STOSSEL: ‘Facebook Said Its ‘Fact-Checks’ Used To Excuse Censorship Are Actually ‘Opinion”
Popular political commentator John Stossel wrote an op-ed for the New York Post in which he discussed a revelation discovered after he sued the company for defamation.
The libertarian-minded commentator has expressed his personal belief both in this article and in the past that “Facebook is a private company, so it can censor whomever it wants,” but has emphatically stated opposition to their usage of the “fact-check” mechanism. Stossel argued that such claims made by Facebook can be defamatory, as they make an authoritative statement of ‘objective fact’ that is often false in reality.
“Recently, I sued them because they defamed me,” Stossel wrote. “They, along with one of their “fact-checkers,” a group called Science Feedback, lied about me and continue to lie about me.”
Stossel then revealed that the social media network tried to skirt responsibility for the arguably slanderous statements by arguing in court that their “fact-checks” actually aren’t based on an objective metric at all.
“Amazingly, their lawyers now claim that Facebook’s “fact-checks” are merely “opinion” and therefore immune from defamation.“
“That’s how Facebook portrays them on its website: ‘Each time a fact-checker rates a piece of content as false, Facebook significantly reduces the content’s distribution … We … apply a warning label that links to the fact-checker’s article, disproving the claim.'”
Later in the op-ed, Stossel discussed specific examples of Facebook’s crooked pro-censorship practices, pointing out that the social media company promoted a “fact-check” that lied about him, even going as far as to fabricate an entire quote.
How did Facebook defame me?
I made a video that said that California’s wildfires were mostly caused by poor government management. Facebook censored that as “misleading.” They linked to a Science Feedback post that puts the following sentence in quotation marks, as if it were something I said: “Forest fires are caused by poor management. Not by climate change.”
But I never said that!
Facebook’s reviewers took that quotation from someone else. Or maybe they just made it up?
In my video, I acknowledge, “Climate change has made things worse!” I just argued that government mismanagement was a bigger factor. Climate change hit lots of forests, but well-managed forests fared much better.Here’s where the ‘facts’ about me lie — Facebook bizarrely claims its ‘fact-checks’ are ‘opinion’
Stossel concluded by saying he hopes Facebook will one day realize that their path of censorship is not one to follow, especially in the sloppy and malicious manner they have engaged in thus far. He then left the viewers with some food for thought.
“The world needs more freedom to discuss things, not less.”
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