In August 2020, Children’s Health Defense (CHD) filed a lawsuit against Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and two of Facebook’s “fact checkers.” The lawsuit asserts claims of illegal censorship in violation of the First Amendment, illegal “taking” in violation of the Fifth Amendment and corporate fraud in violation of federal law — Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) and Lanham Acts.
On Nov.13, 2020, CHD filed a 150-page first amended complaint in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, detailing factual allegations regarding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CDC Foundation and World Health Organization’s (WHO) extensive relationships and collaborations with Facebook and Zuckerberg.
CHD has made significant progress in the case against Facebook and Zuckerberg since the last court filing — including filing a second amended complaint on Dec.15, 2020, which contained considerable factual amplification of the allegations set forth in our initial filings.
As set forth in the second amended complaint, CHD believes children are being exposed to health and life-threatening injuries by the multi-billion-dollar vaccine industry and that 5G technology, promoted by behemoth internet interests, poses similarly severe risks.
To alert the public to these serious potential dangers, CHD posts links to articles in reputable scientific journals, and publishes opinions expressed by doctors, scientists and others, including CHD Chairman, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. This material is constitutionally protected speech on matters of serious public concern.
As alleged in our second amended complaint, since early 2019, Facebook and Zuckerberg have engaged in a deliberate, systematic effort to degrade and destroy CHD by fraudulently branding our Facebook content as false, directing users to competitors’ sites and preventing Facebook users from donating to CHD.
The complaint specifically identifies 15 instances of defendants falsely labeling CHD content as inaccurate.
The complaint also sets out in detail the reason behind the defendants’ animus against CHD: CHD is a nonprofit organization dedicated to warning the public about the potential risks of certain vaccines and technologies in which the defendants have immense financial interests and investments.
The complaint also outlines how federal actors and agencies encouraged and pressured defendants to engage in their censorship scheme against CHD and jointly participated in that scheme.
The resulting threat to free speech is especially serious because government agents have in essence “deputized” Facebook to do what the government itself is constitutionally forbidden to do.
As the latest complaint details, the defendants were pressured by a prominent Congressman to suppress so-called vaccine “misinformation” — incredibly defined to include content that “casts doubt on the safety or efficacy of vaccines.”
The complaint also alleges that in censoring CHD, the defendants acted with the joint participation of the CDC — a federal agency — and its proxy, the World Health Organization, with which Facebook partnered to create its “fact-checking” protocol.
As a consequence, and as CHD has consistently argued, Facebook and Zuckerberg were not acting merely as private parties, but were functioning as government actors — and thus are subject to the First Amendment’s strictures against government censorship.
As anticipated in this hard-fought litigation, on Dec. 21, 2020, defendants moved to dismiss the second amended complaint. Facebook apparently seeks special dispensation, not available to other parties, to dismiss CHD’s allegations of government joint action and of Facebook’s responsibility for its “fact-checks” because Facebook claims that it isn’t working with the government or with these same “fact-checkers.”
Facebook also claims that its “fact-checks” aren’t statements of fact at all, but merely protected “opinions,” and that Facebook is merely labelling CHD’s content as “potentially” misleading. …