This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now admitting "a bunch of" COVID information that Facebook censored as "misinformation" was actually true, and the collusion of its so-called "fact-checkers" with government authorities who proved to be wrong on the coronavirus undermined public trust.
"Unfortunately, I think a lot of the kind of 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 more debatable or true," Zuckerberg said in a lengthy interview Friday on the Lex Fridman podcast. "That stuff is really tough, right? It really undermines trust."
Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, is among the most powerful tech companies in the world, with those apps used by more than three billion people. It has long censored viewpoints not in line with prevailing liberal-left orthodoxies, ranging from the LGBT agenda to gun rights, but during the COVID pandemic, it worked directly with government agencies to censor dissenting views.
As WND reported on May 27, Facebook had "falsely claimed" that "concerns that the virus was either intentionally created and released like a bioweapon or was accidentally loosed were 'debunked.'"
Meta, along with other Big Tech giants including Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon, and Google, punished dissidents like Dr. Peter McCullough and "America's Frontline Doctors" who offered preventative treatments for COVID, especially for Americans who were wary of the rushed COVID vaccines.
Popular Twitter account @KanekoaTheGreat tweeted "Mark Zuckerberg says it was challenging to censor COVID misinformation because the scientific establishment was frequently wrong, which ultimately undermined public trust," as he sent out the money quote from Zuckerberg: "Just take some of the stuff around COVID earlier in the pandemic where there were real health implications, but there hadn't been time to fully vet a bunch of the scientific assumptions. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the kind of 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 more debatable or true. That stuff is really tough, right? It really undermines trust."
People who were censored by Facebook for posting what they said was life-saving information about COVID reacted to Zuckerberg by saying his admission did not go nearly far enough and recalling what Facebook had done.
Jovan Grahovac tweeted: "I left [Facebook] because they wouldn't let me mention HCQ [hydroxychloroquine] even within my own network. They censored me even when I cited renowned French researchers. Deleted my profile and never looked back. The only regret is I didn't do it earlier."
Then in response, @PViking said, "I was on FB too and America's Frontline Doctors reported HCQ was a cure and prevention for COVID and watched them almost immediately squashed, doxed, fired, de-licensed, etc. It was horrible to see REAL doctors, treating REAL patients with REAL results attacked. FB killed people?"
Tweeted Larry Boorstein: "'They censored a bunch of stuff that turns out to be true. And Mark Zuckerberg thinks the only problem is it undermines public trust. That's not half of it. The public was deprived of truthful factual information because of censorship. That harmed public [health]."
GrammyBlick tweeted along the same lines: "HCQ was prescribed for my husband ([age] 79) two years before COVID as a maintenance drug. He has an incurable autoimmune [disease]. We got COVID-19 10/2020, pre-vax. He was hospitalized 4 days. I credit HCQ and was asked by FB to remove a positive post."
"He is complicit in crimes against humanity!" tweeted Rob Denman Monday.
Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. responded to the tweet containing the Zuckerberg video excerpt by quote-tweeting: "The awakening continues. It’s dawning on establishment figures like Mark Zuckerberg that they were complicit in a web of deception during COVID."
Dr. Jay Bhattachaya, a Stanford professor of health policy and prominent COVID dissident who was shadow-banned by social media companies for opposing lockdowns and extended school closures, responded: "Zuckerberg's served as an enforcer for government propaganda during the pandemic. His regime of censorship on Facebook – in which falsehoods were allowed and truth censored – enabled school closures, vax mandates, toddler masking, and much else. Glad to see some humility here."
Invariably on Twitter, with each admission by a liberal elite who once eagerly participated in mass COVID censorship that it was ill-conceived, conservatives reminded their followers through video how foolishly and capriciously Big Tech corporations applied their "misinformation" policies.
Conservative reporter Tom Elliott tweeted, "Reality Is a Conspiracy" with a video compilation of the atrocious record and flip-flopping of COVID power elites like Anthony Fauci and their media sycophants:
Conservative Tracy Beanz of UncoverDC.com responded to Zuckerberg's comment: "If you are following my reporting on Missouri v. Biden – you will understand why this is important. This case is pitting the [U.S. government] against the social media companies. If the social media companies say they removed content willingly – like the government wants them to, they will lose Section 230. If they don’t? They may have other problems."
The interview not surprisingly reveals both Zuckerberg and Fridman to be on the political left, with the latter, after interviewing Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, calling the online encyclopedia "one of the greatest websites ever created, and it's kind of a miracle that it works" – to which Zuckerberg largely agrees. Both praise the "balance" that Wikipedia has been able to achieve, a notion that would draw hearty derision from scores of conservatives whose entries have been distorted by Wikipedia.
The two spent a lot of time discussing AI, artificial intelligence, and Fridman's passion as an AI researcher.