The Babylon Bee has demanded a retraction from The New York Times for referencing the conservative satirical outlet in an article about how Facebook deals with far-right misinformation sites.
“Yesterday our counsel sent a letter to @nytimes demanding a retraction. We took this action because their article was—and remains—defamatory,” Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon wrote on Twitter Thursday.
The Times article, published on March 19, was titled, “For Political Cartoonists, the Irony Was That Facebook Didn’t Recognize Irony.”
It originally stated that, “In 2019 and 2020, Facebook often dealt with far-right misinformation sites that used ‘satire’ claims to protect their presence on the platform,” citing Emerson T. Brooking, a resident fellow for the think tank Atlantic Council.
The article went on to state that, “For example, The Babylon Bee, a right-leaning site, sometimes trafficked in misinformation under the guise of satire.”
After being called out by Dillon, the Times updated the story on March 22 to instead read, “The Babylon Bee, a right-leaning satirical site, has feuded with Facebook and the fact-checking site Snopes over whether the site published misinformation or satire.”
But Dillon said the update was “was no better than the original.”
“We have not, in fact, feuded with Snopes as to whether we publish satire or misinformation,” he wrote on Twitter. “Snopes retracted that insinuation with an editors’ note saying it was never their intent to call our motives into question.”
Dillon added: “It’s therefore misleading and malicious to characterize that incident as a feud, as if Snopes ever openly stood by the claim that we are misinformation and not satire.”
“We cannot stand idly by as they act with malice to misrepresent us in ways that jeopardize our business,” he said.
Reps for the Times didn’t immediately return a request for comment on Friday.