Free Speech

Conservative Commentator Candace Owens Sues USA Today and Fact-Checker "Lead Stories" for Libel

over allegedly false fact-checking "charging [Owens] with spreading misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic on the internet in 'an attempt to downplay the severity' of the pandemic."

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The case in Owens v. Lead Stories, LLC, just filed yesterday in Delaware state court; here's an excerpt:

1. This action arises from the Defendants' malicious publication of false "fact check" articles charging Plaintiffs with spreading misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic on the internet in "an attempt to downplay the severity" of the pandemic.

2. The Defendants wrongfully leveraged their power as Facebook ThirdParty Fact-Checking partners to place false or misleading information warning labels on Plaintiffs' posts for the purpose of redirecting web traffic away from Plaintiffs and directing it to their respective websites. By such a scheme, the Defendants sought to increase their number of clicks and advertising revenue by commandeering Plaintiffs' large Facebook following, enhance their status on the internet, and enhance their relationship with Facebook as Third-Party Fact-Checking partners.

I haven't looked at this closely enough to opine on the merits, but I thought it worth passing along to our readers; you can read the entire Complaint.