Media Research Center President L. Brent Bozell slammed the “fraudulent” Facebook fact-checker program for spreading communist Chinese propaganda after Facebook announced it was backtracking on its policy of censoring content that questioned the origins of COVID-19.
Early in the pandemic, Facebook and its fact-checkers censored claims that COVID-19 was manufactured in a laboratory in Wuhan, China. Now, however, it appears as though the laboratory origin has become a more widely accepted theory, and Facebook is eating its words.
Facebook said in a May 26 update it would “no longer” censor posts claiming that COVID-19 was “man-made or manufactured.” The recent admission has launched criticism that the platform’s fact-checker program is unreliable and faulty.
Bozell said in a tweet: “We now have PROOF that Facebook's fact-checker program actively suppressed valid debate about the origins of Covid and instead promoted Chinese propaganda. Facebook must end their fraudulent fact-check program now that we know how dangerous it is.”
He continued in a thread: “These are the consequences of Big Tech playing speech police. Censorship prevents pursuing the truth. We should be able to talk freely on social media platforms. Instead, we are forced into discussing what their biased ‘fact-checkers’ deem true.” Bozell concluded: “Facebook, which claims to be fighting "misinformation" essentially admitted today that THEY have been spreading misinformation for over a year. Yet another reason to remove the protections Facebook and others receive from section 230.”
Facebook confirmed that it would no longer censor the Wuhan laboratory theory in light of new information. “In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made from our apps,” a Facebook spokesperson told MRC Free Speech America in a statement. “We’re continuing to work with health experts to keep pace with the evolving nature of the pandemic and regularly update our policies as new facts and trends emerge.”
Facebook’s admission demonstrates the platform’s lack of accountability and its inability to be the arbiter of truth. Politifact quietly redacted one of its fact-checks about the laboratory leak theory. The outlet is affiliated with the liberal Poynter Institute. Facebook partners with the Poynter Institute’s International Fact Checking Network, which received $1.3 billion from liberal billionaires George Soros and Pierre Omidayr. USA Today, another of the platform’s fact-checkers, updated one of its fact-checks of the theory as well.
The platform censored an article from Fox News in September 2020 that featured a segment from Tucker Carlson Tonight. In the interview, Chinese virologist Dr. Li-Meng Yan claimed that COVID-19 was “created in the lab ... and also, it is spread to the world to make such damage.” Yan also said that she “work[ed] in the WHO reference lab, which is the top coronavirus lab in the world, in the University of Hong Kong.” When asked whether she “believe[d]” that the COVID-19 virus was released “on purpose,” Yan responded, “Yes, of course, it's intentionally.”
Conservatives are under attack. Contact Facebook headquarters at 1-650-308-7300 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment and to stop censoring debate. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.