“Independent fact checkers” spot missing context — can you?

September 16, 2021

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made headlines earlier this week when she attended the exclusive Met Gala wearing a custom gown by designer Brother Vellies with the words “Tax the Rich” in large print. It didn’t take long for the irony of a self-described socialist (elected in a democracy) at a $30,000-per-ticket event (in a custom gown) calling for raising taxes (which always hurt the middle class).

Hypocrisy and outrage in politics — nothing new there. But here’s the interesting part. When Barstool Sports CEO Dave Portnoy took to Twitter to share his opinion, the platform wasted no time in slapping a warning label on his tweet.

“Missing context” you might ask? Dave’s tweet may be a zinger, but it’s hardly “missing context”.

Of course misinformation is terrible and serves no one except maybe Russian hackers. The real question is why was Twitter so immediately defensive of critiques of a silly dress at a silly event? If Twitter and other social media companies want to build trust in content and effectively point out disinformation, they shouldn’t abuse the system with broad claims of “missing context” on such mundane issues.

Even with questionable fact checkers lurking, Twitter users never fail to double down on zingers, and one user seems to have uncovered the “missing context” in the only explanation possible:

Share This