Alan Duke, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Facebook’s fact-checking partner Lead Stories, admitted a National Pulse exposé into a writer’s financial support for Democratic candidates led to their removal from the role of “fact checking” political stories for the site.
A National Pulse exposé from June 2020 – “Facebook’s Fact-Checker ‘Lead Stories’ Is Staffed By Exclusively Democrat Party Donors, CNN Staffers, And ‘Defeat Trump’ Activists” – revealed that writer Gita Smith repeatedly donated to Democratic candidates and left-wing groups according to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
As previously reported by The National Pulse:
“Writer Gita Smith appears to have donated 99 times amounting to $1,839.82 to Democratic campaigns including (via ActBlue), failed Democratic congressional candidate Josh Segall, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Democratic Senator Doug Jones.
Smith also donated to Swing Left, a hard-left political group formed in reaction to the election of President Trump intent on “defeating Trump.” The Swing Left website asserts:
“2020 is here, and the work defeat Trump and the GOP in November starts NOW.”
During an interview on Steve Bannon’s War Room: Pandemic podcast, Duke admits that after learning about the nearly 100 donations, Lead Stories “took the staffer off of doing any political stories after that.” “The staffer then was gone,” Duke added.
Duke also asserts during the interview that “we don’t have anybody who’s donated to political parties that I’m aware of, and if you know of any, you let me know and we’ll deal with it.”
“We have a rule that you cannot have donated to political candidates. We have a hard-and-fast rule and when we find out that that happens, we have to react to that,” he reiterates.
Despite this rule, The National Pulse can also reveal that fact checker Alexis Tereszcuk has donated four times to Democratic candidates, including two $250 donations to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.