The following is a news analysis and commentary.
By now, most people are familiar with the corporate and political interests that have taken hold of information through self-proclaimed "fact checks," and the one-sided censorship policies of Big Tech, often resulting in suppression of accurate information and promotion of false information.
Finally, a medical authority is considering suing over the potentially dangerous practices.
The case at hand involves the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and an impressive investigative article by journalist Paul Thacker, published last November. The article was entitled, "Revelations of poor practices at a contract research company helping to carry out Pfizer’s pivotal covid-19 vaccine trial raise questions about data integrity and regulatory oversight."
It's the kind of reporting that should have been done by and published in The New York Times or CBS News-- and might have been once upon a time. But not in today's managed media environment.
Here's a summary of what Thacker's article covered, as summarized by BMJ editors:
In September, a former employee of Ventavia, a contract research company helping carry out the main Pfizer covid-19 vaccine trial, began providing The BMJ with dozens of internal company documents, photos, audio recordings, and emails. These materials revealed a host of poor clinical trial research practices occurring at Ventavia that could impact data integrity and patient safety. We also discovered that, despite receiving a direct complaint about these problems over a year ago, the FDA did not inspect Ventavia’s trial sites.British Medical Journal Editors
Read the original BMJ article by Thacker here: https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2635.
After that article published, Big Tech, likely backed by U.S. government and pharmaceutical interest minders, got busy trying to discredit it, as has happened with increasing frequency throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the case of Facebook, the social media company's fake science fact checkers claimed the article was “Missing context ... Independent fact-checkers say this information could mislead people.” Facebook also incorrectly told users that the article contained "false information" or contained information that was "partly false."
Facebook's fake science fact checkers have repeatedly treated factually accurate posts by this reporter in much the same way.
When this happens to ordinary people and authors, they are left with little recourse. In my case, the opportunity to appeal Facebook's false labels didn't exist, since Facebook's appeals function was disabled in a number of ways. Even if an appeal and correction had been possible, the damage was already done.
The BMJ took the slander seriously, responding in its own publication and through an open letter written to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Thacker posted relevant documents on his newsletter.
See Thacker's documents here: https://disinformationchronicle.substack.com/p/pfizer-covid-19-vaccine-clinical
Here is the point-by-point response made by BMJ editors Fiona Godlee and Kamran Abbasi in an article entitled "Facebook is cracking down on real science."
We find the “fact check” performed by [Facebook's/Meta's] Lead Stories to be inaccurate, incompetent and irresponsible.
-- It fails to provide any assertions of fact that The BMJ article got wrong
-- It has a nonsensical title: “Fact Check: The British Medical Journal Did NOT Reveal Disqualifying And Ignored Reports Of Flaws In Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Trials”
-- The first paragraph inaccurately labels The BMJ a “news blog”
-- It contains a screenshot of our article with a stamp over it stating “Flaws Reviewed,” despite the Lead Stories article not identifying anything false or untrue in The BMJ article
-- It published the story on its website under a URL that contains the phrase “hoax-alert”British Medical Journal editors Fiona Godlee and Kamran Abbasi.
When recently asked if it intends to sue Facebook/Meta for the slander and false information, BMJ replied that "The BMJ is considering all available options."
Editor Alan Duke, or Facebook's fake science fact checker Lead Stories, reportedly told Just the News that it is "'very confident about our fact-checking work and stand by everything we've written' including two followup articles in response to the BMJ allegations."
Facebook's fake science fact checker "Health Feedback" has likewise slapped false labels on accurate information and promoted false information.