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Facebook asserts in a court filing that ‘fact checks’ created by third-party organizations and used to remove content or to suspend users are nothing more than ‘protected opinions’

facebook fact checks protected opinion court filing
Source: Twitter / Disclose TV

Meta Platforms, formerly known as Facebook, has admitted in a court filing that its fact checks are merely “protected opinions.”  The court filing was entered in response to a lawsuit filed by the Libertarian pundit John Stossel, who claimed that one of Facebook’s “fact checks” inserted on a video defamed him and was misleading.

Court filing: Facebook fact checks were “protected opinions”

In response, Facebook argued that the so-called “fact check” was actually an “opinion” rather than an actual check and statement of the facts. Opinions are protected from libel accusations, releasing the person or entity that made the statements from liability. On the other hand, statements labeled as fact make the person or entity making them subject to a libel lawsuit for defamation.

Whatever decision is made by the court, the filing and the lawsuit are a public relations disaster for Meta Platforms. The statement in the court filing that the so-called “fact checks” are nothing but “protected opinions” places Facebook in a precarious position.

A problem for Meta Platforms

If the court doesn’t agree with the claim made by Meta Platforms’ attorneys, then the company is liable for libel and defamation of character. On the other hand, if the court does accept their claim, then it indicates that Meta Platforms has long been misleading its users by claiming that its fact checks were actual checks of the facts rather than someone’s opinion.

Meta Platforms doesn’t actually carry out the tasks it refers to as fact checking. The company hires outside, left-leaning parties to supposedly check the facts. For anyone who doesn’t hold views in line with the liberal left, it may seem obvious for some time that the social network has its own agenda.

The court filing stating that its so-called “fact checks” are merely opinions proves that Meta Platforms doesn’t do any fact checking at all.

About the author

Michelle Jones

Michelle Jones was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama, and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Michelle covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.

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