International News May 20, 2021 7:38 PM EST

'Fact-checkers were actually fact-blockers': Facebook 'fact check' on masks spread disinformation

Facebook's fact-checking system falsely flagged an article by City Journal's John Tierney on April 20, 2021. The article, entitled "Much to forgive", talked about the dangers of forcing children to wear face masks.

'Fact-checkers were actually fact-blockers': Facebook 'fact check' on masks spread disinformation
James Anthony Montreal QC
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Facebook's fact-checking system falsely flagged an article by City Journal's John Tierney on April 20, 2021. The article, entitled "Much to forgive", talked about the dangers of forcing children to wear face masks.

The "independent" fact-checkers gave the well-researched and properly-sourced article a "mostly false" designation, and upheld the ruling, despite City Journal's appeal. The evidence used to support the article came from a peer-reviewed medical journal.

According to Fox News, "In the piece, Tierney argued masks were ineffective and even harmful for children by hurting their ability to develop linguistic skills and causing psychological damage, among other side effects."

Tierney himself wrote in a rebuttal article which was published on Monday:

"City Journal appealed the ruling, a process that turned out to be both futile and revealing. Facebook refused to remove the label, which still appears whenever the article is shared, but at least we got an inside look at the tactics that social media companies and progressive groups use to distort science and public policy."

"The 'independent fact-checkers' of my article are affiliated with a nonprofit group called Science Feedback, which has partnered with Facebook in what it calls a 'fight against misinformation.'"

"The group describes itself as 'nonpartisan,' a claim that I would label 'Mostly False' after studying dozens of its fact-checks enforcing progressive orthodoxy on climate change and public health."

"I didn’t see anything that would have displeased the journalists and officials promoting lockdowns and mask mandates. Nor did I see anything that would have displeased a Democrat, particularly during the last presidential campaign. In October, when Donald Trump was predicting that a vaccine was imminent, the group labeled that prediction 'Inaccurate' and proclaimed that 'widespread Covid-19 vaccination is not expected before mid-2021.' (Fact check: The vaccine rollout began in December.)"

"This exercise obviously wasn’t about accuracy. The fact-checkers were actually fact-blockers," continued Tierney, pointing out that the appeal process allows the fact-checkers to police themselves, rather than using a third party.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, despite the evidence, has gone on record as recommending that children as young as two year of age wear masks, even when engaging in athletic activities.

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