Facebook has announced plans to expand censorship on the platform through the blocking of what it considers to be false information about the coronavirus.
The social media company said that according to its recently updated “community standards policy”, it will ban all posts with discredited claims about COVID-19 and its origin.
Facebook joins China and social media such as Twitter and YouTube have used to censor those who doubt about the origin of the disease and those who are against the use of vaccines.
“Ideas about the ineffectiveness of vaccines, the danger of using them or conspiracy theories that they cause other diseases (…) will be removed from groups, pages and personal Facebook accounts,” said the company’s vice president of integrity, Guy Rosen, in a statement.
Silicon Valley companies such as Twitter, Facebook and Google have dedicated themselves to censoring dissenting voices on any topic they deem sensitive. For example, YouTube also recently blocked a video from the U.S. Senate where a doctor participated in a hearing on the use of ivermectin.
Renowned investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald criticized Facebook’s censorship measures. The Pulitzer Prize winner said that social media giants like Facebook are under immense pressure from the mainstream media to censor dissenting views.
Greenwald said he and his family will be vaccinated, a decision he said he made by researching the “free and open” Internet, including the pursuit of dissenting opinions.
Facebook copies YouTube censorship
YouTube recently removed two videos of a session in which medical specialists provided testimony on the first treatments for patients with coronavirus (COVID-19).
Republican Senator Ron Johnson revealed in an article in The Wall Street Journal that the deleted videos were part of a Dec. 8 Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing. One was a 30-minute summary and the other was the opening statement of critical care specialist, Pierre Kory.
Johnson recalled that before YouTube removed the videos, the ivermectin statement had been viewed by more than eight million people.
“YouTube censors have decided for all of us that the American public should not be able to hear what the senators heard. Apparently, they are smarter than the doctors who have dedicated their lives to science and use their skills to save lives,” he said.
“They have decided that only one medical viewpoint is allowed, and that is the viewpoint dictated by government agencies. Censorship of ideas and government-approved speech should scare us all,” he added.