Facebook forced to remove censorship of post promoting life-saving Hydroxychloroquine
MENLO PARK, California, February 2, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Facebook’s new oversight board has overturned the tech giant’s decision to censor a post promoting the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a treatment for COVID-19. The social media platform removed the post last year, saying that it caused a “risk of offline harm” due to “misinformation.”
The corporation’s oversight board was created last year to act as a kind of supreme court adjudicating difficult censorship cases. The board’s website states its role is to use “its independent judgment to support people’s right to free expression and ensure those rights are being adequately respected.”
Furthermore, the “board’s decisions to uphold or reverse Facebook’s content decisions,” the description says, “will be binding, meaning Facebook will have to implement them.”
The case in question originated in France in which a Facebook user criticized his government’s refusal “to authorize hydroxychloroquine combined with azithromycin for use against COVID-19.” In doing so, the individual stated, “‘[Didier] Raoult’s cure’ is being used elsewhere to save lives,” and also “questioned what society had to lose by allowing doctors to prescribe in an emergency a ‘harmless drug’ when the first symptoms of COVID-19 appear.”
The post was removed by Facebook for “for violating its misinformation and imminent harm rule… finding the post contributed to the risk of imminent physical harm during a global pandemic.”
In overturning this removal, the Board observed that the focus of the post was an opposition to government policy, and Facebook had not “demonstrated the post would rise to the level of imminent harm, as required by its own rule in the Community Standards,” since HCQ and azithromycin are not available in France apart from a prescription, and the post “does not encourage people to buy or take drugs without a prescription.”
Furthermore, the oversight board found that Facebook’s action in this regard “did not comply with international human rights standards on limiting freedom of expression,” also finding their “misinformation and imminent harm rule … to be inappropriately vague and inconsistent with international human rights standards.”
In response to this judgement, Facebook welcomed the Oversight Board’s decision, reinstating the post, and pledging to “initiate a review of identical content with parallel context. If we determine that we have the technical and operational capacity to take action on that content as well, we will do so promptly.”
The Oversight Board’s judgment comes in the midst of a new study published in the American Journal of Medicine (AJM) which confirmed positive results for early treatments of COVID-19 using HCQ, and supported early outpatient treatment with this medication.
As described by its founder, Dr. Simone Gold, AFLD is a volunteer physician’s organization which was assembled to “combat the serious and life-threatening disinformation campaign” that came in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
Last July, the group held a press conference in which they discussed the effectiveness of HCQ to treat COVID-19, and after this video had gone viral, being viewed 17 million times in 8 hours, big tech corporations, including Facebook swiftly removed it for violating their “misinformation” policies.
In their paper, the group calls the suppression of the truth that HCQ is a safe, effective, widely available and inexpensive treatment for COVID-19, the “most notable” disinformation regarding the pandemic.
In fact, outside the Western nations, HCQ has been broadly used with great success. For example, in response to the virus, both China and India mandated or recommended HCQ for its population early last year, and at least India, “continues to enjoy a death rate a fraction (~10 percent) of the USA even in the most densely populated slums,” the group writes.
Dr. Gold stated in a presentation last month, “So in America the death rates are in the 800 range per million,” she explained. “In Africa, Sub-Sahara Africa, the poorest places in the world, no social distancing, no mask, no ICU’s, they have a death rate of one percent the western nations. One percent!”
“Now I believe it is due to widely available HCQ. I don’t think you can explain it for any other reason,” she said.
The AFLD paper goes on to provide thorough documentation on how “(c)ountries where HCQ is widely available, which are typically third world countries that have malaria or citizens who travel to malaria-endemic regions, have 1-10 percent of the death rates of first world nations where HCQ is severely restricted.”
Commenting on the irony of Facebook’s censorship of this topic, Dr. Gold tweeted: “Facebook just announced it ‘made a mistake’ when it censored studies showing HCQ saves lives. Censorship is never ‘a mistake.’ Tech executives repeatedly made a calculated decision, month after month, silencing physicians worldwide. Censorship kills.”
Facebook just announced it “made a mistake” when it censored studies showing HCQ saves lives. Censorship is never “a mistake.” Tech executives repeatedly made a calculated decision, month after month, silencing physicians worldwide.— Dr. Simone Gold (@drsimonegold) January 28, 2021
Censorship kills.https://t.co/TX0g8lPxUx pic.twitter.com/nh1f9lwDNc
One commenter asked, “how many people died because of their actions! If this isn’t enough I don’t know what is to sanction these social media creeps.”
Another responded, “Exactly doctor Gold... they (Facebook) knew what they were doing and should be held accountable... lives were involved here and the heads of these corporations positioned themselves against the safety of the people.”
A photo attached to Gold’s post included a short article quoting Dr. Peter McCullough who headed the AJM study.
HCQ, McCullough says, really works and is “the most widely used therapeutic” to treat COVID-19 in the world.
“The chances that it doesn’t work are calculated to be one in 17 billion,” he said.
“Sadly, in the United States … patients get no treatment whatsoever. They literally are told to stay at home until they are sick enough to go to the hospital.”
“I think that honestly it’s atrocious. History will look back on that and think it was the worst way to handle a potentially fatal illness."