WhatsNew2Day
Latest News And Breaking Headlines

Publishing Leading Doctors The BMJ Criticizes Facebook For Censoring Its Report

dr.  Kamran Abbasi editor of the British Medical Journal criticized Facebook for 'censoring' its report over malpractice allegations during Pfizer's Covid vaccine trials

dr. Kamran Abbasi – editor of the British Medical Journal – criticized Facebook for ‘censoring’ its report over malpractice allegations during Pfizer’s Covid vaccine trials

The editor of the British Medical Journal has criticized Facebook for “censoring” its report on malpractice allegations during Pfizer’s Covid vaccine trials.

dr. Kamran Abbasi accused the social media giant of suppressing “fully fact-checked” journalism and “trying to control how people think”.

A November BMJ investigation warned that a contractor who conducted some of Pfizer’s original jab studies may have falsified data and biased findings.

The report was based on dozens of internal documents, photos, audio recordings, videos and statements from three former employees.

But when some users shared the journal entry on Facebook, their post was automatically labeled “missing context.”

The shared article was also accompanied by a warning that it could “mislead people” and a link to a fact-checking website.

The BMJ is filing a complaint with Facebook’s Oversight Board this week after a failed appeal to Mark Zuckerberg to have the tags removed via an open letter.

Writing in the BMJ today, Dr Abbasi said: ‘We should all be very concerned that Facebook, a multi-billion dollar company, is in fact censoring full fact-checked journalism that raises legitimate concerns about conducting clinical trials.’

He added: “Facebook’s actions will not stop The BMJ from doing the right thing, but the real question is, why is Facebook acting this way? What drives his worldview?

‘Is it ideology? Are they commercial interests? Is it incompetence?

1642676065 308 Publishing Leading Doctors The BMJ Criticizes Facebook For Censoring Its

1642676065 308 Publishing Leading Doctors The BMJ Criticizes Facebook For Censoring Its

The BMJ has criticized Facebook after its article about mistakes made during the Pfizer vaccine trials was labeled “missing context.” Above is a post where a user shared the article, accompanied by a comment from Facebook

People who shared the BMJ article on Facebook also received these notifications

People who shared the BMJ article on Facebook also received these notifications

The BMJ has already filed a complaint with Mark Zuckerberg and will take the matter to the Oversight Board this week

The BMJ has already filed a complaint with Mark Zuckerberg and will take the matter to the Oversight Board this week

People who shared the BMJ article on Facebook also received these notifications. The BMJ has already filed a complaint with Mark Zuckerberg and will take the matter to the Oversight Board this week. Facebook said the article was tagged for being shared by anti-vaxxers

“Users should be concerned that, despite presenting itself as a neutral social media platform, Facebook is trying to control how people think under the guise of ‘fact-checking’.”

The BMJ article covered part of Pfizer’s Texas trial, which involved 1,000 participants. There’s no suggestion it skewed the broader study’s overall findings.

The prestigious medical journal has filed a complaint with the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), which helps detect misinformation online.

Social media bosses face tough criminal penalties for hosting extremist content

Social media bosses could face “criminal penalties with severe penalties” if they allow extremist content to appear on their platforms, Boris Johnson said.

He told MPs that the upcoming Online Security Act would crack down on web giants if they let “dirty content” circulate.

And he promised that the much-anticipated legislation would make rapid progress in the House of Commons, and that the bill would get its second reading before Christmas.

But a Whitehall source later said the second reading might not take place until early next year.

The bill, published in May, gives regulator Ofcom the power to fine billions of pounds on tech giants who fail to demonstrate their duty of care to users.

But it doesn’t stop with criminal sanctions against bosses.

Instead, a new executive offense has been included as a deferred authority that could be introduced if Ofcom finds companies failing to meet their new responsibilities.

Some campaigners have expressed fears that the rules risk suffocating the free press, “silencing marginalized voices” and introducing “state-backed censorship.”

Facebook says the article was initially labeled “missing context” because it was used by anti-vaxxers as “proof” that Covid shots were unsafe.

Social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have come under intense scrutiny during the pandemic for misinformation, particularly regarding vaccines.

Earlier this month, Boris Johnson said anti-vaxxers were allowed to spread “mumbo-jumbo” and “complete nonsense” online.

Gary Schwitzer, of the University of Minnesota and who runs a website that evaluates health journalism, said Facebook’s fact-checking process was not transparent or consistent enough.

The BMJ’s Pfizer research report, published last November, warned that part of the study by the medical company Ventavia had been slashed.

Whistleblower Brook Jackson, who briefly worked for the company in 2020, told the BMJ Ventavia doesn’t always test patients with symptoms, potentially masking how well jabs performed.

She added it was “falsifying” data and said it had hired under-qualified staff as vaccinators and to monitor side effects.

Her statements were confirmed by dozens of internal documents and two former Ventavia employees, who wished to remain anonymous.

The Texas-based contractor was responsible for 1,000 participants at three locations across the state, or just two percent of all involved.

But the report raised concerns that similar issues may have crept into other parts of the process, though these remain unproven.

BMJ’s chief of journalism Rebecca Coombes and investigative editor Madlen Davies said they had “serious concerns” about the fact-checking being conducted for Facebook.

They said the lack of accountability and oversight from outside fact-checkers led to the censorship of accurate information.

Researchers conducting small number of original Pfizer Covid vaccine studies may have 'falsified' study findings, BMJ has reported (file)

Researchers conducting small number of original Pfizer Covid vaccine studies may have 'falsified' study findings, BMJ has reported (file)

Researchers conducting small number of original Pfizer Covid vaccine studies may have ‘falsified’ study findings, BMJ has reported (file)

Since then, Pfizer has rehired Ventavia to work on four other trials of its shots, including booster doses for children, young adults and pregnant women.

Ventavia denied the claims, saying an internal investigation had found them to be “unsubstantiated.”

They said Ms Jackson had been employed by the company for about two weeks in September 2020 and was not responsible for the Covid vaccine trial as part of her job.

Meta, owner of Facebook, told MailOnline that its fact-checkers were responsible for rating content and applying ratings to stories.

A spokesperson said: “We are transparent with publishers when their content is fact-checked, and we have an appeals process for publishers who wish to make a correction or contest a review directly with a fact-checker.”

Facebook has approximately 2.85 billion users, which is equivalent to more than a third of the world’s population.

The upcoming UK online safety law will hold tech giants responsible for ‘harmful’ content distributed on their platforms.

This includes illegal content, such as terrorist propaganda and child abuse, and ‘legal but harmful’ content, such as cyberbullying and misinformation – including around Covid vaccines.

However, news organizations have expressed concern that this will lead to legitimate journalism being taken down as companies will use algorithms to search messages.

Peter Wright, editor-in-chief of DMG Media, has previously said that the social media platform’s algorithms for monitoring content are “very bad.”

He told a parliamentary committee hearing that attempts by Facebook to moderate journalism in the US resulted in articles being blocked before anyone had a chance to read them.

Mr Wright said; ‘it’s arbitrary, it often doesn’t understand the nature of the content, it’s imposed without due process, it’s inconsistent with English legal thinking about journalism, which is that the editor should take responsibility for what he or she publishes, and pay the consequences afterwards’.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More