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Cecile Richards says Planned Parenthood was an 'original' fake news target — but offers no evidence

Planned Parenthood President and CEO Cecile Richards said Thursday that her organization was “one of the original fake news targets.” Richards said that “there’s a lot of bad information out there.” (Image source: YouTube screenshot)\n

Planned Parenthood President and CEO Cecile Richards said Thursday that her organization was “one of the original fake news targets.”

During remarks at a media and technology conference, Recode's Kara Swisher asked Richards about the impact of social media on Planned Parenthood.

"I think we were one of the original fake news targets," Richards replied.

Richards said that “there’s a lot of bad information out there” and efforts should be made to promote "sources and information that are actually good.”

Swisher asked Richards, “What’s the fakest information about Planned Parenthood out there? Give me an example.”

Richards hesitated, declining to offer an example of fake news about her organization, saying she would stay “positive.”

“Eighty percent of the American people support federal funding for the services we provide,” Richards said, arguing that more people support the organization than don’t.

“Unfortunately, the small minority that doesn’t are disproportionately represented in Congress right now,” she said.

“And also online,” Swisher said.

“And online,” Richards said. “It’s very ugly.”

Planned Parenthood released its 2015-2016 annual report earlier this week. The report revealed that the organization performed 328,348 abortion procedures in 2015, an increase from the 323,999 abortions it performed in 2014.

Fake news became a controversial topic during and after the 2016 presidential election, with Americans debating the role misinformation played in the election's outcome. In the wake of the controversy, websites such as Facebook said that they will take steps to reduce the spread of fake news. The company hired fact checkers to examine some of the stories shared on the social media platform.

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