19

Multiple websites and media say:

Facebook claims its 'fact-check' are just protected opinions, according to Facebook's legal team.

However, I have not found any official Facebook sources for this claim. Has Facebook's legal team said something similar?

14
  • 15
    In law, all sorts of things are legally "just opinions". Jun 2 at 13:39
  • 4
    The question seems to imply this would be remarkable in some way. arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/09/… has the actual text of the fact check; "speakers in the video rely on several inaccurate claims and use imprecise language that misleads viewers about the scientific understanding of climate change" sure sounds like an opinion.
    – ceejayoz
    Jun 2 at 13:48
  • 7
    FYI, Newsmax isn't considered a reliable source. mediabiasfactcheck.com/newsmax-bias-credibilty-reliability I don't think that's justification for it being off-topic for this site. I just want people to consider their sources before believing them and to do their own research before posting a question on this site. Jun 2 at 16:10
  • 7
    @computercarguy People are also free to be skeptic about factcheck organizations and their opinions.
    – High GPA
    Jun 2 at 18:13
  • 4
    @computercarguy The linked question is closed and the best answer is skeptic about your claims: "you are focused almost entirely on what various authorities are saying about this site". Of course you are free to hold any opinion and you are not responsible for the opinions.
    – High GPA
    Jun 2 at 18:55

1 Answer 1

23

In Stossel v Facebook et al (US District Court, Northern California), Meta/Facebook filed a document on 29 November 2021 stating:

...Stossel’s claims focus on the fact-check articles written by Climate Feedback, not the labels affixed through the Facebook platform. The labels themselves are neither false nor defamatory; to the contrary, they constitute protected opinion.

The document was signed by Sonal N. Mehta signing as "Attorney for Defendant Meta Platforms, Inc."

So in the court filing Ms. Mehta is expressing that the labels “Altered”, “Missing Context”, “False”, and “Partly False” are opinion. She is not stating that the explanations of why the labels are given is purely opinion.

(alternative source for the court filing document)

13
  • 9
    Is there a source for this document that's not the blog site "Watts Up With That?" or Scribd?
    – Laurel
    Jun 2 at 0:27
  • 3
    @Laurel not without registering I don't think. There is unicourt.com/case/pc-db5-stossel-v-facebook-inc-et-al-1026537 and pacermonitor.com/public/case/41954864/…
    – DavePhD
    Jun 2 at 1:26
  • 9
    Note that this was about a very small subset of Facebook's "fact checks", specifically those that assert that the claim is deceptive or missing important context and where that label was accompanied by an explanation of the factual basis for that assertion, a factual basis that is indisputably true, for example, "factcheckers say this information is missing context and could mislead people" (with links to them saying just that). Jun 2 at 8:12
  • 29
    @DavidSchwartz: The Stossel "fact check" does seem like Facebook's opinion; that a large corporation would defend a defamation suit by claiming that they're voicing an opinion seems very plausible and unremarkable to me. Jun 2 at 12:14
  • 5
    For those without access to Law360, it's page 10 of the main document of document #27 on the recap page: courtlistener.com/docket/60415705/stossel-v-meta-platforms-inc/… Jun 3 at 0:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .