Facebook Hires George Soros to Help Moderate Elections-Mostly Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Facebook hired George Soros to moderate misinformation and foreign meddling during elections.
Facebook announced a partnership with the Atlantic Council in May 2018 to curb foreign meddling and disinformation during elections. Following the announcement, reports citing George Soros’ Open Societies Foundation (OSF) support for the Atlantic Council claimed that Facebook had hired George Soros to moderate elections. We’re calling these claims “mostly fiction.”
A division of the OSF called the Open Society Initiative for Europe donated less than $25,000 to the Atlantic Council in 2016. That support was for the Wroclaw Global Forum, an annual conference in Poland that focuses on democracy, prosperity and security in the transatlantic region. So, the idea that George Soros owns the Atlantic Council, or has anything to do with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Research Lab’s partnership with Facebook, is false.
These rumors surfaced shortly after Facebook announced its partnership with the Atlantic Council on May 17. Katie Harbath, the global politics and government outreach director at Facebook explained the partnership in a post to the company’s newsroom:
Facebook will also use the Atlantic Council’s Digital Research Unit Monitoring Missions during elections and other highly sensitive moments. This will allow us to focus on a particular geographic area — monitoring for misinformation and foreign interference and also working to help educate citizens as well as civil society.
The Atlantic Council also confirmed the Facebook partnership in a press release.
Where Did False Reports that Facebook Hired George Soros Come From?
Rumors that Facebook hired George Soros to moderate elections took flight almost immediately. The Daily Caller, a website owned by conservative commentator Tucker Carlson, led the charge. It called the Atlantic Council a “George-Soros funded think tank” in a misleading (but not entirely false) statement.
Fringe websites picked up the thread from there. Your News Wire, a well-known Russian proxy site that publishes fabricated news, reported that Facebook hired George Soros to help regulate elections. The claim was repeatedly across other fringe sites and YouTube channels.
We’re calling the claim that Facebook hired George Soros to moderate elections “mostly fiction.” Soros’ OFA supported a conference hosted by the Atlantic Council in 2016, but the idea that Soros controls the Atlantic Council, or has been hired by Facebook, is fiction.