Facebook court filing admits 'fact checks' are just a matter of opinion

By Thomas Lifson / americanthinker.com
Dec 10, 2021
0
Facebook court filing admits 'fact checks' are just a matter of opinion

Surprisingly little attention is being paid to a bombshell admission made by the attorneys representing the corporation formerly known as Facebook, Inc., which has now transitioned into Meta Platforms, Inc.

In a court filing responding to a lawsuit filed by John Stossel claiming that he was defamed by a "fact check" Facebook used to label a video by him as "misleading," Meta's attorneys assert that the "fact check" was an "opinion," not an actual check of facts and declaration of facts.  Under libel law, opinions are protected from liability for libel.

Anthony Watts of Wattsupwiththat explains:

Opinions are not subject to defamation claims, while false assertions of fact can be subject to defamation. The quote in Facebook's complaint is,

Meta's attorneys come from the white shoe law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dore, with over a thousand attorneys and more than a billion dollars a year in revenue.  They obviously checked out the implications of the matter for Section 230 issues, the legal protection Facebook/Meta have from liability for what is posted on their site.  But at a minimum, this is a public relations disaster, revealing that their "fact checks" are not factual at all and should be labeled as "our opinion" or some such language avoiding the word "fact."

As an amateur, it seems to me that if Facebook inserts its opinions into posts or blocks them because of its opinion, then that does make it a publisher with legal responsibility for what appears on its website.

Technically speaking, Facebook farms out its "fact-checking" to outside organizations, usually left-wing groups.  In the case of Stossel's video that was defamed, the outside website is called "Climate Feedback," which is also named a defendant in the lawsuit.

Watts summarizes well the P.R. implications:

Such "fact checks" are now shown to be simply an agenda to supress [sic] free speech and the open discussion of science by disguising liberal media activism as something supposedly factual, noble, neutral, trustworthy, and based on science.

In light of Facebook's admission, it's time for the Washington Post to offer a correction to this piece by Ethan Porter and Thomas J. Wood, published less than a month ago, titled "Fact checks actually work, even on Facebook. But not enough people see them."

So-called "fact-checking" is a fraud used to cover up the censorship of opinions that that differ from those of the powerful Silicon Valley oligarchy.  And now we have proof attested to in a court filing by one of the richest companies in the world, represented by some of the most elite lawyers in the world.

Trending Videos
Documentaries about Living the Change
Hope is a Verb
Films That Inspire Inner Change
Films For Patrons: Donate $5/mo to Gain Access to These Great Films

Films For Action is a library for people who want to change the world.

 

Our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

Over the last 15 years, we've reviewed and curated over 1,000 free documentaries and 4,000 short films, plus over 150 pay-per-view documentaries, spanning 34 topics related to changing the world.

During this time we've been able to reach tens of millions of people - not by owning a TV network or spending truckloads of cash on advertising, but because millions of awesome people keep sharing 'films for action' with their friends on social media - in particular, our 850,000 supporters on Facebook and 70,000 site members. 

One of the coolest things is, thanks to our patrons, our library is ad-free and 100% supported by member donations. We don't accept any government or corporate funding, and the dozens of emails we get every week asking us to put ads or sponsored posts on the site just go in the trash bin. The Pay-Per-View films on our site, of course, help support the filmmakers, and 90-100% of the revenue for PPV films hosted by us goes to the filmmakers. 

To thank our $5/mo patron subscribers, we partner with filmmakers to provide access to a growing number of films that are normally PPV. With just 26 highly-curated films at the moment, it's basically a mini "Netflix for world changers," but its main function is to support the library as a whole, which is 99% free and always will be.

Want to become a patron? Subscribe here. You can cancel or pause your subscription at any time.

If you'd like to know more, want to help out, or you're a filmmaker or distributor looking to collaborate, drop us a line via our contact page. 

Cheers,  
Tim Hjersted
Co-Founder & Director
Lawrence, KS