February 22, 2021

ANTISOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook blocking my article brought home the urgent need for tech giants to be held accountable.

Earlier this month I wrote an article for UnHerd in response to the World Health Organisation trip to Wuhan in search of the pandemic origins.

My piece was scathing about the belated exercise, arguing that a crucial inquiry for global safety was compromised by shameful appeasement of a dictatorship. It criticised how the team – vetted by Beijing and including one scientist with a clear conflict of interest – disregarded evidence to push China’s narrative that a laboratory leak was “extremely unlikely” and not worthy of further investigation, while claiming the virus might have been imported to the country on frozen food.

Facebook posted a sign warning of false information and alleging “this post repeats information about Covid-19 that independent fact-checkers say is false”. My editors were furious since this impeded sharing of a time-sensitive article, while I was dismayed by a serious allegation that could damage my reputation.

Luckily, I was able to track down a senior executive for the company, who after rapid investigation apologised for their mistake and discarded the sanction. “A fact-checking label was wrongly applied to this post yesterday and it was removed,” he said in an email. “We’re very sorry for any inconvenience or confusion caused.”

Facebook is even clumsier than they are arrogant.

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.