Judge Tosses Candace Owens's Litigious Attempt To Turn Facebook Fact-Checking Into Defamation

from the have-you-met-the-First-Amendment? dept

Last year, Candace Owens (former Turning Point USA's communications director and current "conservative" author/commentator) sued both USA Today and Lead Stories LLC over fact-checking services they provide to Facebook. Owens claimed the labelling of her COVID-related Facebook posts as misinformation caused her to lose ad revenue and hampered her ability to promote her new book.

Here's the background on the case from ABC News (which chose not to publish the court document, so here's a link to Justia, which did):

Lead Stories published an article in April 2020 fact-checking a Facebook post in which Owens claimed that the way U.S. government officials counted COVID-19 deaths overstated the scope and dangers of the pandemic. The Lead Stories article labeled Owens’ post with the terms “Hoax Alert” and “False” and prompted Facebook to place a false information warning label on Owens’ post.

Similarly, USA Today published a fact check later that month concluding that a post in which Owens questioned the relationship between the counting of COVID-19 deaths and flu deaths in early 2020 contained false information. Owens cited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports and argued sarcastically in her post that the number of flu deaths had decreased drastically in early 2020.

As a result of the USA Today article, Facebook put a false information warning label on Owens’ second post.

This suit was filed in a Delaware state court, apparently using Facebook's position as a Delaware corporation -- along with the ability of internet communications to travel interstate -- to keep it from being moved to federal court and a jurisdiction that would have made more sense.

Not that it matters. Owens has lost this lawsuit. About half of the decision [PDF] is given over to the court explaining why it feels it has jurisdiction over a Delaware corporation that wasn't actually named as a defendant, as well as the Colorado-based Lead Stories.

Plaintiffs have not provided me with a sufficient basis on which I may exercise general personal jurisdiction over Lead Stories under Delaware law. Plaintiffs have, however, provided me with a sufficient basis on which I may exercise specific personal jurisdiction over Lead Stories under Delaware law. The nature and quality of the commercial activity that Lead Stories conducted over the Internet mitigate in favor of specific personal jurisdiction. Although Lead Stories did not directly transact business or perform work or services in Delaware, or contract to provide “services or things” in Delaware, it contracted with Facebook to supply fact-checking services and stories which were disseminated by Facebook in Delaware in such a manner as to allegedly cause tortious injury in Delaware, which could reasonably have been foreseen by Lead Stories.

With this out of the way, the court moves on to discuss the merits of Owens's claims. Owens alleged tortious interference and defamation, with an unfair competition claim thrown in for good measure. These allegations are bogus, says the court, starting with the supposed defamation:

Plaintiffs allege in the Amended Complaint that the following three statements made in the Lead Stories Article are defamatory and false and were made with actual malice:

(1)The [false] claims [about the COVID-19 death counting method] originated in a post . . . published on Facebook by Candace Owens on March 29, 2020.

(2)[The First Facebook Post] is being shared to suggest that medical officials are – in Owens’ words – “trying desperately to get the numbers to justify this pandemic response.” This comment is an attempt to downplay the severity of a global infectious disease that has killed more than 42,000 people as of March 31, 2020.

(3)There are several inaccuracies in [the First Facebook Post].

Owens felt being fact-checked was defamatory. The court says, nope, it was just Lead Stories saying things Owens didn't want to hear and certainly didn't want transmitted publicly to people reading her content.

I find no facts alleged in the Amended Complaint supporting Plaintiffs’ claim that statement (1) is defamatory or false. As Lead Stories correctly points out in its brief, Plaintiffs altered the statement and omitted relevant context. The statement in the original Lead Stories Article, attached to the Amended Complaint as Exhibit A, merely reads that “[t]he claims originated in a post (archived here) published on Facebook by Candace Owens on March 29, 2020.” In their Amended Complaint, Plaintiffs admit that Owens is the author of the claims published on Owens’ First Facebook Post. This statement does not convey any facts that are untrue or capable of defamatory meaning as it does not injure Owens’ reputation in any sense.

And so it goes for the rest of the defamation claims. The conclusions made and published by the fact-checking services were substantially true, and certainly more true than the claims Owens made on Facebook. And labelling her posts as "False" or "Hoax" wasn't defamatory either.

Plaintiffs do not demonstrate that the word “False” is an untrue statement under the reasonable conceivability standard. Plaintiffs argue that because the First Facebook Post relied on an opinion from its own expert, Dr. Lee, and Lead Stories relied on an opinion from its own expert, Dr. Ailen, Lead Stories was not able to fact-check the First Facebook Post. This is not accurate. Opinions may carry underlying assertions of facts. Dr. Lee and Dr. Ailen may well have different opinions on whether COVID-19 should be counted as cause of death. However, as discussed above, their underlying factual assertions are not inconsistent. More importantly, in contrast to Plaintiffs’ allegations, Dr. Lee’s article does not support, much less confirm, the accuracy of Owens’ First Facebook Post. Therefore, Plaintiffs fail to demonstrate under the reasonable conceivability standard that Lead Stories made a false statement when it superimposed the word “False” over Owens’ Facebook Post image.

[...]

It is not reasonably conceivable that readers who read the Lead Stories’ Article would have understood “Hoax Alert” to mean that Plaintiffs were intentionally spreading a lie. Instead, the readers would have understood “Hoax Alert” as a rhetorical hyperbole implying that the Owens’ Post carries inaccurate information and that the readers should proceed cautiously when reading the post.

The First Amendment also protects the defendants against Owens's tortious interference claims.

A tortious interference claim cannot survive if the claim is premised solely on statements that are protected by the First Amendment because the exercise of constitutionally protected speech cannot be an “improper” or “wrongful” action. Because Candace Owens is a public figure, the First Amendment protects Defendants’ statements unless Plaintiffs’ Amended Complaint supports reasonably conceivable inferences that (1) Defendants’ articles contain false statements, and (2) Defendants made the statements with actual malice. Defendants’ articles are protected by the First Amendment because Plaintiffs fail to state that both Defendants’ articles contain false statements of fact made with actual malice under the reasonable conceivability standard.

And if that claim fails, so does the common law claim for unfair competition. This claim cannot survive if it only implicates activities protected by the First Amendment.

The case is dismissed. Owens, of course, is free to appeal this or take the same claims to a federal court. But unless she's got an endless amount of money to blow on losing lawsuits, she's probably better off being angry -- rather than litigious -- about it. As the court noted at the outset of its opinion, the advancement of technology, bringing with it new arenas for political debate, raises some novel questions for courts to consider. But at the end of the day, it's the law that matters.

Today’s world of technological wizardry presents endless opportunities for conflict and battle like Kilkenny cats. Social influencers can sway opinions of millions of people controlling politics and money. Those with substantial control over social media like Facebook struggle to control fact from fiction. The case before me presents one battle in the social media wars. It also presents a real-life struggle affecting reputations, the ability to earn substantial income, and the ability to fact-check.

The political aspects of this case are manifest but must be ignored in favor of application of the law.

Moving these complaints elsewhere won't change the law and it won't change how the First Amendment works. Substantially true claims can't be defamation. And protected expression -- like fact-checking and moderation efforts -- can't form the basis for interference claims. Owens should just take the loss and move on.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: candace owens, content moderation, covid misinformation, defamation, fact checking, health misinformation, misinformation
Companies: facebook, lead stories, usa today


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 27 Jul 2021 @ 10:46am

    You keep using that word "Defamation"…

    For too many people moderated by social media, "Defamation" and "section 230" are code words for "I've been called out for the fraudulent grifter I actually am".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2021 @ 10:51am

    I remember back when our media’s current version of ‘fact checking’ was called ‘information control’.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2021 @ 11:16am

    "I remember back when our media’s current version of ‘fact checking’ was called ‘information control’."

    You must be much older than I, or from another planet. The dictators of my own (and my parents') generation just shot people, or sent them to forced labor camps. The mainstream media just ignored anything that didn't suit their talking-or-writing stuffed-shirts.

    Now we commit the unforgivable sin and unconscionable solecism of calling some liars "liars." Not, perhaps, all liars. But it's like the eternal joke about the lawyer who was so dishonest that the other lawyers noticed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 28 Jul 2021 @ 2:09am

      Re:

      "You must be much older than I, or from another planet."

      Not quite true. The USSR and contemporary China does indulge in information control. Strictly speaking so did the catholic church in the middle ages and the contemporary copyright cult. Any time where law is employed to hinder transmission of information.

      Doesn't make that AC less of a disingenious twat for implying that social media platforms applying their stated ToS on their own platform would be considered similar to the soviet state carting dissenters off to siberia or threatening them with vacations there.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 27 Jul 2021 @ 11:25am

    'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my reputation!' ... and?

    If someone fact-checking your statements and pointing out that you're wrong is a threat to your ability to make money and reputation that's a pretty good indicator that you deserve to lose that source of income and your reputation was was based upon a false image from the start.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2021 @ 11:45am

      Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my reputation!' ... and?

      Sure buddy. Fourth Estate Impartial Fact Checking... Brought to you by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

      You guys used to be far more shrewd than this. Browse Techdirt’s comment history circa 2009 - 2011. Those commenters would eat every one of you for lunch.

      You have become so blind and obedient...

      I have a bunch like these from back then. Maybe i will play some greatest hits from time to time to remind you of what you were:

      When someone declares "people will die" as a justification for curtailing liberty, the correct response is "what are you suggesting - that liberty isn't worth dying for? That those who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms made the wrong choice?"
      -Techdirt Forum Post by OldMugwump, 2013

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Samuel Abram (profile), 27 Jul 2021 @ 11:52am

        Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my reputation!' ... and

        When someone declares "people will die" as a justification for curtailing liberty, the correct response is "what are you suggesting - that liberty isn't worth dying for? That those who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms made the wrong choice?"
        -Techdirt Forum Post by OldMugwump, 2013

        Yet you don't understand the difference between people dying of human-caused terrorism and [what is most likely] nature-caused disease? Yet you don't understand that the lockdowns were supposed to be temporary? What possible motivation does the government have to punish its donors?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2021 @ 12:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my reputation!' ...

          And you don’t understand what the immune system is for apparently.

          This reminds me if the old joke of a town full of amputees on crutches saying the crutch salesman told them they needed to amputate.

          Nope, money is not a factor here. Just look up Pfizer’s criminal record for proof of that.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Samuel Abram (profile), 27 Jul 2021 @ 12:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my reputation!'

            And you don’t understand what the immune system is for apparently.

            You don't even know how vaccines work, apparently. Vaccines send either training dummies of dangerous viruses (or instructions to build training dummies) so the immune system would be prepared when the real thing attacks. Without a vaccine, the immune system isn't prepared.

            Did you fail biology in high school?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2021 @ 12:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my reputati

              Moderna’s covid vaccine was created on a computer in two days according to their CEO. mRNA was banned from human use due to ADE in animal trials. They almost no safety studies before releasing it to the public.

              You cannot imagine how screwed up this situation is. I can provide all the evidence you’ll need to ask some very harsh questions.

              Look at this:

              http://tritorch.com/degradation/%21NoCorrelationOfVaccineProtectionOfSARSCoV2HasBeenEstablishe dDec2020.png

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Samuel Abram (profile), 27 Jul 2021 @ 12:19pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my repu

                Link to the original article or else I'm calling bullshit. Considering that the anti-vaxxers tend to lie through their teeth and use logical fallacies, I need stronger proof than some meme.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2021 @ 12:38pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2021 @ 12:39pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    Samuel Abram (profile), 27 Jul 2021 @ 12:50pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts

                    Thank you so much for showing me that! It demonstrated that you quote-mined the quote out of context, whereas the article ended with this paragraph:

                    Overall, these preliminary findings show that in a small group of participants, adverse events associated with the mRNA-1273 vaccine were mainly mild or moderate in older adults, a group that is particularly at risk for illness and death from Covid-19. The 100-μg dose induced higher binding- and neutralizing-antibody titers than the 25-μg dose, findings that support the continued evaluation of the 100-μg dose level and two-dose regimen in a large phase 3 trial with a more diverse population to ascertain the safety and efficacy of the mRNA-1273 vaccine and to assess its level of protection against Covid-19.

                    Yeah, sure sounds like the Moderna vaccine is ineffective, right?

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2021 @ 3:54pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar h

                      Are you trolling? Read that again please.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Ian Williams, 28 Jul 2021 @ 6:03am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my

                  Why bother to link to the original article? Once you read everything that's in that screen cap, all the highlighted text says is that -at they time the wrote the article- (which might be months before it's publication date) there hadn't been big enough trials to pin down a solid number on the degree of protection offered by the vaccine, in a particular subset of the population. While the phrasing of the link implies that they haven't proved that it offer's protection, this is a false premise, they simply haven't been able or nobody had published a reliably certain calculation of the correlation yet.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Samuel Abram (profile), 27 Jul 2021 @ 12:25pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my repu

                Also, the fact that many people have used Moderna vaccines (including myself) and have not caught COVID until Aunt Delta showed up is evidence that the vaccines work. We'll need a booster shot, though, because apparently, I believe in evolution and you believe in conspiracy theories.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Samuel Abram (profile), 27 Jul 2021 @ 12:27pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my repu

                Third, my sister's an emergency doctor with an MD and she strongly recommends taking a vaccine. She doesn't work for any pharmaceutical company.

                Seriously, are you going to say that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines cause autism now?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 28 Jul 2021 @ 12:35am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my repu

                "Moderna’s covid vaccine was created on a computer in two days according to their CEO."

                Yeah, the decades of prior research really helped a lot when modifying previous vaccines to target this particular disaease.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 28 Jul 2021 @ 2:16am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my repu

                "Moderna’s covid vaccine was created on a computer in two days according to their CEO."

                ...the vaccine for Sars-CoV-2 was created in a jiffy relying on decades of research on Sars-CoV-1. It's not much more "rushed" than the vaccine sold annually for the latest flu strain.

                "I can provide all the evidence you’ll need to ask some very harsh questions."

                You really can't, and including a link which peddles inaccurate bullshit isn't helping you.
                Meanwhile the nonvaccinated are dying in droves and real-world casual examination shows that people who have gotten both shots simply aren't being hospitalized or buried.

                No, this is just you being a conspiracy nut inclined to explain away any and all fact incompatible with your desired narrative.
                Sure, big pharma is shady, but only when there's a profit motive and no chance of ending up Enron'ed. It may surprise you to hear the villains in the real world don't do harm just because evil, but because they have some sort of good reason to do so.

                And strictly speaking they don't need to do evil with important stuff like vaccines when they can use the PR to make people look past them pushing vitamins and painkillers at a thousand percent markup.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 28 Jul 2021 @ 2:49am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my

                  "Sure, big pharma is shady, but only when there's a profit motive"

                  What's sad is that this particular situation is a place where they are able to profit by not being evil. They could have done some shady stuff, colluded on a single product, demanded patent protection before released to the public, etc. Instead, we have multiple competing vaccines with different benefits and methods to override any actual concerns if one were to arise with a particular brand, and they are making lots of money without even trying to price gouge, as far as I'm aware.

                  It's literally the least evil thing they've done in a long time, yet apparently being efficient is now a red flag.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 4 Aug 2021 @ 5:25am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts

                    "It's literally the least evil thing they've done in a long time, yet apparently being efficient is now a red flag."

                    Yeah, that's how conspiracy theories work; If <declared sinister organization X> is running a shitty and unethical business model it's proof they're part of the global conspiracy to bring all true-blooded americans to their knees by turning their frogs gay or whatever...
                    ...and if <declared sinister organization X> isn't running a shady and unethical business model it just means they're being sneaky and covering their tracks so no one can spot Teh Great Eeevil(!!)

                    And this is how the anti-vax movement started by a shameless grifter using a study he himself fudged on "vaccine autism" keeps tration. Arguments and facts become irrelevant to their bad bedtime story.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Ian Williams, 28 Jul 2021 @ 5:50am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my repu

                Not only are you not right, you are not even wrong...

                This bit about ADE comes from the same quack who told the Ohio legislature that the vaccines were magnetizing people and would create a 5g interface.

                MRNA was not "was banned from human use due to ADE in animal trials."

                ADE was seen in a vaccine trials for a vaccine for SARS-COV1, it was -not- an MRNA vaccine, and as such did not result in MRNA being "banned"

                The paper describing the ADE seen in that case IS REPEATEDLY CITED IN PAPERS DESCRIBING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COVID-19 VACCINES

                Why?

                Because, citing that paper shows that they were aware of ADE as a potential problem with a COVID-19 vaccine and deliberately engineered the vaccine to produce neutralizing antibodies, rather than non-neutralizing antibodies, which cause ADE.

                https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/vaccine-lung-damage/

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
              identicon
              anon, 27 Jul 2021 @ 9:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my reputati

              you must have failed biology in H.S. When I took biology in the 1980's, they still taught us enough about viruses and microbes, including their sizes. And, if you remember your biology around viruses, you'd know that no N95 mask, even those wonderful Youtube masks sold by Techdirt.com of which I have two, won't prevent any virus from passing straight through it.

              Go back to school and try to learn something this time.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Toom1275 (profile), 28 Jul 2021 @ 12:24am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my repu

                Good things for those of us that live in the real world, then, that the masks need to stop droples and not single viruses.

                Perhaps you should have taken your own advice instead of embarrassing yourself.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2021 @ 12:34am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my repu

                No, but they do stop the saliva and mucus droplets that carry the virus from being sprayed over other people when you talk and interact with them.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 28 Jul 2021 @ 2:20am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my repu

                "you'd know that no N95 mask, even those wonderful Youtube masks sold by Techdirt.com of which I have two, won't prevent any virus from passing straight through it."

                Guess you flunked both biology and common physics, then. No, the masks aren't mean to stop viruses. They're meant to stop the droplets of moisture containing viruses.

                Hence why surgeons all use masks. It prevents them from exhaling a swarm of droplets containing their own body flora into a patients open wounds.

                Virii are extremely small but viable virus particles are always found suspended in liquid. Because if they're dry they're also usually broken.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2021 @ 12:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my reputation!'

            What’s damning about your response is you don’t actually answer any of the questions brought up. You just bring up a cutesy anecdote and tell people to do their own research. You sound like a basic bitch antivax nutter.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 28 Jul 2021 @ 12:32am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my reputation!'

            "And you don’t understand what the immune system is for apparently."

            Immune system... remind me... Is that the thing that failed to protect millions of people from polio and smallpox every year until we found a vaccine?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2021 @ 5:35pm

          Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my reputation!' ...

          Temporary. Just like Patriot Act.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Samuel Abram (profile), 27 Jul 2021 @ 6:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my reputation!'

            And the lockdown restrictions were gradually lifted once a sizable number of people got vaccinated (for instance, I no longer work from home). The same cannot be said about the USA PATRIOT Act.

            Care to make another terrible analogy?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 27 Jul 2021 @ 7:28pm

              'I'm going to church/party/sports event and you can't stop me!'

              The best part is if people had simply shown even the slightest self-control and care for those around them the restrictions would never have reached or needed to reach the levels they have and likely would have been done and over with long before this point, it was only because so many people decided to show the world what sociopaths they were/are that harsher restrictions were required in an attempt to at least slow down how quickly people were dropping dead.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Jul 2021 @ 2:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my reputation!'

            "Temporary. Just like Patriot Act."

            A terrible and flawed comparison.

            A better comparison would be kindergarten teachers deciding to keep Allen and Liz away from the rest of the children since both of them think it's a fun game to smear the other kids with fresh poo and throw tantrums over being forbidden this. Meanwhile the other children are all accepting that being potty-trained is acceptable.

            In a nation holding personal responsibility in any regard, lockdowns wouldn't be needed. People would show enough respect for the lives of themselves and others to not willfully risk them just because "the libs" asked them not to.

            I keep wondering; If Biden stood up and advocated going to the toilet instead of in their pants, how many americans would immediately take a dump in their trousers just to spite "the liberal"?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 27 Jul 2021 @ 12:39pm

        Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my reputation!' ... and

        Masksholes and nurgle cultists may try to claim this is a liberty and freedom issue but all they're really showing is how much they value their personal convenience and comfort over the lives of those around them, to the tune of several hundred thousand deaths in the US alone so far, so try again.

        You have the freedom to punch yourself in the crotch until you pass out(and if you're such a big fan of freedom to do stupid things get swinging) but when your fist starts hitting other people that's when the line is drawn.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rocky, 27 Jul 2021 @ 12:47pm

        Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my reputation!' ... and

        It's always interesting to see people take quotes out of context so they can prop up their dishonest argument.

        OldMugwump's quote above is about how NSA hides information and infringes US citizens liberties in the name of "protecting" people and democracy against terrorism. If you want to equate that with fact-checking a liar and a quack, well, that tells us just what kind of person you are.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2021 @ 10:45pm

          Re: Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my reputation!' ...

          This is a very eye opening response... VERY

          If you are lucky one day soon your cognitive dissonance is going ti hit the brick wall of your arrogance and ignorance at full velocity. It won’t be pretty but it will wake you up.

          You cannot afford to be this blind in this brave new world we are entering.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Ian Williams, 28 Jul 2021 @ 5:31am

        Re: Re: 'Showing people I'm a liar hurts my reputation!' ... and

        Your argument might have more weight if you weren't deploying on the behalf of someone who has turned being a pathological liar into a career as a political pundit.

        Candace Owens has claimed...

        That all murderous dictators are left-wing.

        That she's never been affected by racism (she sued her highschool and won with the help of the NAACP after she was racially bullied)

        The Southern Strategy Was a Myth

        Hitler was only bad because he tried to expand his nationalism outside his borders.

        Joe Biden is behind the bombs planted on Jan 6

        She has a %100 False Rating on Politifact.

        I -can- go on...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dan, 27 Jul 2021 @ 11:48am

    claim preclusion

    The article says "Owens, of course, is free to appeal this or take the same claims to a federal court." I don't think that is right. Under federal law, a federal court must give full faith and credit to the state court decision, under what is called res judicata, or claim preclusion. If she wants these same claims considered again, her only choice is an appeal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      sumgai (profile), 27 Jul 2021 @ 1:46pm

      Re: claim preclusion

      ^^ Errr, not quite.

      It's "res judicata" when the top court in the state says "no more for you". To try to take it to a federal court before that point will definitely result as you described, "Now is not the time for you to come before us".

      And at that, she'll have to come up with ia plausible claim that the State denied her Constitutional rights to redress, not just rehash the previous claims. Failure to get that part correct will also earn her a "Lacking merit your case is" award.

      But as pointed out elsewhere, this is all performance art for the sake of grift. Proving once again that it's to bad that ignorance isn't painful.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        dan (profile), 27 Jul 2021 @ 5:01pm

        Re: Re: claim preclusion

        Yes, the judgment is not "final" until either she loses her state appeals or fails to make them in time. So yes, I suppose a case filed before that time would not trigger claim preclusion per se, but instead cause the court to tell you that you've got to exhaust your state remedies. Either way, the federal court still isn't going to re-hear the SAME CLAIMS, as the article suggests they will.

        And good luck re-packaging her claims into some new constitutional claim. She chose to file a tort action in state court. The state court found against her. There's no constitutional right to a do-over in the federal system.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bloof (profile), 27 Jul 2021 @ 12:58pm

    She no doubt saw this coming long before she filed, but raised far more to cover legal fees than she actually spent in the brief period that the suit was alive. She's all about that grift.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2021 @ 3:06pm

    That solves that mystery

    Well, at least we know why she was hawking the Freedom Phone - she needs to pay her lawyers for this bitch-slapping.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2021 @ 1:22am

    In part of Candace's posts she said SHE didn't post some statements about facebook being evil (they could sue).

    This means she's admitted this isn't HER account, and Facebook would be within its rights to permanently remove an account run by a scammer......

    They should do this

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 28 Jul 2021 @ 1:49am

      Re:

      If you think that every social media account in the name of a prominent celebrity or politician is always updated by that person and not by by staffers or publicists, I have some bad news for you... The degree by which they do this varies, but most don't personally write every post.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Chozen (profile), 29 Jul 2021 @ 1:34pm

    Fact Check?

    So you can call yourself a fact checker. You can market your services to third parties as a fact checker. But when you are sued for defamation your fact checks are "opinion" and "rhetorical hyperbole."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 30 Jul 2021 @ 7:08am

      Re: Fact Check?

      "But when you are sued for defamation your fact checks are "opinion" and "rhetorical hyperbole.""

      Sidney Powell's spin on the Tucker Carlson Defense, you mean?

      It's amazing that given the number of unfounded implications you make you still haven't managed a single one which wasn't a solid self-own, Baghdad Bob.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        Chozen (profile), 30 Jul 2021 @ 11:12am

        Re: Re: Fact Check?

        Tucker Carlson runs a political opinion show. The doesn't call his show the FactCheck.Tucker.

        When you call yourself a fact checking organization a reasonable person would take your statements as fact and not "opinion" or "rhetorical hyperbole."

        Even the judge is all over the place.

        "it contracted with Facebook to supply fact-checking services"

        He then goes on to call statements of false and hoax not fact but "opinion" and "rhetorical hyperbole."

        Of course this is what the judge had to do if he wanted to dismiss the case. So in decaling jurisdiction he states as a matter of fact that the defendant "contracted with Facebook to supply fact-checking services" and then goes on to define that fact-checking as opinion and rhetorical hyperbole.

        Now I have long said that "fact-checking" despite its name is nothing more than opinion journalism. I am usually attacked by the left for saying as much. At least this judge admits it.

        No the problem on appeal is that even though as a matter of fact "fact-checking" is just opinion journalism because of the use of the misleading term "fact-checking" and "fact-checkers" a reasonable person would interpret "fact-checks" as statements of fact, not opinion or hyperbole.

        I look forward to seeing how this square peg trying to be pounded into a round hole stands up on appeal because even in his own ruling the judge who is supposed to be beyond a reasonable person has a hard time differentiating.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Rocky, 31 Jul 2021 @ 10:20am

          Re: Re: Re: Fact Check?

          Tucker Carlson runs a political opinion show. The doesn't call his show the FactCheck.Tucker.

          The context is defamation and Tucker Carlson got away with it because no 'reasonable viewer' takes Tucker Carlson seriously.

          He then goes on to call statements of false and hoax not fact but "opinion" and "rhetorical hyperbole."

          No, he didn't. Perhaps you should improve your reading comprehension and stop conflating things. Just to repeat what the judge said about false:
          Plaintiffs do not demonstrate that the word “False” is an untrue statement under the reasonable conceivability standard. Plaintiffs argue that because the First Facebook Post relied on an opinion from its own expert, Dr. Lee, and Lead Stories relied on an opinion from its own expert, Dr. Ailen, Lead Stories was not able to fact-check the First Facebook Post. This is not accurate. Opinions may carry underlying assertions of facts. Dr. Lee and Dr. Ailen may well have different opinions on whether COVID-19 should be counted as cause of death. However, as discussed above, their underlying factual assertions are not inconsistent. More importantly, in contrast to Plaintiffs’ allegations, Dr. Lee’s article does not support, much less confirm, the accuracy of Owens’ First Facebook Post. Therefore, Plaintiffs fail to demonstrate under the reasonable conceivability standard that Lead Stories made a false statement when it superimposed the word “False” over Owens’ Facebook Post image.

          And the use of hoax alert as a label, well, hyperbole is hyperbole, but it doesn't alter the underlying fact that the fact-checking post accurately points out the inaccuracies in Owens' post.

          Of course this is what the judge had to do if he wanted to dismiss the case. So in decaling jurisdiction he states as a matter of fact that the defendant "contracted with Facebook to supply fact-checking services" and then goes on to define that fact-checking as opinion and rhetorical hyperbole.

          And here you just make shit up, it's quite telling you have to lie to make an argument. Please tell us some more lies, will you?

          I look forward to seeing how this square peg trying to be pounded into a round hole stands up on appeal because even in his own ruling the judge who is supposed to be beyond a reasonable person has a hard time differentiating.

          No, it's just you that conflate and misrepresent things. Oh, you also consistently missed context.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 4 Aug 2021 @ 5:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Fact Check?

            "And here you just make shit up, it's quite telling you have to lie to make an argument. Please tell us some more lies, will you?"

            What else is new though? Baghdad Bob has always ended up making even Trump look truthful.

            No matter how many times the resident moron sets up a new nick he always manages that unique tell of self-owning then shooting himself in the crotch when he tries to double down on his unfortunate arguments when refuted...¯\_(ツ)_/¯

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

Introducing the new Techdirt Insider Chat, now hosted on Discord. If you are an Insider with a membership that includes the chat feature and have not yet been invited to join us on Discord, please reach out here.

Loading...
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.