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Danny Johnston Conservative-libertarian journalist John Stossel suing Facebook for two million dollars is a good start — but only a start.
Variety reported late last week that the popular TV and internet personality seeks damages of no less than $2 million for defamtion via the company’s fact-checking system.
The suit, filed in the Northern District of California court by Dhillon Law Group, asks: Do Facebook and its vendors defame a user who posts factually accurate content, when they publicly announce that the content failed a “fact-check” and is “partly false,” and by attributing to the user a false claim that he never made? “The answer,” the suit states, “is yes.”
Stossel and his attorneys argue that “Facebook and its ‘fact-check’ vendors are currently serving as judge, jury, and executioner regarding whether users are on the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ side of a complex scientific debate.”
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The suit involves two climate change videos that caught the ire of Facebook’s fact-checkers: In one video, “Government Fueled Fires,” about the 2020 wildfires in California, Facebook and its fact-checking partners “falsely attributed to Stossel a claim he never made, and on that basis flagged the content as ‘misleading’ and ‘missing context,’ so that would-be viewers would be routed to the false attribution statement.” The complaint says that Stossel’s video “explored a scientific hypothesis” that “while climate change undoubtedly contributes to forest fires, it was not the primary cause of the 2020 California fires.” Per the suit, Stossel says he never made the claim that “Forest fires are caused by poor management. Not by climate change,” which was in Facebook’s fact-check. Stossel’s suit says Facebook uses “the pretext of a ‘fact-check’ to affix disparaging labels to the content, or to expressly mischaracterize the content,” even when they know the content is not untrue.
Furthermore, there is “no meaningful avenue to contest these unilateral decisions” and that Facebook “refused to correct their speech, and intentionally left the false attribution online for anyone to see.”
Stossel’s “viewership plummeted due to both Facebook’s censorship and the reputational harm caused by […]
One Sick Day Proves We Need More Voices in Truthful Media
On October 19, I was sick. It crossed my mind that I had finally gotten the ‘rona, but my wife’s cream of chicken soup and a few extra hours of sleep into mid-afternoon had be back up and running after a sleepless night before.
When I finally stumbled over to my computer in the evening, I was met with a deluge of concern from readers. They asked what had happened as only one article had been posted that day. Generally, we post between 10-20 daily between all of the sites, not included curated and aggregated content. Seeing that we’d only posted my super-early morning article before taking the rest of the day off had readers assuming the worst.
We have a wonderful and talented group of writers who volunteer their time for the sites and their readers. Sharing their amazing perspectives has always been a blessing to us because we cannot afford to hire anyone at this time. But having great writers is meaningless if we don’t have great editors, or at least one additional. My wife helps me read and edit stories from time to time, but I’m a one-man show when it comes to getting the stories posted.
Whenever I highlight our desperate need for donations, I note that we do not receive money from Google ads even though most in conservative media are beholden. I often ambiguously note that the money donated will help us grow. Today, I’m highlighting a specific need. We must get an editor to help take some of the load and to expand on our mission of spreading the truth to the world. One sick day proved that.
The great news is that there is no shortage of people who CAN help. I am emailed variations of resumes every week by people who are much smarter than I am. As much as I’d love to hire some of them, we simply cannot. That takes money and as blessed as we’ve been to receive donations and collect ad money (though not from Google or Facebook), we have still fallen short.
Those who have the means, PLEASE consider donating. We have the standard Giving Fuel option and people can donate through PayPal. We are also diving into what we believe is extremely disruptive technology at LetsGo.finance, the world’s first major donation portal for crypto. I’ll be talking a lot more about them in the near future. Those who prefer Bitcoin can send to my address here: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
We can get the voices out there and we’re willing to shine a spotlight on new talent. We just need the resources to make it happen. If you can help, we would be extremely grateful.
Thank you and God bless!
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JD Rucker – EIC