October 5, 2021

This week, all the 24/7 news channels could have a theme: “All Facebook, all the time!”

But in a week with so much dramatic Facebook news –- including a whistleblower on 60 MINUTES accusing them of exploiting hate and misinformation for profit and a crashing halt to their platform for six hours on Monday –- it might be just as important to focus on what some would see as a smaller story: the $2 million defamation lawsuit filed against the Big Tech behemoth by veteran investigative reporter John Stossel. You’ll know immediately whose side we’re on, as we’ve also had it up to HERE with so-called independent “fact”-checkers –- both the “official” ones who get paid to distort the truth and the pajama-clad partisans with nothing else to do but sit and snark. We applaud Stossel for refusing to take it.

Stossel has 19 Emmys to his name. He’s the former host of ABC’s 20/20, STOSSEL ON REASON, and his own show on FOX BUSINESS NEWS. He’s currently the creator and host of STOSSEL TV. He’s also the author of several bestselling books. And yet to put his reports on Facebook, even he has to gain the approval of partisan, agenda-driven gatekeepers.

He appeared Monday evening on FOX NEWS PRIMETIME with this week’s host Ben Domenech. Stossel’s problem with Facebook started when he posted a couple of videos about climate change and the California wildfires. Stossel says some “fact”-checkers from the team Climate Feedback, a spin-off of parent group Science Feedback, twisted his words so they could flag his posts as “misleading.” It’s incredibly easy to distort what somebody said so you can argue against THAT, rather than what they actually said. We’ve had to deal with that ourselves; in fact, it happened to us last week, with our story on the Maricopa County forensic audit report. So we were very interested in what Stossel had to say.

On his website, Stossel notes that Science/Climate Feedback uses Facebook to censor “lots of responsible people, such as science writers John Tierney, Michael Shellenberger and Bjorn Lomborg."

He explained to Domenech that the reason he’d left FOX NEWS was to do independent reports like the ones that had been posted to Facebook. “And I’m very careful about what I say,” he said. These “fact”-checkers, hired by the Poynter Institute, described by him as “a lefty group,” are so alarmed about climate change that they won’t allow anyone to even postulate, “Well, maybe we can adjust to this.” Stossel accuses them of actually manufacturing a misleading quote --- even putting quotation marks around it.

We thought it might be fun to look up the Poynter Institute and their International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), so we did and found their “Code Of Principles,” which include “A Commitment to Non-Partisanship and Fairness” and “A Commitment to Open and Honest Corrections.” Gosh, we love unintentional humor. Why, it looks as though John Stossel is accusing the “fact”-checkers of violating their own principles as stated right there on their own website. I wonder how well their “Code of Principles” would stand up to a fact-check.

Anyway, Stossel said the fakery was pointed out to the “fact”-checkers and also to Facebook but that it wasn’t taken down. “And that’s just lying about me,” he said. It didn’t matter –- reviewers labeled Stossel’s piece “FALSE.”

Stossel was able to get interviews with a couple of the reviewers and showed them the original video posts. (That’s rare, by the way; usually there’s no way to appeal these actions, and they don’t even tell you what they find objectionable.) The reviewers told him, “Oh, we never watched that.” So Stossel got “black marks” for something he never said and the reviewers hadn’t looked at.

What’s the significance of this? As Stossel explained, when you get two “black marks,” Facebook cuts off your views. In the case of Stossel’s climate videos, that’s 24 million. “Now, I don’t get anything like I used to,” he said. And, of course, that was exactly the idea, as the powers that be have no room for dissenting opinion. “...I’m being punished by these idiot ‘fact’-checkers,” he said.

In his lawsuit, Stossel claims the “fact”-checkers never actually challenged any facts in his videos, adding that their process “is nothing more than a defame users with impunity, particularly when Defendants disagree with the scientific opinions expressed in user content.” He's saying what we’ve said for a long time: they’re not checking facts; they’re checking opinions. (In case you wondered, that's why we keep putting quotation marks around the word "fact.")

Stossel believes Facebook should, first off, fire Climate Feedback “because they are silencing a lot of good science reporters.” That activity does seem to be spreading these days, infecting social media like some kind of...well, virus.

Matt Agorist wrote about Stossel’s lawsuit for THE FREE THOUGHT PROJECT.

Apparently TFTP has had a lot of trouble with this, too. As Agorist writes, “THE FREE THOUGHT PROJECT knows this process all too well as we have a target on our backs and we have successfully refuted and overturned nearly every fact check from the outlets who respond to our appeals. But even after the fact check is reversed, the damage is done.” He explains that even when there is vindication, users are never notified of that.

This can happen to you, he says, even when your content is “100 percent factual.”

Agorist’s piece has more details about what Stossel said vs. what he was purported to say. The “fact"-checkers flagged Stossel’s content as “misleading” and --- our favorite --- “missing context.” Stossel alleges that what they did has ruined his business model after his “viewership plummeted,” and he also cites “reputational harm.”

According to Agorist, THE FREE THOUGHT PROJECT had a similar experience with some perfectly accurate information they posted about COVID when their commentary was falsely linked to a conspiracy theory having to do with 5G wireless signals. TFTP had said nothing about 5G, but by creating that link out of thin air, "fact"-checkers were able to label the commentary “false.”

Facebook is reportedly standing by its “fact”-checkers regardless of their bias. They told VARIETY that they believe Stossel’s case is “without merit,” proclaiming, “We will defend ourselves vigorously against the allegations.”

Agorist mentions the Hunter Biden laptop scandal as just one example of social media “fact”-checking leading to censorship of accurate and potentially game-changing information. (I would add that according to one recent poll, 16 percent of Biden voters said they wouldn’t have voted for him if they’d known of his family’s dicey foreign business dealings.) You’d think that after they’d been proven so utterly wrong, "fact"-checkers wouldn’t be taken seriously any more, but they work in service to an agenda so the truth hardly matters.

We wish John Stossel well with his litigation. In fact, we’ll give him the last word, by linking to his website, where he gives his side and shows the videos that were flagged.

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Comments 1-10 of 25

  • Liz Rome

    10/06/2021 10:34 PM

    Dear Governor,
    Thank you for the detailed story about Facebook and John Stossel's lawsuit. For me, this hows how VERY much we (conservatives) need an alternate to Facebook. Let's get one--soon!
    Liz Rome

  • Karen McGivney

    10/06/2021 09:59 AM

    Governor Huckabee I can’t tell you how much I appreciate what you do!!!
    I have one chief concern above all of the madness. We do not have secure real elections. The Dominion voting machines need to be removed from the process. There’s no way that Newsome legally won 2 to 1 as unpopular as he is.
    I have lost all reason to try and participate in a rigged system based upon voting. Our votes have been usurped by a coup.
    Biden is in bed with China. China wants world dominion.
    It seems no one is working on the restoration of election integrity. But if we don’t have elections we have dictatorship the same as other 3rd world countries.
    I would love to see you address this and Congress!

  • JER ZE

    10/06/2021 09:41 AM

    We should all stand with Daystar. They are the only Christian programming that has the guts to stand up to these techs. If anyone had a problem in getting the truth out, DAYSTAR came to the rescue. They have walked with God through this whole pandemic to keep us all from fear and to keep us safe. Thank you Jesus for Daystar. They have backed the frontline doctors in getting the truth to the public regarding Covid and have stood with us through all of this. Even providing doctors, who have stood bravely against all evils and threats to stop them, to see to it that we get what we need. These doctors are amazing and thank heavens they still STAND to help us from harm of this shot. Thank you FRONTLINE DOCTORS AND DAYSTAR. God continue to protect you all. God Bless you!

  • tom jeffs

    10/06/2021 07:42 AM

    hey Mike:

    have you bought a piece of the building you broadcast from yet ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

    Greg Gutfield's coming and he's got a daily show - - - - - - -

    just wondering - - - - - - -

  • Sheryl Ree

    10/06/2021 01:32 AM

    I heard conservative talk show host Dana Loush (spelling?) saying today that while Facebook has shut her out many times and needs regulation, she fears the Democrats are baiting the Republicans into a trap - the trap being government control of media and free speech. Any kind of conservative or Christian media would then be shut down. She said that whistleblower is tied to Obama. Is there anything they don’t want to seize control of?

  • Linda Manley

    10/05/2021 08:47 PM

    Dear Gov. Huckabee,
    Thanks for the piece on John Stossel's Facebook law suit. Good for him and his courage to stand up to the "fact checker's" unmitigated bias. I certainly hope it's the first suit of many against the "fake fact checkers!"
    Reading your newsletter is the highlight of my day, and I thank you for your dedication to America!

  • Carl T Smith

    10/05/2021 07:37 PM

    The Infantile Oligarchs who run Big Tech(Facebook, Twitter & Alphabet) have gained more power than the Government and that is the Track for Socialism to become a Permanent part of what would be left of the Republic. No Dorothy, America is NOT a DEMOCRACY though with big Tech Censorship and OMISSION allows Only the Point of View THEY DEEM Correct we might as well use the constitution as toilet paper.

  • Cynthia Bryant

    10/05/2021 07:10 PM

    In my opinion, the Facebook " whistleblower" is NOT a true whistleblower, but an "operative" (PROBABLY paid BIG money!) to rat out conservative and patriot voices so they can get the current government to cancel our first amendment rights even MORE!!!!!!! If "60 Minutes" is the propaganda platform interviewing someone, you can BET that that person is spewing the ideas THEY espouse....
    the Liberal Lunatic Leftist Narrative!

  • William Robinson

    10/05/2021 07:03 PM

    It really brought a smile to my face to read that Mr. Boogerburger lost billions over his site shutting down! It angered me to watch that smug little communist punk LIE to Congress, and get away with it. I have been following this lawsuit by DJT, hoping that those of us he censored over and over -- just because we stated FACTS that the little pencil-necked geek does not like -- hoping that somehow we could be properly compensated (and yes, that means us receiving a chunk of his billions)!!

  • Larry Smith

    10/05/2021 06:58 PM

    I'm going to side with Facebook. As much as I don't like the platform and don't participate, you have a CHOICE to do what you want. I'd bet that the powers to be ARE doing what they can to keep things fair and monitor questionable content, but they're fighting an uphill battle. Hard to control the postings of 60% of the world. I'd argue they have a legitimate claim against these whistle blowers.
    Carry on, Facebook.