MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan lashed out after his tweet about racial crime stats were fact-checked by Twitter’s community notes on Friday.
Hasan shared a clip from his show where he criticized HBO host Bill Maher for his comments about crime being out of control in places like Chicago and the Democratic Party not doing much to solve it and for the media not discussing it.
“White people kill other white people at almost the same rate black people kill other black people & yet you never hear anyone complaining about ‘white on white crime’. These aren’t points of sage wisdom from Maher. They are classic racist dog whistles,” Hasan tweeted.
Shortly after his tweet, Twitter’s Community Notes feature fact-checked the post by linking to FBI crime statistics from 2019 which showed Black on Black crime was proportionately higher than White on White crime.
“According to the 2019 FBI stats there were 2594 white on white homicides and 2574 black on black homicides. In 2019, white population in the US was 60.1% of total population. Black was 12.2%. Thus the per capita murder rate was much higher in the black on black group,” the community note stated.
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“Go read the community notes on this one,” Conservative duo, the Hodgetwins, posted alongside a laughing emoji.
Author and commentator Ryan James Girdusky told Hasan, “You could get a job as a farm hand since you’re so good at cherry picking.”
“*Rate* and *frequency* are two very different things, @mehdirhasan, and you know this. Which is why nearly 50% of homicide victims or black despite representing only 14% of the population,” Viva Frei podcast host David Freiheit replied. “You are a professional liar.”
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Hasan responded to the backlash with a quote from an USA Today article.
“Rates of white-on-white and Black-on-Black homicide are similar, at around 80% and 90%. Overall, most homicides in the United States are intraracial, and the rates of white-on-white and Black-on-Black killings are similar,” he tweeted.
Again, the Twitter Community Notes feature fact-checked to this post, writing, “The rate of black-on-black killings (53.38/million) was ~5.3x higher than that of white-on-white (10.03/million) in the U.S. in 2019, according to data from the FBI and the Census Bureau. Black killers killed 89% of black victims. White killers killed 79% of white victims.”
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Hasan went on to condemn the Community Notes feature as a right-wing weapon.
“If you had any doubt that @CommunityNotes has become another weapon of the right on Musk’s Twitter, see the BS community note added to my Bill Maher clip, after MAGA folks demanded it,” he wrote. “It makes a point that is irrelevant to the one I am making (re intraracial ‘rates* of killing.)”
Twitter’s Community Notes feature fact-checked him a third time, citing rules in Twitter’s official Community Notes page.
“Community Notes doesn’t work by majority rules. To identify notes that are helpful to a wide range of people, notes require agreement between contributors who have sometimes disagreed in their past ratings. This helps prevent one-sided ratings,” it stated.