://www.politico.com/interactives/2019/trump-state-of-th... and search for "one in three"

> Yet the closest I can find to Politico fact checking that line,[0] is merely a reference to the Doctors Without Borders report


Democrat talking points up, anything else down

Sure, a notable recent example is Politifact labeling Biden's comments that busing would turn schools into a "racial jungle" as "half true", even though the statement was actually stated by him and is on record. [1]

There's an entire website dedicated to their bias. [2]

Another obvious point of bias was Politifact labeling a statement by Trump that "CNN did a poll where Obama and I are tied" as "pants on fire" because it was "one poll" (he never stated otherwise). [3]

[1] https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/tim-graham/2020/07/10/p...

[2] https://www.politifactbias.com/

[3] https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2011/apr/27/donald-tru...

The way I understand it, they object to the "CNN did a poll" part. There's one poll that exists with a close result, but it's not a CNN poll. It means we don't even know if he got lucky with a lie, or did he know about that poll and made a mistake about the source.

(Fwiw, I agree it's not a pants on fire situation. (Mostly) false, sure.)

To your point 3:


« “CNN did a poll recently where President Obama and I are statistically tied,” Trump told reporters Wednesday morning upon arriving in New Hampshire. “If you would like, I can send it to you. Call up CNN.”

CNN didn’t conduct such a survey.»

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