Commentary

Facebook 'Fact Checks' Scientific Article on COVID-19 Origin

Facts don’t matter anymore for Facebook.

That’s why the Big Tech giant is “fact-checking” articles that suggest that COVID-19 came from a lab in Wuhan, China — even scientific ones.

The Washington Free Beacon reported on Facebook’s censorship on Wednesday, noting the social media company “is warning users that articles describing evidence for the [lab] theory are ‘Missing Context’ and is steering them to a 2020 fact-check saying there is little evidence for a non-natural origin of the virus.”

The fact-check, which is more than a year old, references “two academic articles and five scientists on Twitter who believe the theory is false,” the report said.

Science reporter Nicholas Wade kept an open mind on the issue, however, and published a piece on Medium on May 2 examining COVID’s origins.

Trending:
Officials Act as Georgia Makes Massive Discovery on Voter Rolls

Wade, who has written for Science, Nature and The New York Times, began by noting that no direct evidence exits for either the Wuhan lab theory or the animal-to-human transmission story often cited as the source of the novel coronavirus.

He explained how quickly many scientists rushed to judgment in early 2020, basing their assumptions about the virus’s origins from previous epidemics, including SARS1.

In early 2020, little was still known about SARS-CoV-2.

So why was the scientific community so quick to write off any assertion that the virus came from a laboratory?

Do you believe COVID-19 escaped from a Wuhan lab?

Wade posed the same question, discussing a letter from a group of scientists published in The Lancet in March 2020. “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin,” they wrote.

“Contrary to the letter writers’ assertion, the idea that the virus might have escaped from a lab invoked accident, not conspiracy,” Wade said. “It surely needed to be explored, not rejected out of hand.”

He noted that “a defining mark of good scientists is that they go to great pains to distinguish between what they know and what they don’t know. By this criterion, the signatories of the Lancet letter were behaving as poor scientists: they were assuring the public of facts they could not know for sure were true.”

Wade also highlighted another intriguing point that indicating the questionable intentions of these “poor scientists”: Dr. Peter Daszak, who “organized and drafted” the Lancet letter, has ties to the lab in question since his “organization funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

Now that we’re starting to see an increase in the number of voices speaking out in defense of the Wuhan lab theory, Facebook is moving to sustain the left’s narrative.

Related:
'Vaccine Lottery' Now Being Aimed at Kids; Children 12-17 Have Chance to Win Prize Worth $50K for Getting Jab

Health Feedback analyzed the two coronavirus origin hypotheses as well, noting that while there is no evidence that the virus was bioengineered or was simply under study and leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (which dedicates one laboratory to studying bat coronaviruses), this “does not rule out the possibility that scientists were working on it in secret.”

It also cited the opinions of Flinders University professor Nikolai Petrovsky, who specializes in vaccine development, and Rutgers chemical biology professor Richard Ebright when discussing the lab theory.

“While SARS-CoV-2 has some similarities to SARS CoV and other bat viruses, no natural virus matching to COVID-19 has yet been found in animals,” Petrovsky said in a Scimex article.

“It is absolutely clear the market had no connection with the origin of the outbreak virus, and, instead, only was involved in amplification of an outbreak that had started elsewhere in Wuhan almost a full month earlier,” Ebright told CNN last year.

Still, it’s essential to point out that, as Wade mentioned, neither theory has been proven or denied thus far.

Why, then, aren’t we allowed to freely discuss COVID’s origins on social media platforms?

It’s strange that any notion that the “wet market” theory is not sustained by evidence is labeled as a falsehood or “missing context.”

Then again, we’re well aware of Facebook’s track record of censorship.

The Free Beacon chastised the social media giant for its eagerness to silence or suppress the opposition, saying Facebook did not “respond to requests for comment on whether it artificially limits the reach content it labels as ‘Missing Context.'”

However, it reported that “an examination of accounts that had posted the article showed significantly lower engagement with the story than with other stories posted in the same time period.”

It’s obvious that Facebook doesn’t want an alternative opinion to slip through the cracks.

What is the purpose of this?

Does it fear that perpetuating the idea that Chinese scientists are to blame for this virus will only perpetuate anti-Asian racism or anti-China sentiments?

It’s important to note, as Wade did, that any evidence potentially pointing to the lab theory would depict the virus’s escape as an accident rather than intentional.

Still, we may never know just what happened — especially as long as opposing viewpoints are held at bay.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , , , ,
Taylor Penley is a government relations intern and student studying English, rhetoric and global studies. She plans to graduate in May 2021 and begin a master of arts program in political science this fall.
Taylor Penley is a government relations intern and student studying English, rhetoric and global studies. She plans to graduate in May 2021 and begin a master of arts program in political science this fall.




loading

Conversation