A coalition of organizations, including the Omidyar Network, George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, and Meta, is embroiled in controversy over their sponsorship of a fact-checking initiative in Germany.
This initiative, known as Correctiv, has come under fire for allegedly engaging in smear campaigns against individuals and groups involved in lawful protests concerning pressing economic, social, and political issues, as reported by Reclaim The Net.
Germany has been experiencing significant economic strain, exacerbated by the government’s decision to cut off access to affordable gas to pursue its ‘net zero’ agenda. This move has severely impacted various sectors, with farmers among the hardest hit.
The fallout from these policies has sparked mass protests by farmers, while political efforts are underway to ban the AfD party, both of which have been pejoratively labeled as right-wing conspiracy theorists, COVID misinformation spreaders, and even supporters of foreign governments.
Correctiv, which positions itself as a news and fact-checking site, is financed not only by Omidyar, Soros, and Meta but also receives funding from the German government itself.
The organization’s coverage of the farmer protests and its characterization of the AfD party have raised concerns about the impartiality of its fact-checking efforts and the potential use of disinformation labels to discredit legitimate dissent.
In a detailed analysis published on Public, author Gregor Baszak delves into the complexities of the situation. Baszak highlights the government’s increasingly undemocratic maneuvers, including contemplating the outright ban of a political opposition party. He critiques a Correctiv article that vilifies protesting farmers as right-wing extremists without providing concrete evidence of their alleged dissemination of COVID misinformation or connections to the Russian government.
“The (Correctiv) article does not specify what ‘Covid disinformation’ the farmers spread,” Baszak wrote. “Nor does it offer any evidence of ties between the farmers and the Russian government, only that ‘some X accounts’ that support the farmers wrote posts that ‘coincided with the methods of a pro-Russian propaganda network.’”