USA Today, which is used as a ‘fact checker’ by social media platforms, was forced to delete 23 articles from its website after an investigation found one of its reporters had fabricated sources.
Well, this is awkward.
The news outlet has an entire section of its website dedicated to ‘fact checking’ and is used by Facebook to ‘fact check’ stories published by other outlets, downranking them in algorithms in a form of soft censorship.
However, it appears as though USA Today should have devoted more resources to fact checking itself before publishing articles by its own staff.
“USA Today’s breaking news reporter Gabriela Miranda fabricated sources and misappropriated quotes for stories, the news outlet confirmed on Thursday. The outlet conducted an internal audit after receiving an “external correction request” on one of its published stories,” reports Breitbart.
The 23 articles which were removed for not meeting the paper’s “editorial standards” included pieces on the Texas abortion ban, anti-vaxxer content and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Miranda, who has now resigned from her position, “took steps to deceive investigators by producing false evidence of her news gathering, including recordings of interviews,” according to the New York Times.
“After receiving an external correction request, USA TODAY audited the reporting work of Gabriela Miranda. The audit revealed that some individuals quoted were not affiliated with the organizations claimed and appeared to be fabricated. The existence of other individuals quoted could not be independently verified. In addition, some stories included quotes that should have been credited to others.”