Amidst the tallying of votes during the 2020 presidential election, conservative activist Candace Owens took to her Instagram page to call for donations in support of a lawsuit she has filed against a fact checking organization hired by Facebook. Owens explained that she was disappointed not to be "storming Arizona" due to her pregnancy, but was doing her part to combat what she feels is censorship of those with conservative views, referencing President Donald Trump and other social media users who have had their claims of voter fraud marked as false and misleading.
"I knew this was going to happen when I saw the power that fact-checkers have," Owens said. "These are human beings, these are activists, these are liberals that are behind the scenes censoring one another if it goes against a type of thought that they endorse themselves."
Owens said her own Facebook page has been marked for spreading false information by fact checkers. She had previously been banned by Twitter for encouraging Michigan residents to violate stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic, as reported by Newsmax, and had her GoFundMe account shut down due to spreading "falsehoods against the black community," according to a report by Business Insider.The primary target of the lawsuit is Lead Stories, one of the fact-checking organizations hired by Facebook after the 2016 election to help curb the platform's misinformation problem. The co-founder and editor-in-chief of Lead Stories is Alan Duke, who previously worked at CNN for 26 years. Owens described the decision to bring Duke's organization on as a fact checker as shady. The lawsuit also targets Gannett and USA Today.
In the video announcing the lawsuit, Owens directly addressed Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.
"Yes Mr. Zuckerburg, you've been trying to hide behind your fact checkers... Now it's time to find out what their relationship is with Facebook, who has given them this power to censor Americans and why they are contributing to this mass undoing of our society. It is not up to Facebook fact checkers to determine what information we take in or to pretend that our information is dangerous."Owens explained that she has been putting the lawsuit together for the past three months, beginning with what she felt was censorship of doctors claiming that they were able to treat COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine. She will be assisted in the lawsuit by lawyers Todd McMurty -- who previously represented Covington Catholic student Nicholas Sandmann -- and John Cole, who Owens described as very successful in lawsuits against tobacco companies. In order to pay for the lawsuit, Owens encouraged her followers to share her video and donate at a website called www.factcheckzuck.com, where they could also track the filing.
"We are talking about the future of this country. We are talking about fact checkers," said Owens.