As the social media giant continues to vet content and silence opposing views, roughly two dozen states have introduced bills that would allow for lawsuits against the platform for censoring posts.
Now Big Tech and its self-anointed virus experts are silencing doctors with opposing views in an effort to shut down scientific debate, the WSJ said. The WSJ editorial board specifically called out Facebook for labeling an op-ed the paper ran in February as misleading.
Here’s what happened. On Feb. 19, the WSJ ran an opinion piece by Dr. Martin Makary, a Johns Hopkins surgeon, professor, published author and chief medical advisor to Sesame Care, a direct-to-patient healthcare company. In “We’ll Have Herd Immunity by April,” Makary wrote that based on studies and scientific evidence, Americans would have enough immunity from vaccination and natural infection by early spring to sharply reduce the spread of COVID.
Facebook added the label “Missing Context. Independent fact-checkers say this information could mislead people” to Makary’s article.
The Facebook label linked to third-party fact-checking website Health Feedback, a member of the World Health Organization’s “Vaccine Safety Net,” a vaccine project dedicated to correcting “misinformation about vaccine safety” on social media platforms.
Three Health Feedback scientists analyzed the article and gave it an overall scientific credibility rating of “very low,” stating “Misleading Wall Street Journal opinion piece makes unsubstantiated claims that the U.S would have herd immunity by April 2021.”
According to Facebook, once something is rated by a fact-checking partner, Facebook “takes action to ensure fewer people see the misinformation.”
But the WSJ argued that Makary didn’t present his opinion as a factual claim. He made a projection, like any other scientist, based on studies and data regarding herd immunity. The Facebook fact-checkers didn’t like Makary’s projection because it could lead to fewer virus restrictions.
Health Feedback’s fact-checkers disagreed with Makary’s evidence and his interpretation of it. They cherry-picked and misapplied studies to support their counter-opinions and “masqueraded them as facts,” the WSJ said.
“Scientists often disagree over how to interpret evidence,” The Editorial Board wrote. “Debate is how ideas are tested and arguments are refined. But Facebook’s fact checkers are presenting their opinions as fact and seeking to silence other scientists whose views challenge their own.”