TRUE? Snopes gets caught stealth-editing a botched fact-check on viral photo that was a lie to begin with

Try it you will like it

You likely don’t remember this from last month, and the tweet has since been deleted, but when we wrote about it on Nov. 17, it had already garnered more than 54,000 likes in the space of just 5 hours.

What it was was a photo of a gathering of House members on the White House lawn, with a red “X” marking each member who had been voted out of office in the midterms, with the assumption they were voted out because they supported Obamacare repeal.

It was a great bit of proof of the blue wave that had cleansed the House of all members who had voted to repeal Obamacare, except for the fact that it was entirely inaccurate.

Snopes, certified fact-checker for Facebook and Google got on the case — but as Peter J. Hasson of the Daily Caller noted this week, the fact-checkers got it wrong too.

Hasson reports:

[Former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer Nicholas] Kitchel deleted his tweet and acknowledged that it was inaccurate after being mocked online.

But Snopes fact-checker Bethania Palma, a former writer for liberal website Raw Story, fact-checked the meme three weeks later and claimed it was accurate.

Palma rated it “true” that “The Congressional seats of almost three dozen Republicans who voted to repeal Obamacare were lost to Democrats in 2018” — a different claim than what the picture alleged, much less its “primary” claim.

“In the meme, red ‘X’ marks were drawn through the faces of 33 lawmakers who purportedly were rejected by voters in the 6 November 2018 midterm elections,” Palma wrote.

Both that claim and Palma’s summary of it were inaccurate.

Not everyone in the photo with an “X” over their face was a lawmaker — a fact left out of Palma’s fact-check. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, for example, had an “X” over her face even though she’s not an elected official.

Moreover, many of the lawmakers who did have an “X” over their face won re-election.

As of today, Snopes still rates the claim as “True,” explaining, “Although memes are frequently grossly inaccurate, this one got the general idea and numbers correct (even if the persons actually pictured in the accompanying photograph are difficult or impossible to identify).”

It got the general idea correct? Then why did the clown who posted it pull it down? Because so many people pointed out that it wasn’t true, and yes, they could identify the faces.


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