John Stossel sues Facebook, alleges defamation over ‘fact-check’ label

Former TV journalist John Stossel is seeking at least $2 million in damages from Facebook in a lawsuit alleging the social media platform defamed him with fact-checking label on two of his videos he posted about climate change. 

Stossel’s lawsuit says he posted two videos on Facebook with interviews of experts in climate change. One video on “Government Fueled Fires” about 2020 wildfires in California was flagged as ‘misleading’ and ‘missing context.’ The Facebook fact-check claimed Stossel’s video was about Stossel stating fires were caused by poor management and not climate change, which Stossel refutes that was said in the video (Variety).

The second video called “Are we Doomed” was labeled by Facebook as “partly false” and “factual inaccuracies” label. The video was in question because of ideas about alarmists claiming hurricanes are getting stronger and sea level rise is catastrophic. 

Stossel also put in the complaint that two organizations, Science Feedback and Climate Feedback are a part of the fact-checkers who helped put the label on his videos. Climate feedback, which dealt with one of his videos responded stating, “Stossel complains that we should not have rated his post using a claim review of a quote that does not appear in his video. This is a misunderstanding of how fact-checking partners operate on Facebook.”

Stossel claims after a fact-checking label was added to one of his videos, ad revenue generated from his videos dropped almost in half, from about $10,000 to $5,500. The lawsuit seeks general damages of at least $1 million and punitive damages of at least $1 million. A Facebook spokesperson has come out with a statement saying “we believe this case is without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously against the allegations.”




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