Facebook-owned social media platform Instagram recently censored a post linking Joe Biden to his 1994 crime bill which contributed to the mass incarceration of black people. The platform relied on independent “fact checker” USA Today to label connections between Biden and mass incarceration as “false.”
The New York Post reports that the Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform Instagram recently labeled a post by a user claiming that President-elect Joe Biden’s 1994 crime bill contributed to the mass jailing of black people as “false.” The claim that Biden’s 1994 crime law contributed to the mass incarceration of black people has been vehemently supported by criminal justice reform advocates on both the right and left.
Artist Brad Troemel, who boasts over 100,000 Instagram followers, posted a photo of Biden alongside former President Bill Clinton with a caption stating: “Find someone that looks at you the way Biden looked at Clinton after Clinton signed Biden’s crime bill into law. Bringing mass incarceration to black Americans.”
The post quickly received a label stating that it included “False Information.” A message further explained that: “Independent fact-checkers say this information has no basis in fact.” The fact-check further stated that the claim was rated “False” by USA Today reporter Doug Stanglin, in July.
A Facebook spokesperson told the Post that it will not change the fact-check unless USA Today changes its assessment. The spokesperson stated: “People can appeal a rating by contacting a fact-checking partner directly. Fact-checking partners are ultimately responsible for deciding whether to update a rating, which will lift enforcement on the content.”
While the effects of Biden’s crime bill are disputed, many have claimed that Biden’s bill led to mass incarceration. Harvard Divinity School professor Cornel West, who actually backed Biden for President this year, said in an interview, “When [Biden] says it didn’t contribute to mass incarceration, I tell him he has to get off his symbolic crack pipe.”
In a recent interview, host of the popular radio show The Breakfast Club, Charlamagne Tha God, commented: “When [Biden] was on the Breakfast Club, another part of that interview that people miss is that I asked him about the ’94 crime bill, and the ’94 crime bill being the catalyst for mass incarceration in this country. And he said it wasn’t the crime bill, it was the ’86 mandatory minimum sentencing. But I’m like, ‘Joe, you wrote that too.’”