FB Apologized But Snopes Is Defending Fact-Checking Christian Satire Page


After Facebook apologized for threatening to censor a Christian satire site, Snopes still defended its decision to fact-check the page.

Christian satire site The Babylon Bee was flagged on Friday as fake news after Snopes “fact checked” one of its satirical articles,  The Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

The article was titled “CNN Purchases Industrial-Sized Washing Machine To Spin News Before Publication.”

Craig Silverman, a media editor for Buzzfeed News, tweeted:

“Babylon Bee is a satire site. But some ppl on FB (stupidly) thought this story was real, so Snopes debunked and then flagged the URL in FB’s fact checking system. Now Babylon Bee risks being downranked.”

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Snopes defended their decision to flag the satire site as fake news.

“But nearly every fake news site claims to be ‘satirical’ in nature, so that approach would put us in a position of having to be the Facebook arbiters of what is or is not ‘real’ satire,” Snopes tweeted.

Inez Stepman, a contributor to The Federalist, then asked if Snopes was flagging another satirical site called The Onion.

“Because that’s how obvious the satire in Babylon Bee is,” she said.

Snope’s defense comes after Facebook apologized to the Babylon Bee for sending the editor, Adam Ford, a disconcerting message threatening to de-monetize and reduce the reach of some of The Babylon Bee’s posts.

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“A page you admin (The Babylon Bee) recently posted the link (CNN Purchases Industrial-Sized Washing Machine To Spin News Before Publication) that contains info disputed by (, an independent fact checker,” the notification read. “Repeat offenders will see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetize and advertised removed.”

Ford told The Daily Caller News Foundation, “Snopes has ‘fact-checked’ several of our articles before, but this is the first time Facebook has used that to threaten us with reduced reach and demonetization.”

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Facebook claimed the warning was a mistake, according to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“There’s a difference between false news and satire,” Facebook said in a statement. “This was a mistake and should not have been rated false in our system. It’s since been corrected and won’t count against the domain in any way.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith