You would think that the scientist that invented the mRNA and DNA vaccines would not have his opinions overruled by the censors overseeing LinkedIn accounts, but if so, you’d be wrong. Last week the personal account of Dr. Robert Malone, the pioneer of mRNA vaccine technology, was deleted by LinkedIn without warning or explanation.
In an appeal, LinkedIn did the courtesy of replying to Dr. Malone, offering six examples of what they allege was “misleading or inaccurate” information about vaccines and COVID-19. But if you read these examples, what you are viewing are reasoned, informed opinions by one of the leading experts in the world.
One may argue, ad infinitum, First Amendment rights, the prerogatives of LinkedIn as a private company, and the relevance of anti-trust precedents. But there is another even more basic governing principle that can apply here: Is LinkedIn a “platform,” or is LinkedIn a “publisher,” and if LinkedIn is a platform, enjoying Section 230 immunity under Federal law, why are they exercising editorial discretion as if they were a publisher?
This solution – forcing censorious platforms to adhere to their obligations under Section 230 – invites the fewest conflicting interpretations. That Section 230 is not invoked invites speculation and nurtures conspiracy explanations. Why, after all, is someone of Dr. Malone’s stature being silenced? Someone who has made such fundamental contributions to the technologies that he is criticizing should not be silenced, they should be amplified. Maybe there are facts we haven’t taken into account?
Not only was Dr. Malone silenced despite his stature as one of the leading experts in the world on this new vaccine technology, but he was silenced despite offering a nuanced perspective. Dr. Malone wasn’t shooting from the hip, calling into question the entire COVID-19 vaccination effort. He was merely stating his belief that for young children and adolescents, the risks of the vaccine might outweigh the benefits.
Big tech has made it clear they will censor whatever threatens a mainstream narrative, in this case on the question of who should get a COVID-19 vaccine. It begs the question: Who is defining this mainstream narrative, and why? Because it has become obvious to anyone paying attention since, say, June of 2015, that there is such thing as a “mainstream narrative,” and those who don’t adhere to it will find themselves without a voice.
And then, guess what? On July 5th, after much outcry, Dr. Malone’s account was reinstated by LinkedIn. People with less credentials and fewer followers are never so lucky.
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