John Stossel, writing in the New York Post:
Recently, I sued [Facebook] because they defamed me. They, along with one of their “fact-checkers,” a group called Science Feedback, lied about me and continue to lie about me.
Now Facebook has responded to my lawsuit in court.
Amazingly, their lawyers now claim that Facebook’s “fact-checks” are merely “opinion” and therefore immune from defamation.
So Facebook has admitted that they are citing opinion articles for their “fact checks”. But it gets worse when you consider that Facebook is the one applying the labels:
Facebook’s warning was created by Facebook and posted in Facebook’s voice.
As Facebook’s own website says: “We … apply a warning label …”
I brought Facebook’s defamation to their attention a year ago, and they did nothing to correct it.
I did not want to sue Facebook. I hate lawsuits. But after they defamed me, I felt I had no choice.
The whole idea of social media companies applying “fact checking” to posts always felt like a terrible idea. And if cases like this are successful, it’s really going to bite them in the end.