When a media organization tells you a story has been carefully “fact-checked,” readers on the Left and Right usually take that assurance with a large shaker of salt and a suspicious chuckle. But these so-called “fact-checks” determine what you can and cannot read from these outlets. They pretend to be smarter than you.
But Facebook has now admitted that their own “fact-checking” certainly does not live up to the claim but are rather just opinions. The social media behemoth was forced to concede this in legal documents for a court case from noted libertarian journalist John Stossel who questioned the reliability of their fact checking. While Facebook admitted it outsources its “fact-checking” to third parties, it refuses to stand behind the very claims they rely on that keeps you from reading things they disagree with. Facebook’s own lawyers make the bold claim the “fact-checks” are nothing more than “protected opinion” of left-wing organizations and are therefore valid because “opinion is protected under the First Amendment.
Is Facebook admitting here that its “fact checks” are not really “fact” checks at all, but merely opinion assertions? Also, by FB claiming its labels constitute “opinions” then doesn’t that make it a publisher? https://t.co/ipCwXnnSvr pic.twitter.com/hOcjFRnCT2
— Nick Short (@PoliticalShort) December 11, 2021
Stossel has long been a critic of how Facebook and other social media giants regularly (and falsely) take it upon themselves to determine for the rest of us what is true and false.
A company that does not believe you are smart or wise enough to determine what is true for yourself, that doesn’t trust you to be able to sort out the debated facts for yourself and make up your own mind, is a company that is not your friend.
And by Facebook’s own admission, it turns out we have very good reason to question and mistrust the “fact-checkers.” When fact-checked by the court, even Facebook had to admit their so-called truth-claims merely “constitute protected opinion.”
Buyer beware remains wise advice for the discerning reader and social media giants should stop the charade of pretending to be our protectors.
Photo from Shutterstock.