November 2, 2021, the prestigious British Medical Journal published an article about Pfizer’s COVID-19 clinical trials, written by a commissioned investigative reporter. It included what The BMJ said were “dozens of internal company documents, photos, audio recordings and emails.”
Yet, besides passing The BMJ’s “usual high-level editorial oversight and review,” and even though the work underwent both a legal review and an external peer review, Facebook/Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s “fact” checkers labeled it as “misleading” and “false information.”
Concerned that the so-called “fact” checkers seriously didn’t know what they were doing, The BMJ tried to contact the fact checkers, but they didn’t respond. So, The BMJ editors decided to take on Facebook and the fact checkers with a public letter to Zuckerberg.
“There is also a wider concern that we wish to raise,” the editors wrote. “We are aware that The BMJ is not the only high quality information provider to have been affected by the incompetence of Meta’s fact checking regime. To give one other example, we would highlight the treatment by Instagram (also owned by Meta) of Cochrane, the international provider of high quality systematic reviews of the medical evidence.”
To top it off, The BMJ requested that Facebook get its act together: “Rather than investing a proportion of Meta’s substantial profits to help ensure the accuracy of medical information shared through social media, you have apparently delegated responsibility to people incompetent in carrying out this crucial task.
“We hope you will act swiftly: specifically to correct the error relating to The BMJ’s article and to review the processes that led to the error; and generally to reconsider your investment in and approach to fact checking overall.”
SOURCE: The BMJ December 17, 2021