Conservative activist Candace Owens is suing Facebook "fact-checkers" for defamation, the Daily Wire reports.
“It is time to fact-check the fact-checkers,” proclaimed Owens. “I’m going to put these suckers through discovery and figure out what the relationship is that they have with Facebook.”
Owens said that she decided to launch the lawsuit after her views on coronavirus were "fact-checked" on Facebook, despite her claim that the viewpoint was shared by doctors.
According to Owens, this fact-checking led to her Facebook page being demonetized, a fact which improves the prospects of her case significantly. While defamation laws vary by state, evidence of damages is generally required for a defamation suit to succeed, whereas in many other countries defamation only requires a false claim to have been made.
“Quite literally a doctor gave his opinion about COVID-19, which I shared, and Facebook issued a strike on my account because they said only information that they agree with about COVID-19 … was acceptable,” Owens said.
Facebook, like other social media giants, has been heavily criticized for their use of fact-checking, which many opponents describe as censorship. Social media giants have been repeatedly accused of targeting American conservatives in particular with allegations of spreading fake news. In some cases, big tech companies have outright banned, removed, or restricted content which turned out to be verifiably true, such as the New York Post's bombshell report on Hunter Biden's business dealings in October.
Owens herself had her account locked out of Twitter in October after posting screenshots of texts messages allegedly between Hunter Biden and his mother where he discusses allegations of sexual behavior with a minor.
As a result, social media company executives have been hauled before the US Senate, with Republicans grilling Facebook and Twitter over their censorship policies while Democrats demand more of it. Senator Josh Hawley has been a particularly vocal opponent of big tech among Republicans, calling for scaling back legal protections of social media companies and going as far as to suggest anti-trust law be applied.
Owens started a website to raise money for her suit, arguing that "[the] overlords of Big Tech are determining what Americans can and cannot say, share, like, and post. Support our legal efforts today as we fight back against Facebook’s fact-checkers, confronting those who are suppressing free speech, thought, and expression across our great country."