If anything has highlighted just how much Big Tech now controls our public discourse, it is the pandemic. Suddenly, any stray expression of irritation at mask mandates or casual mention of doubt in the all-knowing pronouncements of our health overlords will have the social media censors turning their attention toward you like the Eye of Sauron. You’d think, given the frequency with which they end up with egg on their faces for their insistence that they’re following “science,” they would have learned a little humility by now. Sadly, there’s not much evidence of that as the “misinformation” labels and account suspensions continue apace.
The following four examples of social media giants censoring what turned out to be accurate information prove why they shouldn’t be in charge of fact-checking the public.
The Lab-Leak Theory
Early in the pandemic, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci and NIH Director Francis Collins began hearing from dozens of scientists offering evidence that Covid did not, as initial reports claimed, originate naturally from a Chinese wet market. But while Drs. Fauci and Collins were warned of the potential that COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Collins appeared to dismiss what came to be known as the “lab leak theory” as a “conspiracy.”
In March 2020, Collins huffed that, “Some folks are even making outrageous claims that the new coronavirus causing the pandemic was engineered in a lab and deliberately released to make people sick.”
Fauci told National Geographic that the novel coronavirus “could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.”
Naturally, Big Tech was happy to take their word for it.
In February 2021, Facebook announced an update to its sweeping misinformation policy intended to “[remove] more false claims about Covid-19 and vaccines.” Among the assertions that would henceforth be banned — claims that Covid leaked from a Wuhan lab.
Meanwhile, Google would not allow its search engine to auto-populate “lab leak” alongside “coronavirus.” Why not? Because, according to a Google spokesman, the company didn’t want to “[lead] people down pathways that we would find to be not authoritative information.”
When it was clear, a few months later, that support for the lab leak theory was growing in the scientific community (or, at least, more scientists were willing to speak up and admit it had been an eminently reasonable supposition all along), Facebook reversed its ban.
But as for Google, even after President Biden ordered US spy agencies to conduct a 90-day investigation into the issue, the company still didn’t officially reverse its autocomplete policy.
The Covid Vaccine and Menstrual Cycles
One of the earliest banned Covid subjects on social media was suggesting vaccines might adversely affect fertility. The concern over whether a new medical treatment can impact a woman’s ability to bear children is a serious one, especially when there hasn’t been time to conduct long-term research. These worries ramped up as women began anecdotally sharing that the Covid vaccine was affecting their periods.
Among the countless media outlets that rushed to tell these ladies they were nuts for believing their own bodies was “Good Morning America.” It brought on Dr. Jennifer Ashton to declare that there was “zero scientific or medical basis” for believing that the vaccine could impact periods because there is “zero hormonal interaction.”
Based on “facts” like these, Facebook and Twitter felt no compunction about slapping misinformation labels on posts from women questioning the vaccine’s impact on their ability to get pregnant.
Turns out, their stories weren’t so crazy after all. A study released two weeks ago found that Covid vaccinations can disrupt women’s menstrual cycles. Often not by much, but a delay is a delay.
As another recent study, funded by the NIH itself concluded, we still don’t have conclusive long-term proof that Covid vaccines have no impact on fertility. The best the researchers could offer was, “It is unlikely that adverse effects on fertility could arise many months after vaccination.”
The menstrual cycle, as any kid in a high school science class knows, determines when ovulation happens, and it does appear it can be impacted by the Covid vaccine. While we don’t yet know how large the impact may be, Big Tech’s insistence it could not have an impact was clearly wrong.
Everyone knows that over the last two years one of the easiest ways to see your social media post disappear or receive a label was to question the efficacy of masks. No one was immune. Dr. Scott Atlas, one of President Trump’s controversial pandemic advisors, said his Twitter account was locked for 12 hours after he posted a message on the platform that said “Masks work? NO” followed by citations questioning the efficacy of face coverings in certain areas with strict requirements.
YouTube followed suit in August by suspending Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), another doctor, who said the platform banned him for seven days for a video that quotes peer-reviewed articles saying cloth masks don’t work.
One of the statements YouTube pointed to in justifying its decision? Paul’s comment that, “Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work. They don’t prevent infection.”
Except, shocker, the gentleman from Kentucky was on to something, as even the CDC now acknowledges they don’t prevent infection nearly as well as advertised. The agency quietly updated its guidelines on Jan. 14, conceding that “loosely woven cloth coverings” provide the least protection compared to higher-quality N95 and KN95 masks.
Senator Paul tweeted in response to the news of the CDC update, “Does this mean snot-nosed censors at YouTube will come to my office and kiss my … and admit I was right?”
Natural Immunity Offering More Protection Than Vaccines
Last March, Twitter put a label on Harvard epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff’s response to a question about whether a person needs to be vaccinated if they’ve already had Covid. Kulldorff replied, “No. Thinking that everyone must be vaccinated is as scientifically flawed as thinking nobody should…Those with prior natural infection do not need it.”
Even though nobody asked Twitter, it had its own response to the question, saying of Kulldorff’s post, “This tweet is misleading. Find out why health officials recommend a vaccine for most people.”
At least Kulldorff got to keep his account. Twitter permanently banned Dr. Robert Malone for “repeated violations of our Covid-19 misinformation policy” after he told podcaster Joe Rogan that natural immunity provides much greater protection against the virus than the vaccine. Then in September, Instagram reportedly banned the hashtag #naturalimmunity.
Lo and behold, the latest studies show that natural immunity was much more effective than vaccines in protecting against reinfection during the recent Delta wave.
Reuters was just one of the establishment media outlets that reported on a comprehensive study out of California and New York that found that natural immunity significantly outperformed vaccines. “People who had previously been infected with COVID-19 were better protected against the Delta variant than those who were vaccinated alone, suggesting that natural immunity was a more potent shield than vaccines against that variant,” the news service reported.
The CDC has continued to insist that vaccination was better than natural immunity during the initial stages of the pandemic, but as the Wall Street Journal opinion column pointed out, Israeli scientists have found the opposite.
Which goes to show that speech suppression should not be the business of Big Tech — or the government — when it comes to Covid and more, not less, discussion is warranted. But it does lead you to wonder what “misinformation” and “conspiracy theories” from yesterday will be tomorrow’s admitted facts.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.