RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The news was real, but the headlines weren't.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that the office of Republican North Carolina Senate leader Phil Berger altered headlines from state newspapers and broadcasters on the senator's official Facebook page.
Pointedly critical of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, the headlines were posted on the page above links to the news outlets' original, unaltered stories.
The News & Observer quotes Facebook spokesman Andy Stone as saying the practice violates Facebook's usage policy.
Berger spokeswoman Amy Auth issued a statement Thursday criticizing Facebook for how it interpreted the policy. But she didn't explain why the staff had changed the headlines.
News & Observer executive editor John Drescher has sent a letter to Berger's office asking the staff to stop the practice.
Berger responded on his Facebook page, saying the following:
Today The News & Observer had Facebook delete hundreds of your comments on this page – just because they don’t like that we include our own opinions whenever we share links to their unaltered news stories. Facebook doesn't enforce this policy on other pages – makes us wonder if they're targeting us because of our conservative values. With Roy Cooper trying new shenanigans nearly every day – from directing his cabinet secretaries to break the law, to illegally attempting to withdraw our voter ID case from the U.S. Supreme Court, to appointing a former convicted felon to lead the ABC Commission – you’d think the N&O would have something better to do.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.