The stunning admission about the nature of fact-checks was made by Meta in a court filing
Facebook Quietly Admits in Court Filing that ‘Fact Checks’ Are Actually Just Opinion
Legally speaking, third-party fact-checks used on Meta’s social network Facebook are just ‘opinions’ and not statements of fact, according to the tech company. It earlier said it reserves the right to fact-check opinion pieces.
The stunning admission about the nature of fact-checks was made by Meta in a court filing in a case brought against the social network by libertarian pundit John Stossel.
In a suit filed in September, Stossel claimed that Facebook and a third-party vendor defamed him, by labeling a video about wildfires he posted on his page. The label read: “Missing Context. Independent fact-checkers say this information could mislead people,” and urged readers to click a button to “see why.” The link led to an explanation debunking a claim, which Stossel said he never made in his video.
Defending its fact-checking process before a US district court in California, Meta explained that the labels used by Facebook “are neither false nor defamatory; to the contrary, they constitute protected opinion.” The same is true for the explanations that the labels link to, the filing argued.