I just sued Facebook.
I didn’t want to sue. I hate lawsuits. I tried for a year to reach someone at Facebook to fix things, but Facebook wouldn’t.
Here’s the problem: Facebook uses “independent fact-checkers” to try to reduce fake news on their site.
That’s a noble goal.
Unfortunately, at least one Facebook “fact-checker” is a climate-alarmist group that cleverly uses its Facebook connections to stop debate.
Facebook is a private company. It has every right to cut me off.
But Facebook does not have the right to just lie about me, yet that’s exactly what Facebook and its “fact-checker” did. That’s defamation, and it’s just wrong.
My video this week shows videos that Facebook throttled.
The defamation started with the fact-checker, a group called Climate Feedback. They didn’t like that my video reported facts suggesting that government mismanagement probably played a bigger role in causing California’s wildfires than climate change.
Climate Feedback got Facebook to censor this as “misleading” and link to a page that still declares the following quote misleading: “Forest fires are caused by poor management. Not by climate change.”
As if that were something I said.
But I didn’t! I never said that.
In fact, I said: “Climate change has made things worse. California has warmed 3 degrees.”
I’ve worked at NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox. All would have fired me if I falsely attributed a quote!
I emailed Climate Feedback’s editor. She didn’t respond. But two of three scientists listed as their “reviewers” agreed to interviews.
Stefan Doerr of Swansea University surprised me by saying he’d never even watched my video!
“If this is implying that we have reviewed the video,” said Doerr, “this is clearly wrong.”
Another reviewer, Zeke Hausfather of The Breakthrough Institute, hadn’t seen the video either. “I certainly did not write a Climate Feedback piece reviewing your segment.”
After he watched it, I asked, “Is (misleading) a fair label?”
“I don’t necessarily think so,” he replied. “While there are plenty of debates around how much to emphasize fire management versus climate change, your piece clearly discussed that both were at fault.”
Still, neither Climate Feedback nor Facebook will change their smear.
Then things got worse. I re-aired a video on climate change myths titled “Are We Doomed?”
Three climate scientists argue that we are not “doomed” because we can adapt to climate change. They invited climate alarmists to debate them. None would.
Climate Feedback got Facebook to throttle that video, too, and declare it “partly false.” Why?
Only one of their reviewers agreed to an interview.
Patrick Brown of San Jose State University didn’t like that my video suggests America can adjust to rising sea levels. He claimed sea levels could rise 200 feet.
“You’re citing an extreme,” I point out. “The (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) doesn’t consider that likely.”
“I don’t know if they assess sea level rise out to 1,000 years,” he responds.
It’s absurd that Facebook lets Climate Feedback censor me over something that might happen in 1,000 years.
Climate Feedback also cited my video for questioning the claim that hurricanes have gotten stronger.
But Brown, Climate Feedback’s own reviewer, said, “That’s wrong that you were criticized for saying that. … The IPCC (doesn’t) claim that (hurricanes) … are increasing.”
Later, Brown told us I was cited for “omission of contextual information, rather than specific ‘facts’ being ‘wrong.'”
So, their “fact-check” wasn’t about actual facts?
Still, they rated my video “partly false,” which Facebook defines as content that “includes some factual inaccuracies.” My video did not contain any factual inaccuracies, and they know it.
Climate Feedback and its parent group, Science Feedback, use Facebook to censor lots of responsible people, such as science writers John Tierney, Michael Shellenberger and Bjorn Lomborg.
Facebook has every right to choose who can use its platform.
But Facebook does not have a legal right to knowingly and recklessly lie about what I say. That’s defamation.
I hope my lawsuit will make them think twice about doing it again — to me or to anyone else.
Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels
32 thoughts on “Smeared”
Good job. I like watching your videos and am interested in some of your videos, of corse not all but try to always try to look at all opinions, even ones I disagree with.
Facebook’s censors/fact checkers often get it wrong. You can request a review but you never actually can contact a PERSON to explain the error or sill block etc. (One time I had a photo of a Russian air car. (A car that runs on ice using a propeller and airplane engine). I shared the photo with my caption, “Crazy Russians” and was blocked for 30 days. If you do not understand WHY you were blocked or something is misleading….there is noone to ask or clarify or correct ANYTHING. Typically, 99 pct of ALL censures and blocks are against conservatives/Republicans.
Are we witnessing the end of an era?
Debate was always a hallmark of democracy and led to an open and sometimes heated exchange of ideas. An indepth look into both sides of an issue always leads to the more informed decision. Now with fact checkers suppressing anyone with a differing view it becomes one sided and this is being played out in our schools and universities as well as social media.
Hopefully you are successful and others follow your example and we can stop the oppression of free thought and the exchange of ideas.
Sue the F#$@ out of Facebook. I’m on my 7th stint in Facebook jail because Facebook is the modern day Book Burning Thought Police Nazi’s. Zuckerberg should be in prison or exiled back to whatever alien planet he was capped out of.
I support you 100 % and hope that the courts agree.
Please add me to your email list.
Thanks I love your content.
They should remove Climate Feedback as a fact checker and suspend them form
Facebook for being manipulative and for falsely claiming scientists reviewed your video
That makes the most sense out of everything here. The “fact checkers” need to be held accountable -in addition to Facebook who doesn’t appear to have a reasonable policy for contesting a claim.
Realistically, there is no way for these social media companies to accurately censor or tag misinformation. They need to allow the free market of ideas to work.
Go John. Wish you success
Another issue I’ve had with Facebook was being banned for up to 30 days because of their opinion that I’ve violated their Kommunity StandardZZ. On 2 occassions, I’ve appealed their decision and they agreed that my post didn’t actually violate their standards and they allowed my post to stay, BUT they left the ban in place with NO explanation. I’ve emailed them repeatedly and had ZERO replies. WTH?!?!
Just Awesome. I hope you nail them for it. It is time they get slapped. Financially is the only way to get them. Enough lawsuit losses and they will stop this bogus fact checking. Thanks for doing it and good luck!
Good for you! I love your stuff.You ways dig through all sides. Keep up the good work and I am praying iys a sizable amount to make them truly think twice before slamming half the country for also having a brain and not just for disagreeing with them .
Sadly, you are barking up a criminal based tree. From the proven active protection of criminal scammers, proven discrimination against the male gender, and extremely shoddy attempts at “fact checking”, ALL the way to the proven silencing of free speech which NO ONE is allowed to do, facebook will never comply.
They will only ever offer an out of court settlement in the hopes that the problem goes away. The very next morning it will be criminal business as usual with that shoddy excuse for a website.
You did not bring in enough ad revenue for facebook. That is more than likely why they told their uneducated “review board” to actively silence your content.
I bet it had literally nothing to do with any actual review of any actual content. I give facebook 5 years left to exist. Because their legal troubles have only increased dramatically the last 6 years, with no signs of slowing down.
Give ’em Hell! And thank you.
Wow! I follow gentle Facebook items and at various times they are cut off! Grrr
Mr. Stossell. I appreciate your non bias reporting. Seems few and far between these days. So many media outlets are obviously affiliated with certain political parties and their lobby. I like that you bring out multiple view points that have merit and let the reader decide for themselves what to agree or disagree with and mind direction what to study further. Your method is obviously not popular with the main stream news outlets, but it is with the free thinkers of the day. So I wish you the best in your legal effort to defend your freedom and those of the public interested in open discourse and dialogue.
This is the road to communism! They are always lying and smashing the small guy.
Good for you John. Someone has to stand up to these so called “experts”. If they say “some information is non factual” they need to explain what it is and why…..not just shut it down.I had an article that was 100% factual by my own actions and they said it contained some non factual info…..I would like to know what that was….but of course “they” don’t have to be truthful. People are soooo gullible on facebook.
Sue the living snot out of them!! They are controlled by the Far Leftwing Extremist Fringe Kookettes and need to be taken out and beaten to within an inch of their lives. At this point in time…I fail to see that they are a private company anymore than any public utility. Zuck is a twat of the worst sort and its long long long past time that they are “corrected”.
Stay strong. I find it ironic… I barely heard about your lawsuit or struggles until you went public. Now all of a sudden I see it EVERYWHERE on my Facebook page and other social media outlets. It’s almost like they’re trying to prove they’re not limiting your reach. I think you need to pull public records requests (or whatever you can pull) showing the reach of your publicized videos/articles before and after the filing of your lawsuit.
I small a rat. A dirty rat. I follow An0maly on Facebook who is a conservative commentator, however is now barely viewable on Facebook. He has a primarily faith based right-leaning opinion, however he has all but disappeared from my feed over the last year because of his right-leaning opinion.
As an right leaning moderate for the last 30 years, I find it frustrating that the media and social medial prevents me from being able to see and hear from differing opinions that are being publicizing.
It is not only defamation, it is censorship!
I’m so glad you are doing this, John Stossel! I am a nobody who shares a lot of published information that Facebook occasionally declares to be false. The most recent “fact-check” article they linked to was ridiculous and not specific to my post. It doesn’t hurt me in any tangible way, but it’s wildly disturbing to see and hear of this happening to professionals who are sharing information that could be immensely valuable. Best wishes! I hope more lawsuits are on the way. Stand together!
For what are you suing? For them to reverse their decision? Financial penalty? (And if so, how much??
Please be relentless in this endeavor to sue and penalize FB. We appreciate your honest and diligent reporting.
It is amazing how often people are misquoted or have comments falsely attributed to them. Most appear to be relatively harmless, but some, as in this case can have real consequences. I am also enraged by the condescension of these rich techsters to the public. Go get ’em John.
I hope you win the law suit, because they do that to everyone who does not agree with their agenda, which is Mostly lies.
As for as your videos, I like them and I believe everything you say because I know you know the truth about any subject you’re talking about.
What the shame is, they fact check truths while letting scammers scam FB users out of 1000’s or probably way more money than that. I’ve been scammed several times out of 100’s of dollars and FB allows it.
There is so much Fake news, Fake information, And most of all FAKE FACT CHECKERS that twist the truth. Keep telling truths and one will keep getting fact checked. God Bless America and God Bless You, John Stossel.
Just yesterday I saw a meme on Facebook showing an illustration of Paul Revere on his ride, shouting “The British are coming!” with a caption that Facebook fact checkers labelled this partly false because not ALL the British were coming, only the army was coming”. They aren’t fact-checkers, they’re fact-choosers and the difference between the two is gargantuan.
I hope you win John
I hope you win too, John. I also hope others sue the hxxx out of Facebook. Who made them in charge of what we can say? We have freedom of speech in this country. Each individual should do their research to determine if comments are true.
I wish there was a better answer to the problems associated with social media than, “It’s their platform. They have a right to do what they want with it.” These entities have far too much power from unearned influence, as can be seen with the results of the last election. Even with the fraud and illegal votes, the election should never have been so close, but the two largest social media platforms used fake data to influence voters. This needs to be managed better even if it means writing new laws or another amendment to the Constitution. But with the current administration and Congress, I don’t see that happening. They have power and they are not going to let it go easily.
If our forefathers could have predicted the detrimental impact that social media has had on our Republic, I can guarantee that they would have already put a measure in place to control it. Now, it’s up to us, We the People, to fix what they couldn’t have predicted. I hope to God Almighty that we have the strength, wisdom, and perseverance needed to meet this challenge.
Good for you. I have often wanted to sue Facebook but do not have the funds.
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