NYT Corrects Article After Labeling Babylon Bee a ‘Misinformation Site’

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NYT Corrects Article After Labeling Babylon Bee a ‘Misinformation Site’

By Movieguide® Staff

The popular Christian satire site the Babylon Bee came under fire from Big Tech and other news outlets for allegedly promoting “misinformation.”  

Although Facebook has deleted posts and suspended the site’s accounts on several occasions, the Babylon Bee earned a victory after the New York Times retracted comments with similar accusations. 

NYT published a correction on a March 19 article after the Babylon Bee threatened a lawsuit against NYT for describing the satire site as a “far-right misinformation site.” 

Seth Dillon, the Babylon Bee’s CEO, claimed that the original report was “defamatory.”

The article in question, titled “For Political Cartoonists, the Irony Was That Facebook Didn’t Recognize Irony,” said that the site spread misinformation under cover of satire. 

“In an article about Facebook’s difficulty in dealing with satire, the New York Times points to The Babylon Bee as an example of a ‘far-right misinformation site’ that ‘sometimes trafficked in misinformation under the guise of satire,'” Dillon tweeted. 

The Christian Post reported:  

The piece explained how the artificial intelligence systems and even human moderators for social media giants like Facebook cannot always detect the difference between satirical jesting and false information given how common irony and satire are in everyday speech.

When the article mentioned The Babylon Bee, it hyperlinked to a Snopes fact-check item, which now contains a revision indicating that some readers misinterpreted the fact-check of a Babylon Bee article as saying that that satire site was being deliberately deceptive.

The Babylon Bee sent a letter to the NYT demanding that the article’s defamatory claims be removed. 

“Big update here. The [NYT] has responded to our demand letter by removing defamatory statements about us from their article. Here’s their email to our counsel notifying us of the correction,” Dillon posted to his Twitter. 

NYT’s correction note on the article reads

An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to the Babylon Bee, a right-leaning satirical website, and a controversy regarding the handling of its content by Facebook and the fact-checking site Snopes. While both Facebook and Snopes previously have classified some Babylon Bee articles as misinformation, rather than satire, they have dropped those claims, and the Babylon Bee denies that it has trafficked in ‘misinformation.’

“The NY Times was using misinformation to smear us as being a source of it,” Dillon added in another tweet. “That’s not merely ironic; it’s malicious. We pushed back hard and won. Thanks to everyone who voiced and offered their support. We don’t have to take this nonsense lying down. Remember that.”

In response to their victory, the Babylon Bee published a satire article called “New York Times Forced To Admit Babylon Bee Not Fake News Since Stories Keep Coming True.

“‘We are sorry we called The Babylon Bee misinformation,’ the Times wrote on its corrections page. ‘After further review, it’s clear The Babylon Bee is reporting real news just a few days ahead of time. The stories just keep coming true,'” the article joked.


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