Facebook ramps up censorship, ‘will start removing false claims’ about COVID vaccine
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MENLO PARK, California, December 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Social media giant Facebook has announced it will be removing any posts regarding the upcoming COVID-19 vaccines from its platforms if the information is deemed to be “false.”
The press release issued yesterday states that “[g]iven the recent news that COVID-19 vaccines will soon be rolling out around the world, over the coming weeks we will start removing false claims about these vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts on Facebook and Instagram. This is another way that we are applying our policy to remove misinformation about the virus that could lead to imminent physical harm.”
The “public health experts” are not named. However, the website where the press release was published also contains a video of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg interviewing Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and President Donald Trump’s top advisor during the coronavirus crisis, thus indicating who might be considered an authority on “false claims” about vaccines.
Facebook’s press release outlined the kinds of posts and statements which will be removed, promising to delete “false claims about the safety, efficacy, ingredients or side effects of the vaccines. For example, we will remove false claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips, or anything else that isn’t on the official vaccine ingredient list.”
Thoughts or suggestions deemed to be “conspiracy theories” will also be removed. It is unclear when the enforcement will begin precisely, with Facebook mentioning that the promised cull will not begin “overnight.”
Beyond removing posts, Facebook additionally promised to promote its own news, as sourced via its COVID-19 Information Center.
The promised censorship from the Big Tech company comes in the wake of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where senators grilled both Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey about the issue of censorship.
At the time, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) questioned Zuckerberg regarding information he had received from a whistleblower stating that Big Tech companies collaborated in censorship and that “Facebook has an internal platform to manage it.”
Using that platform, Facebook employees “discuss which individuals, or hashtags, or websites to ban,” Hawley said.
The senator also quizzed Zuckerberg about Centra, a tool used by the company “to track its users not just on Facebook but across the entire internet.” Replying as to how many accounts in the United States had been shut down using the program, Zuckerberg said, “I’m not familiar with the name of that tool.”
Closing his questions, Hawley gave a summary of the relation between the Big Tech companies and their influence upon citizens: “What we have here is clear evidence of coordination between Twitter, Google and Facebook. Mr. Zuckerberg knows he has the tools to track this, but he either doesn’t remember or won’t commit to letting us see it.”
President Trump recently confirmed that he would veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the annual defense-spending bill, unless it does away with Section 230, which provides indemnity to Big Tech companies.