Facebook has finally admitted the truth: The “fact checks” that social media uses to monitor what Americans read and watch are just “opinions.”
This is thanks to a lawsuit brought by famous journalist John Stossel, who denounced the left’s alleged battle against “disinformation” as a farce.
Stossel posted a pair of videos that touched on the third rail of liberal policy – climate change. Neither asked if climate change was real, but each spoke about other issues, namely forest management and the use of technology to adapt. Still, the third party Facebook hired to review these articles, Science Feedback, flagged them as “fake” or our favorite, “without context.”
Why? Science Feedback didn’t like Stossel’s “tone”. That is, you can’t write anything about climate change unless you say it’s the worst disaster in human history and we have to spend billions of dollars to fight it.
For this, Facebook bans or downplays Stossel’s reporting, depriving him of readers and income.
Then, when he is sued, Facebook raises its hand and says “not our problem!” His real beef is with Science Feedback, you see; we wash our hands of it.
As for that “fact-checking” label that we slapped on your room? In Facebook’s response to Stossel, he argues, well, that’s an opinion protected under the First Amendment.
The Post has too often faced this same challenge. In February 2020, we published a column by Steven W. Mosher asking if COVID-19 had escaped from the Wuhan lab. This has been called “bogus” by Facebook fact checkers.
Of course, these supposedly “independent” scientific reviewers relied on a panel of experts who had a vested interest in rejecting this theory – including EcoHealth, which had funded the Wuhan lab.
When Twitter “checked the facts” and blocked The Post stories on Hunter Biden’s laptop as “pirated material”, what was the basis? Nothing. It was not hacked; company staff just wanted an excuse. I guess they didn’t like our tone.
In both of these cases our “fact checks” were lifted, but only after it no longer mattered.
The fact-checking industry is funded by liberal tycoons like George Soros, government-funded nonprofits, and the tech giants themselves. Controllers are not the impartial arbiter of truth; they are useful distractions, groups that Facebook can use to shirk responsibility. To hell with freedom of expression.