In a story sure to concern more than just journalists, social media giant Facebook is being connected through their own fact-checking service as being connected to the Chinese Communist Party, resulting in a recipe that kills free speech and makes for a much less educated and more frustrated population.
“One fact-checker, Lead Stories, is partly paid through its partnership with TikTok, a social media platform run by a Chinese company that owes its allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” Peter Svab wrote for the Epoch Times.
TikTok is currently being probed by American authorities as a national security threat, adding to the concern.
Lead Stories, according to their website, “was founded in 2016. LeadStories is a web-based fact-checking platform that identifies false or misleading stories, rumors, and conspiracies by using its Trendolizer technology to identify trending content that is then fact-checked by their team of journalists,” they claim.
LEAD STORIES, LIKE BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING
On their site, Lead stories talked about their brainchild on monitoring people to keep them safe from what they say is “fake news.” “Lead Stories created the Trendolizer™ engine to monitor the internet and look for newly trending content. It can measure the engagement rate (likes, views, comments, retweets, etc.) of links, images and videos appearing on various platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok…) and give us an overview of what is currently going viral.”
Explaining their relationship with Facebook, Lead Stories says, “Lead Stories is part of Facebook’s Partnership with Third Party Fact Checkers and as such we get access to lists of content that has been flagged as potential candidates for fact checking (via a custom tool for fact heckers provided by Facebook) . Note that Lead Stories is free to pick items from that list or to ignore them, Facebook does not tell us which stories we should do.”
Tick Tok through a partnership with the CCP funds Lead Stories, who “fact check” stories and monitor people on Facebook.
Epoch Times expanded that relationship, showing a favored tactic by the left and by Communists to centralize data and information and wrote,”Lead Stories says it’s been contracted by ByteDance “for fact checking related work” referring to TikTok’s announcement earlier this year that it has partnered with several organizations “to further aid our efforts to reduce the spread of misinformation,” particularly regarding the CCP virus pandemic which originated in China and was exacerbated by the CCP regime’s coverup.”
So now, Tik Tok through a relationship with the CCP funds Lead Stories who “fact check” stories and monitor people on Facebook and now offers mobile apps through ByteDance, to monitor information about Covid 19.
Lead Stories employs over 12 CNN alumni, and is one of Facebook’s most prolific fact-checkers of U.S. content.
“This year, the funding sources included Google, Facebook, ByteDance, and several online advertising services. Advertising brought it less than $25,000 last year, the group said,” according to Epoch Times. “The bulk” of the funding still comes from Facebook. Part of its revenue comes from subscriptions to “Trendolizer,” its viral content tracking tool. “For privacy reasons, we cannot reveal the list of Trendolizer users … but none of them individually accounted for more than 5% of our revenue.”
TikTok’s owner, Beijing-based Bytedance, has had censorship controversies that involve members of Epoch Times. In September 2019, The Guardian reported that TikTok instructed its moderators to censor certain videos that mention topics considered “sensitive” by the Chinese regime, such as the Tiananmen Square Massacre and Falun Gong, a spiritual practice that has been severely persecuted in China since 1999. The report was based on leaked documents detailing the app’s moderation guidelines.
The Epoch Times is employed by numbers members of Falun Gong.
“Chinese businesses are required to toe the party line; Bytedance founder Yiming Zhang found out the hard way that even a perceived lack of enthusiasm for CCP censorship isn’t tolerated,” The Epoch Times wrote.
WHY AMERICANS SHOULD CARE- WILL POSTS WILL NEED TO BE APPROVED SOON?
The Epoch Times, which is familiar with the tactics of the Communist Party, the players, and the results wrote about the transformation of Bytedance to more CCP approved:
ByteDance owner said, “Our product took the wrong path, and content appeared that was incommensurate with socialist core values, that did not properly implement public opinion guidance,” the letter said, according to a translation by China Media Project.
Zhang promised his company would focus on “strengthening the work of Party construction, carrying out education among our entire staff on the ‘Four Consciousnesses,’ socialist core values, [correct] guidance of public opinion, and laws and regulations, truly acting on the company’s social responsibility.”
“Four Consciousnesses,” which member of the Epoch Times say is important to understanding the CCP,” refers to ideological directives issued by CCP leader Xi Jinping several years ago requiring party members to closely adhere to CCP ideology, support Xi, align with the party leadership, and think about the “big picture.”
And that is where we are in America, with our posts being “fact-checked” by Lead Stories. But it is even bigger than posting on social media. Trump is at war with the centralized ownership of the internet by the CCP and its agents.
BACK TO TIK TOK
Recall that President Trump has been at war with online censorship with demands that Congress and Senate dismantle “Section 230” by saying that the loophole that allows social media giants to censor speech, and who gets what information, is a “national security threat” and impacts election integrity. And that is far more serious than just a simple dance ap for children and teenagers.
The Trump administration is reviewing Bytedance’s 2017 acquisition of Musical.ly, a Chinese video-sharing platform that was popular among U.S. teenagers for lip-syncing videos. Bytedance shut down the platform, and its millions of users were forced to switch to TikTok after the merger, jump-starting the app’s massive growth in popularity among American youth.
IT’S CHINESE LAW-THAT IS THE PROBLEM
The administration and some members of Congress say TikTok is a national security threat because Bytedance is governed by Chinese law, which includes a stipulation that the company must make all its data controllable by the regime. Bytedance says its TikTok services are hosted in the United States, with backups in Singapore.
U.S. Commerce Department issued an effective ban on TikTok that was supposed to take effect on Nov. 12, but the move has been blocked by courts.
NPR wrote about the case against Tik Tok on Tuesday and said:
U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington found that Trump overstepped his authority in using his emergency economic powers to try to effectively put the wildly popular app out of business. He was the second judge to rule against the president’s ban.
Lawyers for TikTok demonstrated that Trump officials’ “failure to adequately consider an obvious and reasonable alternative before banning TikTok” renders the crackdown against the app “arbitrary and capricious,” wrote Nichols, who is a Trump appointee.
Citing a threat to national security, Trump’s Commerce Department had sought to prevent the app from being downloaded in app stores and attempted to outlaw transactions between Americans and TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance.
Those sanctions were already blocked in October by another federal judge after TikTok influencers brought a lawsuit in Pennsylvania. The Trump administration has appealed.