Zuck claims ‘establishment’ pushed for censorship of COVID ‘misinformation’ that ended up being ‘true’

In a recent podcast interview, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg slammed the scientific “establishment” for demanding that he censor “debatable or true” content during the COVID pandemic.

Speaking on the “Lex Fridman Podcast” this Thursday, he specifically zeroed in on COVID-related content that was treated as if it was false when in fact it wasn’t.

“Just take some of the stuff around COVID earlier on in the pandemic, where there were real health implications, but there hadn’t been time to fully vet a bunch of the scientific assumptions,” he said.

“And unfortunately, I think a lot of the establishment on that kind of waffled on a bunch of facts and asked for a bunch of things to be censored that in retrospect ended up being, you know, more debatable or true. And that stuff … really undermines trust,” he added.


While his comments came later than ever, they were correct — particularly the part about undermining trust.

“Americans’ confidence in groups and institutions has turned downward compared with just a year ago. Trust in scientists and medical scientists, once seemingly buoyed by their central role in addressing the coronavirus outbreak, is now below pre-pandemic levels,” the Pew Research Center reported in February of 2022.

“Overall, 29% of U.S. adults say they have a great deal of confidence in medical scientists to act in the best interests of the public, down from 40% who said this in November 2020. Similarly, the share with a great deal of confidence in scientists to act in the public’s best interests is down by 10 percentage points (from 39% to 29%).”

That said, Facebook wasn’t alone in being asked to censor true content.

“[T]he US government and major social media companies worked hand-in-hand with Stanford University to censor or limit true information about Covid-19,” according to a report from TRT World published in March.

TRT World specifically pointed to something known as the Virality Project, which was initially exposed in journalist Matt Taibbi’s “Twitter Files.”

“The goal of the project, created by Stanford University, was to identify people on social media who said things about Covid-19 that the government did not want them to say,” the site reported.

“Though the Virality Project reviewed content on a mass scale for Twitter, Google/YouTube, Facebook/Instagram, Medium, TikTok, and Pinterest, it knowingly targeted true material and legitimate political opinion, while often being factually wrong itself,” Taibbi himself reported at the time.

“It accelerated the evolution of digital censorship, moving it from judging truth/untruth to a new, scarier model, openly focused on political narrative at the expense of fact,” he added.

According to Taibbi, the Virality Project told Twitter that “true stories that could fuel hesitancy,” such as “celebrity deaths after vaccine,” should automatically be labeled so-called “Standard Vaccine Misinformation on Your Platform.”

Ultimately, the project wasn’t focused on defending “assertions of fact” but rather promoting “public submission to authority, acceptance of narrative, and pronouncement by figures like Anthony Fauci,” Taibbi added.

Keep in mind the scientific establishment didn’t just target dissenters with censorship. They also targeted them with “[p]ublic intimidation, harassment, personal attacks, retraction of scientific papers after publication and career sabotage,” according to columnist Cory Franklin of the Chicago Tribune.

Most famously, then-Trump administration COVID policy officials Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins worked together to try and smear the writers of the Great Barrington Declaration.

“This proposal from the three fringe epidemiologists . . . seems to be getting a lot of attention – and even a co-signature from Nobel Prize winner Mike Leavitt at Stanford. There needs to be a quick and devastating published take down of its premises. Is it underway?” Collins wrote to Fauci in an Oct. 8th, 2020 email.

Fauci reportedly replied with a yes.


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Vivek Saxena


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