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Anti-vaccination group sues Facebook over fact-checking program

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Children’s Health Defense, a group founded by anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., is suing Facebook and its fact-checking partners for rejecting ads and labeling debunked claims about vaccines and 5G networks. The complaint against Facebook, its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and the fact-checking organizations PolitiFact, Science Feedback, and Poynter Institute is legally shaky. But it marks an escalation of attacks on Facebook for policing pseudoscience.

Kennedy was one of the leading purveyors of anti-vaccine advertising on Facebook before the platform cracked down on spurious vaccine ads and promised to stop recommending anti-vax pages. As part of that effort, Facebook topped the CHD’s page with a label noting that “this page posts about vaccines” and a link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, and it disabled the organization’s ability to fundraise. The lawsuit notes that fact-checkers also added warnings to some content that they labeled false — “drastically reduc[ing] by 95 percent” the traffic to CHD’s own site from these posts.

CHD alleges that this all results in a “falsely disparaging” impression of the organization, implying that Kennedy’s organization is “not reliable” and promotes incorrect scientific claims. (Vaccines are typically safe, effective, and extremely beneficial.) It also claims Facebook is a government actor that should be barred from limiting users’ speech, apparently in part because Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) asked the company to take action on misinformation.

This case doesn’t have a clear precedent for success. Judges have dismissed the argument that social media platforms are public spaces bound by the First Amendment, and much of the lawsuit simply contradicts Facebook fact-checkers’ claims, rather than establishing why the fact-checking would be illegal. (It accuses the companies of racketeering, a claim that is very rarely deployed correctly.)

However, the CHD case also piggybacks on larger attempts to stop Facebook, Twitter, and Google from moderating content. Numerous conservative politicians have claimed that Facebook and other social media platforms display political bias, and several failed lawsuits have been filed on this basis. Kennedy’s suit goes a step further, suing Facebook for removing content that has been widely criticized as medically harmful. In addition to other legal justifications, it cites a Trump administration executive order that’s supposed to make sites remove less content.

Social media platforms have struggled to stop false scientific claims from spreading online. While platforms have acknowledged the potential for tangible harm, they’ve also become entangled in political battles over topics like climate change and COVID-19. Two recent reports claimed Facebook reversed strikes against conservative sites that posted misinformation, including false claims about the coronavirus — something that both political conservatives and anti-vaccination groups like the CHD have downplayed as a threat. Lawsuits, combined with the Trump administration’s regulatory push, are a new attempt to make anti-misinformation moderation more costly.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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