(FreedomJournal.com) – The words Facebook and controversy seem to go hand-in-hand.
Any time there is a big news story nowadays, the social media giant almost always finds a way to insert itself into the conversation — in a bad way.
Recently, Facebook decided to censor a post that was written by an expert on China. The post was suggesting the coronavirus first escaped into the world from a laboratory in China.
The post was published on February 24 by the Population Research Institute, which linked to a New York Post article written by author Steve Mosher, an expert on China. The article was detailing the origins of the coronavirus.
The post was blocked by Facebook, however, with the company saying it was “false information.” Before being blocked, the post went viral, attracting 13 million views and 100,000 shares.
In his article, Mosher said the coronavirus was most likely to have come from the National Biosafety Laboratory in China, which is a part of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He wrote on February 22:
“At an emergency meeting in Beijing held last Friday, Chinese leader Xi Jinping spoke about the need to contain the coronavirus and set up a system to prevent similar epidemics in the future. A national system to control biosecurity risks must be put in place ‘to protect the people’s health,'” Xi apparently said, because the safety in the lab is a “‘national security’ issue.
“Xi didn’t actually admit that the coronavirus now devastating large swaths of China had escaped from one of the country’s bioresearch labs. But the very next day, evidence emerged suggesting that this is exactly what happened, as the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology released a new directive titled: ‘Instructions on strengthening biosecurity management in microbiology labs that handle advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus.”
Facebook apparently sided with the organization Health Feedback in this instance, though, which said Mosher’s claims were “inaccurate and misleading.” A virologist at the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, Danielle E. Anderson, helped develop an antibody test for the coronavirus said Mosher’s description as “simply false,” telling Health Feedback:
“I have worked in this exact laboratory at various times for the past two years. I can personally attest to the strict control and containment measures implemented while working there. The staff at WIV are incredibly competent, hardworking and are excellent scientists with superb track records.”
To most, this would see like two opposite viewpoints arguing over a simple topic. Facebook, though, decided that it wasn’t going to stay neutral in this discussion. It wasn’t going to allow healthy debate. Instead, it was going to take a side and say Mosher’s claims were wrong and misleading and, therefore, deserved to be censored.
Of course, there’s no one at Facebook who can definitively say that Mosher is wrong, or that Anderson is correct. So, how, then, can they make a decision like this? The answer is that they can, that they have the ability to do so, even if they shouldn’t.