In 2020, anyone who shared information on social media about anything related to COVID-19 and the lab in Wuhan, China or that mentioned the possibility that COVID-19 was man-made, saw their post removed and may have even been banned. Facebook, Twitter, Google, the establishment media, and many in the government made it their primary mission to "dispel misinformation" over the origins of the COVID-19 virus.
The arbiters of truth in Big Tech claimed and vehemently pushed the idea — based only on theories — that the COVID-19 virus originated in nature, and anyone who challenged or questioned this view was a dangerous conspiracy theorist.
Twitter even took to completely removing the account of a Chinese virologist who came forward with these claims. Dr Li-Meng Yan, who was reportedly a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Hong Kong School of Public Health, had her Twitter account suspended after she claimed the coronavirus was created in a lab and put forth a trove of data to back up her claims.
Just one year ago, CNN put out a hit piece claiming that "Anthony Fauci just crushed Donald Trump's theory on the origins of the coronavirus." Anyone who claimed otherwise was fact-checked into oblivion, their profiles banned, and if they had pages, their reach was diminished to nothing, if not entirely removed.
It was established. The fact checkers were correct and anyone who challenged them was a danger to society. But the fact checkers who dismissed this information did not do so with "facts" at all. Instead, they simply promoted one theory over another. And now, they are eating their words.
Last May, Washington Post's Fact Checker team reported that the “balance of the scientific evidence strongly supports the conclusion that the new coronavirus emerged from nature,” and their article was used to warn readers on Facebook who may have shared information which challenged this theory.
However, as the Washington Post just reported, last week, a group of 18 preeminent scientists published a letter in the journal Science saying a new investigation is needed, because “theories of accidental release from a lab and zoonotic spillover both remain viable.”
Now, Dr. Fauci has changed his stance on the matter, stating that these claims of lab origination somehow hold water a year later — despite "crushing" them last year.
Earlier this month, Fauci spoke at a Poynter event where he was asked about the origination of the virus. Instead of repeating the same narrative he has for an entire year, he changed course and is now saying he is "not convinced" the virus developed naturally.
“No actually. I am not convinced about that. I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said, according to Fox News.
“Certainly, the people who investigated it say it likely was the emergence from an animal reservoir that then infected individuals, but it could have been something else, and we need to find that out. So, you know, that’s the reason why I said I’m perfectly in favor of any investigation that looks into the origin of the virus,” he added.
“Do you think it’s possible that COVID-19 arose from a lab accident … in Wuhan, and should it be fully investigated?” Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) a doctor, asked Fauci during a Senate hearing earlier this month.
“That possibility certainly exists, and I am totally in favor of a full investigation of whether that could have happened,” he replied.
Wait what??? What happened to the settled science that this came from a bat? Science happened, that's what.
Despite the partisan media hacks, including their "fact checkers" attempting to squash all debate and claim a single truth, scientists continued doing what scientists do and their investigation and experimentation has led to new information. Thankfully, there happens to still be people out there who conduct research for the sake of seeking truth — instead of simply making their political rivals looks stupid.
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While we still have no idea where this virus came from, the notion of silencing one opinion and choosing another one is the opposite of an intelligent debate.
This shows us the problem with the so-called fact checkers. Over the past several years, their partisan tendencies have become so obvious that they appear to many as toddlers on the playground holding their fingers in their ears and humming loudly to avoid hearing anything they are being told.
The Free Thought Project has been "fact-checked" nearly a dozen times and we have had most of them overturned with the exception of two groups who would not reply back to our requests.
Make no mistake, there are definitely some asinine and utterly stupid conspiracy theories out there on just about everything, including COVID-19. But does society need handlers to hide these things from them by censoring those who engage with it?
Stupid ideas didn't used to go extremely viral. Even in the furthest corners of the conspiracy theory realm, verifiably false facts were easily proven wrong and dismissed swiftly. But that no longer happens now thanks to fact checkers.
Because fact checkers are heavily based along party lines, even when they are perfectly truthful, their partisan nature tends to make their political rivals dismiss actual facts.
"If the libtards at politifact say it's false then it must be true!" See how that goes? Now, the censorship and big tech bans lend credibility to stupid ideas and they spread like wildfire as a result. This is not a good thing.
While fact checkers certainly provide a benefit, the idea of using them to censor skeptics is dangerous. Fact checking sites are certainly welcomed but when they have authority to silence those who may disagree with the majority consensus, we move from providing a benefit to silencing crucial and much needed skepticism.
To be clear, a scientific consensus is not to be easily discounted. Thousands of people all coming to similar conclusions through varying applications of the scientific method is a powerful means of explaining and understanding our environment and presence on this planet and in the universe. Coming to a consensus allows humanity to make better decisions about fostering a more sustainable future and helps us figure out how to progress as a species and deal with the various woes we face — like COVID-19.
That being said, the collective is often dangerously — and deadly — wrong. Indoctrinating people to unquestioningly accept what the fact checkers says as fact, like so many of these fact checkers have done over the past year through various means of information manipulation can and will have damning consequences.
This current method of cancelling, censoring, and banning, sets out to grow the herd of consensus, simply by convincing people that doing anything but unquestioningly accepting the consensus is wrong.
This is dangerous, as an incorrect consensus going unchecked can and has led to immeasurable death and human suffering. Eugenics anyone? Or how about "weapons of mass destruction"?
Without skepticism, group think prevails and group think kills.
While it is entirely noble to want to rid humanity of disinformation, sometimes that 'disinformation' is actually truth. Without the crazies in the peanut gallery keeping scientists and the consensus on their A-game, reality is not challenged and disinformation can become mainstream.
In the words of the late great George Carlin, humanity would do well to always "Question Everything."