Did Netflix tweet that its content is "mostly pedophila-free" in response to criticism over its streaming of "Cuties"? No, that's not true: The claim was made in a satire article on a popular satire site. However, several non-satire sites republished the claim without satire labeling. It also became a meme that appeared to be taken seriously by those who shared it on social platforms. A purported tweet by Netflix used in the story is not real.
The claim originated in an article published by BabylonBee.com on September 10, 2020 titled "Responding To Backlash, Netflix Clarifies Its Content Is 'Mostly Pedophilia-Free'" (archived here) which opened:
LOS GATOS, CA--Responding to the backlash over the worse-than-you-could-have-ever-imagined film Cuties added to its library this week, Netflix clarified that its content is "mostly not pedophilia."
"It's important to remember that our content is mostly pedophilia-free," the Netflix Twitter account posted in response to the uproar over the movie.
"We assure you, over 93% of the Netflix library is not pedophilia in any way," a spokesperson said. "Trust us -- we just did a thorough review of every movie and show in our catalog, and that's a pretty good percentage. You can rest easy that over nine out of every ten programs you watch on our program don't have any pedophilic content."
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
Responding To Backlash, Netflix Clarifies Its Content Is 'Mostly Pedophilia-Free'
LOS GATOS, CA--Responding to the backlash over the worse-than-you-could-have-ever-imagined film Cuties added to its library this week, Netflix clarified that its content is "mostly not pedophilia.""It's important to remember that our content is mostly pedophilia-free," the Netflix Twitter account posted in response to the ...
To better understand the Netflix controversy, read The Verge story titled Why 'Cancel Netflix' is trending.
How do we know this story is not real? First, the Netflix tweet does not exist. It is not on the streamer's Twitter feed.
Second, the original source is famous for its creative satire (made up, but funny) stories.
The Babylon Bee is a satire site with following disclaimer on the 'about' page:
What is The Babylon Bee?
The Babylon Bee is the world's best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims. We write satire about Christian stuff, political stuff, and everyday life.
The Babylon Bee was created ex nihilo on the eighth day of the creation week, exactly 6,000 years ago. We have been the premier news source through every major world event, from the Tower of Babel and the Exodus to the Reformation and the War of 1812. We focus on just the facts, leaving spin and bias to other news sites like CNN and Fox News.
If you would like to complain about something on our site, take it up with God.
Unlike other satire sites, everything we post is 100% verified by Snopes.com.
The site has been feuding with Snopes and CNN in the recent past over accusations that wasn't being transparent enough about being satirical:
Satire or Deceit? Christian Humor Site Feuds With Snopes
The Babylon Bee says Snopes went too far in fact-checking a satirical story. Snopes had suggested the Bee twisted its joke to deceive readers. It's a fake-news feud made for 2019. On one side is Snopes, the influential fact-checking website founded 25 years ago.
Babylon Bee stings CNN with satirical article: There's only room for 'one fake news site'
The Babylon Bee had some fun at the expense of CNN after one of its reporters attacked the conservative satirical site over an article's popularity on social media.
At Lead Stories we are big fans of satire but in accordance with our Satire Policy we sometimes fact check satirical content if it seems there are many people who don't get the joke (or if the joke gets stolen by Macedonian fake news sites and is then presented as "news"). To quote from our Satire Policy:
Sometimes jokes need to be fact checked. Not for you, because you are smart and you get the joke. But for the crazy uncle who thinks it is real. Or for the foreign journalist who doesn't know what The Onion is. Or for the people who missed the disclaimer and the hints. Or because the disclaimer and the hints were hidden on purpose.
And that is certainly not hypothetical in the case of The Babylon Bee:
This is why you sometimes need to fact check @TheBabylonBee-- Lead Stories (@LeadStoriesCom) January 10, 2020
Not for the smart people who get the joke, but for Russian journalists who don't :-)
Seems like they didn't read our fact check from last year...https://t.co/OwnhkGeCKg https://t.co/0DbZ257ukz
Early in 2020 Sputnik News was fooled by a piece from The Babylon Bee into reporting Jordan Peterson would be hosting the Oscars. If only they had read our fact check from a year before...