Report: Facebook admits in court filings its “fact checks” are merely opinion – and now everything is in question

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The following contains some editorial content which is the opinion of the author. 

If you’re a conservative or run a conservative site, you have likely been hit by one of the infamous “fact-checks” from Facebook. By definition, a “fact-check” means to:

                “Investigate an issue in order to verify the facts.”

Short, sweet, and to the point. “Investigate” to “verify the facts.”

Investigative journalist John Stossel, formerly of ABC News brought a lawsuit against the tech giant and in defending their case, Facebook actually admitted that the so-called “fact checks” used by the company are not actually “fact checks” but are merely opinion.

According to the New York Post, the lawsuit stemmed from two videos posted by Stossel that discussed climate change, which the Post referred to as the “third rail of liberal politics.” The videos did not question the existence of climate change, which has been despite liberal politicians’ protestations subject to some debate.

 

Rather, the videos examined other issues involving forest management and the use of technology to adapt to what the left refers to as climate change.

However in the case of the two videos, a “third-party fact checker” employed by Facebook, “Science Feedback,”  flagged the videos as “false” or the old fallback, “lacking context.”

In claiming the videos lacked “context,” the third-party said they didn’t like the “tone” of Stossel’s commentary. “Tone?” How in the world does one quantify tone?

As the Post notes, “you can’t write anything about climate change unless you say it’s the worst disaster in the history of humanity,” which will cost trillions of dollars to “fix.”

As has happened to many conservatives, or in the case of Stossel libertarians, Facebook throttled Stossel’s content, which in turn cost him readers and more importantly, revenue. Law Enforcement Today has also fallen victim to these draconian “fact checkers.”

So Stossel—rightfully—filed suit against Facebook for defamation. In its defense as noted in a court filing, Facebook actually put it—in writing—that their “fact checks” are in fact “opinion.” As reported in Breitbart their filing reads (with emphasis from Breitbart):

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.

So, you see what Facebook (Meta) does here. They’re trying to pin the rap, so to speak on Climate Feedback since Facebook outsources their censorship to third-party fact checkers, most of which consist of liberal news outlets and nonprofits.

Clearly, Facebook does this in a deliberate attempt to distance itself from being responsible for fact-checkers, by claiming those decisions are not Facebook’s but the third party company.

As Breitbart notes, however Facebook is acting upon those decisions by “affixing labels to posts that have been ‘fact checked,’” thus throttling their reach on the social media outlet.

What Facebook is attempting to do is claim that since their “fact checks” are “opinion,” they are protected speech under the First Amendment.

The Post noted they also have been victimized by Fakebook fact checkers, noting that a February 2020 article was posted to their page relative to whether or not the COVID-19 virus was leaked from the Wuhan research lab. That article was given a “false” label by Facebook’s fact checkers, despite the fact that little was known at that time about the origins of the virus.

According to the Post, among those relied on for that “fact check” was a group of so-called “Independent” scientific reviewers who relied on, among others Eco Health, which had funded gain of function research at the Wuhan lab, as part of their panel of “experts.”

Separately, Twitter also engaged in similar censorship of the post shortly before the 2020 presidential election, when that company blocked the Post’s stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop, which has since been verified as belonging to him.

Twitter’s claim? They said it was based on “hacked materials,” which was a materially false claim. That action was clearly taken to give Joe Biden cover and protect his presidential campaign.

In both the above cases, the Post said the so-called “fact checks” were eventually lifted, however the damage was done and it no longer mattered. Perhaps that was the intent all along.

The Post notes that a familiar name is involved in the fact-checking game, namely one George Soros, along with a number of government-funded nonprofits, far-left media, and the tech tyrants themselves.

For Stossel, he noted in an op-ed in the Post that as a private company, Facebook “can censor whomever it wants,” but noted that what Facebook is doing is “just sleazy.”

Stossel said that Facebook on their own pages portrays “fact checks” as “statements of fact.” He notes that is how Facebook defines them on its website, as follows:

“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.”

So here, Stossel notes, Facebook uses the term “disproving the claim.” Opinion? Sounds like a statement of fact to Stossel, as well as to anyone else reading that statement.

Facebook is claiming protection under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which is designed to protect the company from liability for material posted to the site by “third parties.”

Cute dance Facebook is trying to do here. They employ third-party fact checkers to act on their behalf, yet deny liability when those fact checkers potentially commit libel or defamation, as Stossel is alleging.

Stossel, however, argues that “it was Facebook, not just a third party, that declared my posts ‘partly false.’ Facebook’s warning was created by Facebook and posted in Facebook’s voice.”

Stossel also noted that Facebook admits on its own website that “We…apply a warning label…” He noted that he brought the defamation perpetrated by Facebook to their attention over a year ago, however they did nothing to correct it.

The suit stems from a video Stossel put up which claimed that wildfires in the state of California were more caused by poor government management of the forests rather than climate change, which Facebook called “misleading” citing the Science Feedback post which incorrectly quoted Stossel as saying, “Forest fires are caused by poor management. Not by climate change.” Except Stossel claims he never said that.

In fact, Stossel said he acknowledged that “climate change has made things worse!”

All he did was note that in his opinion, government mismanagement was a bigger factor, noting that while a lot of forests were affected by so-called climate change, “well-managed forests fared much better.”

Stossel reached out to Science Feedback’s reviewers to question about the “misleading” label, with two agreeing to on-camera interviews. They admitted, when asked what was misleading about his video, that they hadn’t even watched Stossel’s video, offering no defense for the words attributed to Stossel placed inside quotation marks, words which he never said.

He reached out to Facebook, which ignored him.

Stossel noted he hates lawsuits and despite the fact Facebook had hurt him financially he did nothing. And then it happened again.

Stossel posted a video called “Are We Doomed,” which was tagged with a “partly false” label. In this video Stossel admitted climate change may be real, however said we can adapt to it, as Holland has. The video initially received 24 million views on Facebook, until it too was throttled.

Not only that, but Stossel’s other videos on Facebook took a hit also. While he says he used to get most of his views on Facebook, most nowadays come from other sites such as Rumble and YouTube.

In this case, Stossel once again reached out to Science Feedback, where he asked one reviewer what the problem was with his climate crisis video. He (fact checker) admitted that there were no incorrect facts in the video, but they didn’t like his “tone.”

“The problem is the omission of contextual information rather than specific ‘facts’ being wrong,” the “fact checker” told Stossel.

In other words, the fact checkers are not “unbiased arbiters of the truth,” but more so are useful idiots, furthering the far-left propaganda while stifling differing opinions. In the case of Facebook, they are trying to deflect their own responsibility for stifling free speech by deflecting blame to their third-party fact checkers. How very honest of them.

Former police chief: Sen. Blumenthal helps CT Communist Party celebrate anniversary of Communist Party USA

For more on social media censorship and how it has affected us at Law Enforcement Today, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

At least once a week, we at Law Enforcement Today are hit with throttling and shadow banning on social media.

Those terms, in case you don’t know, basically mean big tech is restricting our reach because they don’t like what we are reporting.

Of course, what we are reporting is the truth, but it definitely goes against their chosen narrative. Orange man bad. Police evil. All that.

Many times, they don’t even have answers for us as to why something was flagged or taken down- they just ignore us and hope we’ll forget about it.

Our CEO, Robert Greenberg, and our National Spokesman, Kyle Reyes, have both already been permanently banned from Linkedin. It seems like we’re heading that way with Facebook and Twitter as well.

We’re tired of it. We’re tired of being labeled as liars by completely biased “fact checkers” who mess with our readers’ ability to read another side of the mainstream media lies and actually think for themselves.

So, we’re making a move.

https://twitter.com/dbongino/status/1325630382088269825

We’ve joined the social media platform Parler (@LawEnforcementTodayLET) and we’ve slowly been transitioning over to them. We’ll remain on other social media platforms for our readers who don’t want to leave, but we have to warn you that as long as they’re allowed to censor whatever they want, we will likely continue having our stories throttled so they can’t reach you.

Because, you know, you can’t think for yourself. You need some overpaid, clearly biased “fact checkers” to tell you what to think.

https://twitter.com/dbongino/status/1325621701678346241

We are sick of seeing the red exclamation of doom on Twitter.

 

And the blue “let us tell you what to think” letter “f” on Facebook.

Some have said (including this author) that learning a new app and platform is just a giant pain in the rear. But it’s either that or get all content censored, stripped, and modified, and what’s the point of that?

This is America. We are supposed to have freedoms. Facebook and Twitter are supposed to be platforms, not publishers. They’re overstepping their boundaries, and no one is stopping them.

This is how they’ll be stopped. By people standing up and saying NO. We won’t be censored. We won’t be told what to think, what to read, who to listen to.

Here’s some help learning how to use Parler, compliments of good ol’ YouTube.

And if you’re worried about losing all your content on Facebook, here’s some help with that.

Here’s to freedom. Here’s to America.

Hopefully we’ll see you over on Parler: @LawEnforcementTodayLET

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More big tech censorship: Police wife loses Facebook account for life for her support of police

November 4, 2020

EL PASO, TXLaw Enforcement Today has been telling you about incidents of censorship in big tech and social media.

Now we have learned of another instance of this censorship, but this time it’s even more extreme.

Ruth Holmes, the wife of a police officer in Texas, had her Facebook account disabled Monday. She received absolutely no warning, which is infuriating to her.

She lost all the photos and videos of her children since she first started her account in 2009, as well as videos with her father that she posted before he was diagnosed with dementia.

While that’s incredibly upsetting, that’s not even the worst part. 

IMG_9499 from Leah Anaya on Vimeo.

The post that earned her getting banned? It was her final post, according to Facebook, which validated their “Community Standards.”

The post was of the El Paso hills, which are illuminated with a huge blue star. It’s the “star of El Paso going Blue to Support and Honor our Law Enforcement.”

texas house
Compliments of Ruth Holmes

The other part of her post was a video.

A video of her children.

A video of her children waving a thin blue line American flag and saying:

“Back the blue!”

That’s it.

texas house
Compliments of Ruth Holmes

Ruth tried to fight the decision, but Facebook notified her that they “cannot review the decision to disable” her account, because her account “did not follow…Community Standards.”

There’s no hope for her to recover it or the photos, videos, comments, or memories on it. Facebook said:

“This decision cannot be reversed.”

Report: Facebook admits in court filings its "fact checks" are merely opinion - and now everything is in question
Compliments of Ruth Holmes

This author has searched tirelessly on Facebook’s “Community Standards” and was unable to find any possible scenario where Ruth’s post violated anything.

What’s more, how is it completely out of Facebook’s hands to even consider reviewing the decision?

Ruth opened a new Facebook account and started all over. In her first post, she said:

“Hi everyone, this is not a fake account. It’s really me, Ruth. Facebook disabled my account…without a warning, without a message….it’s all gone for good and won’t let me recover it. All my videos of my kids, baby pics, my dad…all the memories that Ive posted since creating a FB profile in 09 are now all gone…..
 
“I can’t get those back.
 
“The reason? My last post. A picture of the star of my city of El Paso going Blue to Support and Honor our Law Enforcement and my kids. My kids, holding the Thin Blue Line flag in our front porch and a Back The Blue Hashtag. That was the trigger…..
 
“FB censored me and said I ‘severely violated’ their community standards.
 
“Those of you that know me, know that I’ve always tried to be positive and respect everyone no matter your beliefs. There’s people truly spreading hate, but they don’t get censored. They don’t get deleted.
 
“Everything is gone….I messaged FB and it said they won’t review. There was absolutely NOTHING that went against community standards. I have NEVER posted something that went against community standards….NOTHING. 
 
“But the censorship, is strong. If you are a LEO supporter, you will be censored. FYI.”

She told Law Enforcement Today:

“I honestly cannot believe how my kids holding the thin blue line and my porch/El Paso Star going blue was Offensive at all. I’ve had that account for 12 years. Had videos of my kids, my dad before he got dementia, conversations with friends who are now deceased and I can’t get those back.

“I’ve been crying because I can’t believe it’s all gone. I guess if you support Law Enforcement or have conservative views, you will be censored and shut down without a warning.”

In another post on her new Facebook page, Ruth said:

“I still can’t believe that 12 years of having my FB account….is all gone in a second. The memories, the videos of my dad before he got sick, videos of my kids learning to walk, messages from loved ones who are now deceased….gone. All because I didn’t fit FB’s narrative and was censored.

“Please friends, back EVERYTHING up. We are being silenced and censored.

“Also, no matter who wins this election…please stay kind. Remember, we belong to the Lamb.”
 

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