Major technology companies and social media platforms have removed, suppressed or flagged the accounts of over 800 prominent individuals and organizations, including medical doctors, for COVID-19 misinformation, according to a new study from the Media Research Center (MRC).
MRC’s Free Speech America CensorTrack, an initiative that monitors acts of censorship across online platforms, identified over 41 instances between March 2020 and February 2022 in which doctors, scientists and medical organizations were censored, according to the results of a study shared with Daily Caller News Foundation.
The study focused on acts of censorship on major social media platforms and online services, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Ads and TikTok.
Instances of censorship included Facebook’s decision to flag the British Medical Journal with a “fact check” and “missing context” label, reducing the visibility of a post, for a study delving into data integrity issues with a Pfizer vaccine clinical trial. Facebook also deleted the page of The Great Barrington Declaration, an open letter led by dozens of medical professionals, including Dr. Jay Battacharya, a Stanford epidemiologist, and Dr. Martin Kulldorff, a former employee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which advocated for less restrictive measures to address the dangers of COVID-19.
“Big Tech set up a system where you can’t disagree with ‘the science’ even though that’s the foundation of the scientific method,” Dan Gainor, MRC vice president of Free Speech America, told the DCNF. “If doctors and academic journals can’t debate publicly, then it’s not science at all. It’s religion.”
Big Tech also scrubbed podcast host Joe Rogan’s interviews with scientists Dr. Peter McCullough and Dr. Robert Malone, the latter of which was instrumental in pioneering mRNA technology. Twitter banned Malone from its platform permanently in late December 2021 over the virologist’s tweets questioning the efficacy and safety of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We tallied 32 different doctors who were censored, including mRNA vaccine innovator Dr. Robert Malone,” Gainor said. “Censoring views of credentialed experts doesn’t ensure confidence in vaccines, it undermines faith in government COVID-19 strategies.“
In addition to medical doctors, the study examined instances in which members of Congress were censored by tech platforms.
These included an incident in August 2021 in which YouTube suspended Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul for posting a video arguing that “cloth masks” are not effective against the coronavirus, a view later echoed by many prominent medical commentators. Twitter also flagged a tweet from Republican Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie in which he wrote “studies show those with natural immunity from a prior infection are much less likely to contract and spread COVID than those who only have vaccine induced immunity.”
The study also examined Big Tech censorship of prominent media personalities, such as Joe Rogan, Tucker Carlson and Dan Bongino.
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