Jeffrey Epstein

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Instagram’s new fact-checking is flagging memes about Jeffrey Epstein

The right is fixing to lose their minds.

 

Claire Goforth

Internet Culture

Published Dec 20, 2019   Updated May 19, 2021, 7:54 pm CDT

In recent months, Facebook has started ramping up its fact-checking efforts, announcing this week that those would cross over to Instagram.

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Almost immediately, Instagram users began reporting that the company, which is owned by Facebook, was flagging Jeffrey Epstein joke memes as “false information” and placing a banner over the content.

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Instagram

Among the memes that Instagram has begun hiding from view is one alleging, falsely, that Hillary Clinton killed Epstein, the billionaire sex offender who committed suicide in jail last summer, reports Reclaim the Net.

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“There’s no evidence Hillary Clinton killed Jeffrey Epstein,” Instagram’s explanation states. “It runs counter to medical examiner and federal prosecutor conclusions.”

Reclaim the Net’s story claims that the meme posted by lushsux stated, “‘I killed Saddam Hussein,’ says Bush. ‘I killed Osama Bin Laden!’ says Obama. ‘I killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi!’ says Trump. ‘I killed Jeffrey Epstein!’ says Clinton.”

Although Instagram has started censoring some memes about Epstein, a search for #EpsteinDidntKillHimself turned up more than 45,000 posts, including many that are obviously based on conspiracy theories and one almost identical to the meme that was reportedly censored.

View this post on Instagram

#epsteindidntkillhimself

A post shared by Todd Homman (@toddhomman) on

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https://www.instagram.com/p/B6LTZXzBFFY/

Now, some meme pages look like this.

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Some have concerns about whether fact-checkers and the artificial intelligence their work is intended to inform will be able to effectively spot satire, jokes, and legitimate social commentary.

Self-proclaimed radical free speech purists and people who promote hate speech are chief among those crying censorship over such efforts to police content.

Reclaim the Net writes that the post about Clinton killing Epstein “was evidently a humorous meme.”

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Although concern about the oversight of fact-checkers is legitimate, describing this particular meme as obviously a joke that’s not to be taken seriously stretches the bounds of reason. Many conspiracy theorists do believe that the Clintons killed Epstein, an unfounded claim that has been promoted by the president.

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*First Published: Dec 20, 2019, 3:13 pm CST