How Facebook was forced to lift its ban on Wuhan lab leak theory


At last! How Facebook was forced to lift its ban on Wuhan lab leak theory – after Joe Biden ordered intelligence agencies’ inquiry

  • Facebook previously sided with Left-leaning media organisations that scoffed at the idea that the Chinese government had covered up the source of the virus
  • Liberal critics rubbished the notion when it was suggested by then-President Donald Trump last year
  • The pioneering tech firm reversed its ban just hours after President Biden set up a probe to establish the truth and report back to him in 90 days

For months Facebook banned any comments that dared to suggest Covid-19 was a man-made virus which came from a Wuhan lab.

But last week the social media giant made a dramatic U-turn, after US President Joe Biden ordered intelligence agencies to launch an inquiry into the lab leak theory.

It had previously sided with Left-leaning media organisations that scoffed at the idea that the Chinese government had covered up the source of the virus.

Liberal critics rubbished the notion when it was suggested by then-President Donald Trump last year.

For months Facebook banned any comments that dared to suggest Covid-19 was a man-made virus which came from a Wuhan lab. But last week the social media giant made a dramatic U-turn, after US President Joe Biden ordered intelligence agencies to launch an inquiry into the lab leak theory

MPs criticised Facebook's global policy chief Sir Nick Clegg as 'feeble' for allowing months of censorship on the social network over discussions of the theory

MPs criticised Facebook’s global policy chief Sir Nick Clegg as ‘feeble’ for allowing months of censorship on the social network over discussions of the theory

The pioneering tech firm reversed its ban just hours after President Biden set up a probe to establish the truth and report back to him in 90 days. 

It came after The Wall Street Journal reported that three researchers from Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care, according to a previously undisclosed US intelligence report.

‘In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of Covid-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that Covid-19 is man-made or manufactured from our apps,’ Facebook announced on Wednesday.

MPs criticised Facebook’s global policy chief Sir Nick Clegg as ‘feeble’ for allowing months of censorship on the social network over discussions of the theory.

Tory MP Bob Seely called Facebook’s behaviour ‘contemptible’ and he hoped the company would now respect free speech rather than ‘ingratiating’ themselves with China, which has officially banned the website but remains a £3 billion-a-year advertising market for the social media giant.

Facebook has insisted that its ban was based on advice from experts, including the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The theory that the virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute has gathered pace after Beijing strictly controlled an on-site visit by WHO researchers in January.

The WHO team was allowed only three hours inside the lab and was unable to examine any of the Wuhan Institute’s safety logs or records of testing on its staff. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, admitted that the visit was inconclusive, adding that ‘all hypotheses are open’ and warranted future study.

Following Facebook’s about-turn, Conservative MP Peter Bone said: ‘It does seem to me that Facebook is not an open platform for people to put their views on.

‘It is an open platform for people to put their views on, as long as they agree with Facebook.’

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said: ‘You have a real problem. I think the power now of the social media giants is transcending the power of governments. These are decisions about debate. They are not about conspiracy.’

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