Notoriously biased group used as fact-checker by Wired

May 3, 2023

By Tim Worstall

The problem with fact-checking is, who chooses the fact-checkers?

Only when we know that will we know which political slant is being applied to what are facts and what are merely opinions.

Wired uses the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is significantly biased and yet has gained a significant position in American media life. What SPLC does is state – according to its own prejudices – what is a “hate organization” and what is not. The SPLC position has now become the go-to group for large corporations. They outsource those decisions to SPLC, through which SPLC gains considerable power.

Our example here is the American College of Pediatricians. Supporting them or not is up to you, us, each individually. But SPLC calls them a “hate group” for their opposition to the surgical treatment of trans youth and children. Again, a position that we can and should each make up our own minds upon.

What matters is this:

“The records show how the College, which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) describes as a hate group,” the article says. “The SPLC’s ‘hate group’ designation, which the College forcefully disputes, haunted its fundraising efforts, records reveal. A barrage of emails in 2014 show that the label cost the group the chance to benefit from an Amazon program that would eventually distribute $450 million to charities across the globe. Amazon would deny the College’s application, stating that it relied on the SPLC to determine which charities fall into certain ineligible categories.”

We’ve seen something very similar recently with TikTok announcing that no videos which contradict the United Nations version of climate change will be allowed.

This is the entire problem with fact-checking. Who defines what is a fact? Who defines a hate group? The moment anyone is offered – or is able to grab – that power then it will be used by those who wish to direct our society. This is exactly the reason that the Founding Fathers insisted upon a free press – so that all views get, uncensored, their time in the sunlight and their chance to be considered.

There are actual facts out there. Also that there are hate groups. But allowing a partisan political operation to define those things is to give up that very information we require to be able to continue to have and live in a free democracy. Because if they can edit the information we receive then they can edit our views of course.

We’re entirely fine with the Southern Poverty Law Center declaring anything they want about whoever. That’s exactly our point in fact, that they must be free to do so. But so must everyone else – therefore the SPLC must not be allowed to define who is allowable and who is not.


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