John Stossel of ABC News, sued Facebook, after they incorrectly labeled a video he posted as “mostly false”. His lawsuit stated that Facebook’s incorrect “fact check” was defamation of character. Facebook’s lawyers say the “fact checks” aren’t really “fact checks” at all, but are just an opinion, which are not defamation.
Some noteworthy parts are, Section 75:
75. Incredibly, Climate Feedback also claimed it had no obligation to actually review Stossel’s content before publicly disparaging it, stating “it is not necessary to create a separate claim review article for each post we rate.”
90. In other words, Defendants’ false labels of Stossel’s reporting were based on perceived implications that Defendants drew from the true facts stated in Stossel’s report – not on false facts.
91. The reality that facts are not the subject of Defendants’ “fact-checks” was yet again confirmed by Climate Feedback’s own scientist reviewers – this time, in an interview Stossel conducted of Patrick Brown, Assistant Professor of San Jose State University, and one of the scientists who analyzed the Alarmism Video at Climate Feedback’s request.
93. When Stossel again asked Brown why Defendants had labelled the Alarmism Video “partly false,” Brown stated “you get… flagged for downplaying that climate change is a problem at all… it’s a tonal thing, I guess.”
94. Following the interview, Brown emailed Stossel stating that “the problem is the omission of contextual information rather than specific ‘facts’ being ‘wrong’.”
95. Similarly, one of Climate Feedback’s reviewers told Stossel that “broader claims are being disputed,” rather than false facts.
96. In light of Defendants’ own definition of the “partly false” label as content that “includes some factual inaccuracies,” Defendants defamed Stossel when they stated that his report contained factual inaccuracies, even though they knew it did not.
98: As the foregoing facts confirm, Defendants’ “fact-check” process is nothing more than a pretext used by Defendants to defame users with impunity, particularly when Defendants disagree with the scientific opinions expressed in user content. Often, the pretext appears to be invoked based on implicit or explicit viewpoint biases.
99. Indeed, the available information suggests that Defendants perform negative “fact checks” of content posted by those who opine that climate change is a manageable problem three times more often than they perform negative “fact-checks” on climate change alarmists. Moreover, Defendants appear to have labeled Stossel’s Fire Video sight-unseen simply because it contained an interview of an environmentalist with whose scientific opinions Defendants disagreed.