On Friday afternoon, Facebook began attaching a ridiculous fact check to my top-read Federalist article of last week titled, “There’s No Way Americans Can Trust The Jury’s Chauvin Verdict.” Anyone who wanted to share the article on Facebook was forced to do so with the opinion-based “fact check” attached, which means Facebook also likely throttled the distribution of the article on its platform.
Facebook and the factcheckers it pays have a history of targeting The Federalist due not to factual errors but political bias. The more “fact checkers” target a publication, the more Facebook and Google choke off that publication’s traffic.
The so-called “fact check” used to suppress open discourse was conducted by the Facebook-sponsored USA Today, a politically biased outlet with a history of running false, ridiculous, and trumped-up claims as “fact checks.” This particular “fact check” uncovered not one single factual error but only insisted the argument my Federalist article made was “missing context” — in other words, I expressed an opinion different from that of the USA Today writer.
The “fact check” makes this clear in its summary at the end, showing that its ruling is based on coming to a different interpretation of the facts available, not on finding false information:
The claim that former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin did not get a fair trial for the killing of George Floyd is MISSING CONTEXT. It’s couched as an opinion in this post, but it’s one that ignores the steps taken to ensure the trial was indeed fair. Cahill set aside three weeks for jury selection, and an unusually large pool of prospective jurors were called for the trial. Chauvin’s defense attorneys and prosecutors were both given more chances to remove jurors than is typical in Minnesota, but the defense received more. Jurors were sequestered in an undisclosed hotel to deliberate on the verdict.
This is not a “fact check.” It is a disagreement about what the facts indicate. It is also the naked suppression of ideas based on partisan ideology, using the monopoly power of Big Tech to control what people are allowed to say and discuss. This is a direct attack on Americans’ ability to have a self-governing society, which requires the free expression of ideas, not massive private entities deciding what people are allowed to say and share.
I said nothing illegal and called for no violence. I merely expressed my opinion about a current event of major public attention based on information the “fact checker” could not dispute as false.
Also, the “fact check” isn’t even about my specific article! Facebook attached a “fact check” that specifically argues with another person expressing a similar opinion — “Derek Chauvin did not get a fair trial” — then used it also to throttle my article that no “fact checker” publicly reviewed, all in the name of preventing “misinformation.” That’s ridiculous. It’s an utterly absurd and compromised process. Nobody could believe it is fair or reasonable except extreme partisans.
Which, fine, whatever. It's an idiotic article. Who cares? Well, the censors at Facebook care, and they're using this embarrassing, totally biased "fact check" to block people from sharing ANY article that expresses doubt about the fairness of the Chauvin trial. 4/6 pic.twitter.com/W3smNznpZu
— John Daniel Davidson (@johnddavidson) April 23, 2021
So USA Today colluded with Facebook to broadly suppress opinions suggesting Derek Chauvin’s trial was affected by the year of violent leftist bedlam and likelihood of aggression against jurors if they dared to express a reasonable doubt about Chauvin’s complicity in the death of George Floyd.
Even wilder, Facebook started choking this opinion after more facts emerged that support it. On April 22, an alternate juror in the Chauvin trial, who was included in all the jury duties and treated like the other jurors except for not finally voting in the verdict, told a local news outlet, “I did not want to go through rioting and destruction again and I was concerned about people coming to my house if they were not happy with the verdict.”
She also noted that during the trial rioters came near her home and protesters blocked a local interstate she was driving on. This clearly reinforces the factual basis for the opinion I expressed about the Chauvin trial in the article Facebook choked: “Given the circumstances of the trial, however, it’s extremely hard to believe the jury was solely concerned with either truth or justice. It’s extremely hard, if not impossible, for any thinking person not to have a reasonable doubt about the outcome.”
This juror’s information came out the day before Facebook and USA Today colluded to suppress an opinion supported by these facts. They clearly did so not based on facts, but based on a competing opinion.
Instead of identifying factual errors, USA Today “fact check” author Rick Rouan instead quoted people who disagree with a conclusion based on these facts, then used their disagreement to slap on a “misinformation” label that has the effect of suppressing the idea’s organic spread on the largest online platform. “Legal experts interviewed by USA TODAY said courts don’t have easily defined criteria or tests to determine whether a trial was fair,” Rouan wrote. “…All three experts interviewed by USA TODAY agreed that Chauvin received a fair trial.”
The USA Today article’s entire argument is: “Three lawyers disagree with you, so you’re not allowed to express this opinion.” But the question is not whether “three legal experts” have some opinion. The question is why USA Today is privileging some people’s opinions over those of others, and why Facebook knowingly uses them to do so. Everyone knows the answer is controlling people by controlling their speech.
Everybody also knows that you can get three lawyers to say just about anything you want them to. Their entire profession is based on advocating specific viewpoints in exchange for money.
So, now, is USA Today’s. At least lawyers don’t pretend their business model is the complete opposite of what it truly is. We have to ask ourselves, then, why Facebook and USA Today choose to lie to all of us and then pretend that’s not what they’re doing.