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NYT Issues Correction after Labeling Palestinian Support for Terrorists Fake News

Outside the New York Times building in Manhattan (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

The New York Times issued a correction Tuesday to a report that cited Palestinian support for the families of terrorists as a prime example of the “far right conspiracy” theories that abound on Facebook, conceding that the Palestinian Authority has admitted to providing financial support to terrorists.

Ironically, the false reporting was included in a profile of Facebook’s media liaison, Campbell Brown, who has been tasked with combating fake news on the platform.

“Ms. Brown,” the piece originally read, “wants to use Facebook’s existing Watch product — a service introduced in 2017 as a premium product with more curation that has nonetheless been flooded with far-right conspiracy programming like ‘Palestinians Pay $400 million Pensions For Terrorist Families.’ — to be a breaking news destination.”

“An earlier version of this article erroneously included a reference to Palestinian actions as an example of the sort of far-right conspiracy stories that have plagued Facebook,” the correction reads. “In fact, Palestinian officials have acknowledged providing payments to the families of Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks on Israelis or convicted of terrorist acts and imprisoned in Israel; that is not a conspiracy theory.”

The Palestinian Authority’s payments to the families of terrorists are no secret, as noted by Tablet in response to the false Times report. The PA spent $1.12 billion from 2013 to 2017 compensating the families of terrorists, many of whom were incarcerated or killed after attacking Israeli civilians. Congress cut off funding to Mahmoud Abbas’s government in March, and said it would not resume its support “until the PA ends the abhorrent practice of providing payments to terrorists and their families in reward for acts of violence.”

Abbas has refused to discontinue the payments, boasting that they are just compensation for “martyrs.”

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