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BLEXIT co-founder and conservative pundit Candace Owens said Thursday she plans to file a lawsuit against Facebook and the social media behemoth’s third-party fact-checkers, claiming they are censoring her posts and content.
In a video posted to her Twitter account, Owens, author of the New York Times bestseller “Blackout,” said, “For the first time I think America is realizing how censored we are.”
Her suit targets the social media platform as well as USA Today and Lead Stories Fact Checker, Fox News reported.
“It’s supposed to be a free country. The President of the United States getting censored every time he tweets, Eric Trump getting censored, me getting censored, opinions getting censored,” she added.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) November 6, 2020
“So, if you, right now tweet that my ballot was stolen and it could be 100 percent true, the fact-checkers will come in and swoop in and you will get censored,” Owens continued.
“I am not allowed to hit the retweet button on my account, I’m allowed to quote tweet this week, but I’m not allowed to retweet because it’s election week, and somehow automatically if you have a certain amount of followers you get censored,” she said.
Owens co-founded the BLEXIT Foundation with former police officer Brandon Tatum, a movement that seeks “to change the narrative that surrounds America’s minority communities” and empower blacks to move away from the Democrat Party, which the group says has hindered their advancement.
Regarding Facebook, Owens said she was spurred to action after the platform demonetized her for expressing an opinion about the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Well, now that you guys are alive and realizing that we have an issue in this country and these people that are fact-checkers I decided months ago when I had an incident on Facebook happen where quite literally my opinion was fact-checked and then quite literally a doctor gave his opinion on 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 and then another doctor giving his opinion that the lockdowns were bad was not allowed to be on their website,” she said in her video.
“So, Facebook demonetized my page and I decided that I was not going to give up and sit down because there is not a more remarkable time in this country for patriots to stand up and fight than right now when we are being turned into a Marxist, Communist, socialist country right in front of our faces,” she added.
Owens said she has retained Todd McMurtry, the attorney who represents Nicholas Sandmann and who managed to get defamation cases settled against CNN and the Washington Post; and John P. Cole, the lawyer who won the largest lawsuit against the tobacco companies.
Facebook launched a third-party fact-checking program in 2016 following disinformation campaigns during the election cycle. The partners who signed up for the program to verify content that gets posted to Facebook and Instagram, which the social media platform also owns.
Fact-checkers rate flagged content as “false,” “altered” and “missing context.” When those labels are added to content, Facebook either blocks content or reduces its distribution. The platform also adds labels and pop-up notices for users to provide more context or alert them to additional reporting on the subject.
Conservatives have long complained about perceived censorship on the largest social media platforms to include Twitter and YouTube.
Last year, conservatives launched the Internet Accountability Project (IAP), which seeks to combat silencing and deplatforming of right-leaning users.
“For far too long, Big Tech companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter have gotten away with profiting from human-sex trafficking, revenge-porn, the opioid epidemic and drug addiction, terrorism, and other forms of human misery, along with engaging in egregious business practices like snooping, spying, political bias against conservatives, employee abuses, and anti-competitive conduct,” said IAP President Mike Davis, an attorney and former chief counsel for nominations to ex-Senate Judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley.
“Enough is enough. It’s time to re-boot Big Tech, upgrade and reformat the sweetheart laws that protect them, and enforce the antitrust, consumer- and employee-protection, and similar laws already on the books,” he added.
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