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Fact-Check This, Facebook


A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article entitled, “How the “Unvaccinated” Got It Right.” It received more attention than anything I have written in many years, being reposted on many sites. 

A little while ago, people who shared my article on Facebook discovered that no one could open it without first being psychologically primed to distrust it. 

Missing context Independent fact-checkers say this information could mislead people.”

I’m not sure who Mark Zuckerberg thinks he is. Nor do I know much about Tom Kertscher, the gentleman who wrote the article that Facebook provides to its users to read to save them from being “misled” by my work. 

Let us allow the possibility that Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Kertscher are sincerely concerned about Truth and examine the points they claim weigh against my article by that standard.

• Data has consistently shown that unvaccinated people are at greater risk than vaccinated people of getting infected by COVID-19 and dying from it.

Since my article made no argument to the contrary and Mr. Kertscher’s claim is entirely irrelevant to any argument that I did make, the suggestion that the claim is relevant is itself misleading. 

Obviously, if you are in a high-risk group and the vaccine has any positive effect whatsoever, then “unvaccinated” people will be at greater risk of dying of COVID than “vaccinated,” all things being equal. However, my article – if Facebook’s censors had actually bothered to read it – was specifically a response to the claim made by Scott Adams that the “vaccinated” now face a worry concerning the long-term consequences of “vaccination” that the “unvaccinated” do not. That worry is reasonable for all the reasons stated in my piece. Those reasons include the fact that the “vaccine” had not undergone long-term testing when it was pressed upon the population, its manufacturers were protected from liability for harm, and the data regarding effectiveness and safety were systematically compromised in the multiple ways that I outlined.

More importantly, though, my article was clear that the decision-making process it lays out regarding “vaccination” applies to a healthy individual with no comorbidities. According to the CDC, which my piece quoted, “the overwhelming number of deaths – over 75% – occurred in people that had at least four comorbidities. So really these were people who were unwell to begin with.” Since my article was expressly not about that group, Mr. Kertscher’s claim is not only irrelevant: it misleads, ironically, by entirely ignoring the the very group (individuals at very low risk of serious harm from COVID per the available data) that I explicitly stated my argument applied to. In other words, I provided the necessary context and Facebook’s censorship ignores it – and then falsely claims missing context. 

• COVID-19 vaccines have a strong safety record and infection alone provides only limited protection.

Once again, the implication that this statement contextualizes the claims in my article is misleading. 

First off, both infection and vaccines (obviously) offer “limited” protection. What makes Mr. Kertscher’s statement so (I hate to have to use these words again) ironic and misleading is that, as I stated and Mr. Kertscher apparently missed, it was only the “vaccine” that was ever falsely claimed to offer complete protection. Moreover, multiple such claims were quoted in my piece. Since those claims were false, and unretracted, they bear on the trustworthiness of the data provided by the people who made them.

More importantly, with respect to Mr. Kertscher’s claim concerning safety, one of the core purposes of my article was to carefully and extensively provide the full context of that very safety claim, which we have been hearing for years. 

My article shows, precisely why, when the full context is considered, the safety claims are themselves so unreliable as to be potentially misleading. To repeat a few reasons here: there had not been time to collect long-term safety data when the claims were made; as time proceeds, the data increasingly suggest the occurrence of vaccine injuries; previously publicized inferences from available data were systematically skewed to suit policy decisions that did not change with the data; data that disfavored the “vaccine”-and-lockdown COVID response were suppressed, ignored, and/or censored; and factual claims made by top officials (including Biden, Fauci etc.) were proved later to be false. 

Once again, the irony is evident. Mr. Kertscher’s article is offered to Facebook users to provide the context that prevents them from being misled by my own. In truth, not only does it provide no context whatsoever for my claims: my censored article provides the proper context for Mr. Kertscher claims. 

You cannot make it up. 

• Usually, vaccine side effects are minor and emerge within days, not years later. Some people who get COVID-19 experience “long COVID” — physical effects that can last for years.

Once again, Mr. Kertscher’s claim does not go to any of the points made in my article. 

Certainly, COVID may have long-term symptoms. I have never said otherwise. My piece is about how to balance risks in the informational environment in which we were living over the last three years. My article does not deny “long COVID exists.” Rather, it discusses – rather intelligently, if he will allow me to say so myself – how that risk should be weighed against others. These others include, for example, the long-term risks of vaccine-injury and the potentially greater risk of complying with a regulatory regime that enables the mass removal of basic rights to be returned as privileges to be enjoyed only by the medically compliant under insufficiently informed consent. 

Mr. Kertscher’s further assertion, “usually, vaccine side effects are minor and emerge within days” is not disputed by my article. But again, it is ironically misleading by completely ignoring the fact that my article carefully explains the context in which that very claim must be assessed by someone considering a medical intervention. 

That context, as my article pointed out, includes the fact that the definition of “vaccine” was changed by the CDC so that the term “vaccine” could be applied to the mRNA COVID “vaccine.” A historic claim about vaccines defined in one way cannot, absent other information, tell us anything about an intervention that would not satisfy that definition. 

Moreover, even putting that category error of Mr. Kertscher’s aside, and pretending that mRNA is a vaccine, Mr. Kertscher then has the problem of having to deal with the fact that his historic class of vaccines over which he makes his generalization invariably underwent clinical trials that the mRNA COVID “vaccine” did not; on top of that, the manufacturers of those other vaccines had legal liability for harm that they might have caused whereas the manufacturers of the mRNA COVID “vaccine” did not. He is not comparing like with like.

Evidently, the people who are really presenting misleading information for lack of proper context are Facebook’s fact-checkers. Who fact-checks them? 

Articles like mine, which Facebook censors – or rather (if you prefer) suppresses the effect of – are the ones that are so badly needed to help regular people find Truth, and maintain the necessary skepticism that will enable them to do so, in the highly distorted informational environment that Facebook and its ilk willfully create. 

  • For a journalist like Mr. Kertscher to mislead Facebook users by misrepresenting another writer’s article is bad.
  • For a journalist like Mr. Kertscher to help a platform impinge on the free speech of another writer is a disgrace.
  • For a journalist like Mr. Kertscher to do the first in the service of the second – and then to allow what he has done to be passed off as the very opposite of what it is – seems to me like a kind of ticket to the deepest circle of writers’ Hell. 

Mr. Kertscher has every right to disagree with me on anything – including, even, the facts. But the difference between him and me – and between Facebook and me – is that I am not allowing my work to be used to prevent his work from speaking for itself. I am not telling anyone how they must read what he writes – and I am certainly not pre-emptively reinterpreting what he writes to tip the scales of his readers’ judgment of it. 

Unfortunately, he and others like him are doing all of those things to people, like me, who are at least as knowledgeable and intellectually honest as he is, and possibly – who knows? – sometimes even more so. 

But let me try to be more generous to Mr. Kertscher. 

Let me allow that his work is being used to misrepresent mine and thus mislead the users of Facebook in ways that he never really agreed to or imagined. 

Let us assume that he is a kind of unwitting lackey – an honest man doing his best to generate helpful content to him to earn a living using the information available. Perhaps the contract he signed with Politifact – the company that he works for and whose content Facebook used to censor my own – leaves Mr. Kertscher no control over where and for what dark purposes his own best efforts are used. 

In that case, I would suggest, poor Mr. Kertscher is an unwitting participant in a rather sinister attempt to achieve the very opposite of what he is hoping to achieve.

For that reason, I feel the need to provide some of the relevant missing context to prevent his readers and Mr. Zuckerberg’s users from being misled. 

After all, I know it is what they would want me to do. 

Facebook is one of numerous social platforms that has been in direct correspondence with the government to ensure that its censors do the state’s bidding. 

Here is an example of correspondence from Facebook employees to the Department of Health following an in-person meeting between them.

“I wanted to make sure you saw the steps we took just this past week to adjust policies on what we are removing with respect to misinformation, as well as steps taken to further address the ‘disinfo dozen’: we removed 17 additional Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts tied to the disinfo dozen (so a total of 39 Profiles, Pages, Groups and IG accounts deleted thus far, resulting in every member of the disinfo dozen having had at least one such entity removed).”

The use by government of large corporations to manipulate the population to achieve its ends was a big thing in the 20st century and it has a name – fascism. 

Facebook – a company that colludes secretly with government to suppress information – has the gall – nay, the dark arrogance – to tell me that my readers might be misled for lack of context?! Who the hell do its bunch of abject hypocrites think they are?

In the United States, where we are victims of what should now perhaps be called neo-fascism, collusion between the government and corporations to propagandize, on which fascism has always depended, is still a violation of the Constitution and the law (for what little that seems to be worth today). 

The First Amendment protects the rights of its citizens to speak freely. In Ashcroft v. ACLU, the Supreme Court clarified that, “Government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter or its content.” 

In Martin v. City of Struthers (1941), Justice Hugo Black wrote that the First Amendment “embraces the right to distribute literature, and necessarily protects the right to receive it.” Nearly 30 years later, Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote, “it is now well established that the Constitution protects the right to receive information and ideas” in Stanley v. Georgia (1969). 

In Bantam Books v. Sullivan (1963), the Court ruled that Rhode Island violated the First Amendment when a state commission advised book distributors against publishing certain content. In a concurring opinion, Justice Douglas wrote, “the censor and First Amendment rights are incompatible.”

So here is the useful “context” that will help to prevent Facebook’s users from being “misled” by Facebook and its lackeys: Facebook’s warnings on articles like mine are the illegal state-sanctioned output of a neo-fascistic abuse of your Constitutional rights that it was not telling you it was engaged in before others brought it to light.

I am not perfect. I am also not the smartest person I know. I make plenty of mistakes. 

On the other hand, I didn’t just come up the Hudson on a bicycle. 

For what little it is worth – and I admit it is worth very little – I have a first-class degree in Physics and a Master’s in Philosophy of Science (I know: ironic yet again, isn’t it?) from a little-known outfit called the University of Cambridge. What is worth much more than those qualifications is my integrity – intellectual and otherwise. I have never knowingly misled anyone by my writing. 

As it happens, there was a statement in the original version of my article that, a few hours after publication, I became unsure I could sufficiently defend: I had it immediately removed. I actually care about things like that.

If Mr. Kertscher or Mr. Zuckerberg et al. had read my piece, they would have seen at the beginning of it, a clear and explicit disclaimer that what they followed was a careful description of a personal decision-making process. 

Unlike Mr. Kertscher and Mr. Zuckerberg, I took the opportunity to state clearly that I was not the arbiter of truth; that nothing in my article implied that anyone else who made a different decision from mine about whether to be COVID-“vaccinated” was wrong in so doing; and that different people could make different decisions that were right for them. 

I was offering only a single perspective. In other words, I provided exactly the context that the article needed to ensure that it would not mislead anyone. I also notice that Facebook’s censors do not deny any of the factual claims I made.

May I suggest to Mr. Kertscher or Mr. Zuckerberg and people like them, that if – instead of trying to suppress the work of folks like me – they were actually to read it and engage directly with the points so carefully made in it, they might – just might – learn something. 

The censorious warnings that are now slapped over posts that contain my original article, How the “Unvaccinated” Got It Right would seem to imply that Facebook is so determined that information presented on its platform does not “mislead” for “lack of context” that it is willing to engage in illegal collusion with the government to satisfy that goal. 

I therefore look forward to Facebook immediately making available this context-providing response to its “context-providing” censorship of my original article wherever the latter is to be found on its platform – just to be sure that no one could possibly be misled by it.

(With thanks to William Spruance, from whose legal knowledge this piece has benefited.) 

Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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  • Robin Koerner

    Robin Koerner is a British-born citizen of the USA, who currently serves as Academic Dean of the John Locke Institute. He holds graduate degrees in both Physics and the Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge (U.K.).

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