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The Russians have been under attack from the media for supposedly hacking into Vermont’s power grid. The original claimants, the Washington Post, have made false allegations that the “Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility, showing risk to U.S. Electrical Grid security.” However, Snopes, one of the new arbiters of Fake News for Facebook, seems to have completely avoided reporting on the fact that there’s no truth in it.
The Department of Homeland Security made an official statement, soon after the Post’s article was issued, indicating “we currently have no information that indicates that the power grid was penetrated in this cyber incident, ” but where was Snopes with their input on these false allegations? Did they really deem this report as not important enough to contribute?
Not only did they remain silent on the matter, despite the immediate response of the U.S. Government, there are absolutely no results after a keyword search on Vermont, Russian hackers or the power grid. Surely a news story as big as this should have been a leading article on Fake News for Facebook, especially considering it has been brought to light by DHS.
The Washington Post added an editor’s note
“An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Russian hackers had penetrated the U.S. Electric Grid. Authorities say there is no indication of that so far. The computer at Burlington Electric that was hacked was not attached to the grid.”
However, Snopes still continues to avoid making any form of contribution.
Now considering Snopes is soon to be part of a team that will decide whether or not news articles are to be labeled as ‘fake news’ on the world’s largest social media platform, it’s difficult to overlook the fact they have avoided an article as large as this. It does raise a few alarm bells that articles, that don’t fit their views or opinions, seem to be avoided.
Whilst there are several organizations that are given the responsibility to check the truth in news articles for the Fake News for Facebook, Politifact, FactCheck. Org, the Associated Press, and ABC News. All of them have been accused of liberal bias on several occasions. This is leading to the belief that any right-leaning news articles will immediately be labeled as fake news, purely based on the opinions of the organizations trusted to give a rounded view to the entire population.
It is reasonable to say that, now Washington Post has retracted its original story, the ‘fake news’ is null. However, as the fact team avoided making a contribution to the story in the first place, the concerns behind the bias of the above organizations remains very prominent.
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