Facebook Admits in Court Its 'Fact-Checks' Are Just 'Opinions'
Big Tech giant makes admission in lawsuit over censorship practices
Facebook has admitted in court that the "fact-checks" it uses to smear, discredit, and suppress information are just "opinions."
The bombshell admission from Facebook (aka Meta) was revealed in evidence during the court proceedings for a defamation case filed by veteran news host John Stossel.
In court documents, Meta admitted in court that the “fact-checks” used by Facebook to blacklist non-corporate media content are actually just opinion-based labels.
Accoridng to Facebook, these so-called "fact-checkers" do not conduct any real fact-checking of information posted to the site.
Stossel is suing the company after his work on climate change was labeled by Facebook as “false and misleading.”
In response to Stossel’s suit, Facebook wrote that the company cannot be sued for defamation in relation to the fact-checks.
Defamation is defined as “making false and harmful assertions.”
Under this definition, Facebook argued that the fact-checking and associated labels on the posts across their sites “constitute protected opinion.”
In the United States legal system, opinions are not subject to defamation claims.
Libel law protects opinions, which is the basis of Facebook’s defensive claim.
I'm suing Facebook because they let their censors lie about me. The censor, "Science Feedback," condemned my reporting WITHOUT WATCHING IT!— John Stossel (@JohnStossel) December 13, 2021
Facebook's censor also restricts many respected science writers who dare point out inconvenient facts like these: pic.twitter.com/pi2LPDSPmO
The definition of “opinion” is “a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.”
By their own lawyers’ arguments, Facebook’s fact-checks are little more than the politically biased opinions held by Facebook employees and/or third-party companies hired to undertake the fake fact-checking process on all posts.
From page two of Facebook’s court filing (emphasis added):
Beyond this threshold Section 230 problem, the complaint also fails to state a claim for defamation.
For one, Stossel fails to plead facts establishing that Meta acted with actual malice— which, as a public figure, he must.
For another, Stossel’s claims focus on the fact-check articles written by Climate Feedback, not the labels affixed through the Facebook platform.
The labels themselves are neither false nor defamatory; to the contrary, they constitute protected opinion.
And even if Stossel could attribute Climate Feedback’s separate webpages to Meta, the challenged statements on those pages are likewise neither false nor defamatory.
Any of these failures would doom Stossel’s complaint, but the combination makes any amendment futile.
Facebook asserts that Stossel needs to “attribute Climate Feedback’s separate webpages to Meta” because of the tech company’s outsourcing of censorship to third-party fact-checkers, made up of liberal media organizations and leftist nonprofits.
Facebook uses this system to distance itself from responsibility from any fact-checks.
The company argues that the decisions are made by third parties rather than Facebook itself.
However, the company still acts on those decisions by affixing labels to posts that have been “fact-checked.”
When a "false" label is applied, all links to the information are suppressed on the platform.
The more "false" labels a website receives, the more suppressed ALL links to that website become, whether they've been "fact-checked" or not.
Eventually, all links to a website will be blocked after a set number of "false" labels has been applied.
The motivation behind these left-wing "fact-checkers" is pretty clear.