Saturday Tweeting
Making Fun of the Unvaccinated

Action Matters

ActionBy Cathy Jameson

“Facebook has been systemically found on scene and at the scene of the crime.” Congressman Meeks (D-NY) to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook

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Pointing out Facebook’s attempts at causing division, their admittance of destructive politics and having a hand in broadcasting misinformation were part of Mr. Meeks’ final words before he yielded his time at a hearing this week. Titled An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sector, the only witness at the hearing was Mark Zuckerberg. Testifying in front of the House Financial Services Committee, it wouldn’t be the only time that day that Zuckerberg would be reminded that Facebook’s actions speak louder than words.

After Mr. Meeks yielded, Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) was recognized. Major media outlets, like The Hill, picked up the days’ events, including when Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) grilled the Facebook founder. Posey,  who’s been vocal on the subject before, used part of his allotted time (fast forward to 1:04:76)  to ask Zuckerberg about Facebook’s latest policies.

Posey began by sharing that he, too, uses Facebook for both work and personal communication. He recognized that Facebook has many benefits as well as many great challenges. Without wasting any more time, he quickly reminded Zuckerberg of a letter he sent earlier this year in response to discovering that Facebook would support censoring and restricting free speech rights. He specifically added that users who shared information about vaccination risk were being targeted. A supporter of vaccinations, Posey stated that he also supports open and frank communication. With regard to vaccinations, he said that that communication should include full informed consent. After offering the latest stats of the US government paying out $4 billion in compensation to those who’ve been injured by liability-free vaccines, Posey got more to the point.

“You testified that you believe in giving people a voice,” Posey said to Zuckerberg. Then began the questioning.

“Is Facebook able to assure us that it will support users’ fair and open discussions and communications related to risks, as well as the benefits, of vaccinations?” Thanking the congressman for the question, Zuckerberg began his reply by claiming that, “We do care deeply about giving people a voice and freedom of expression.” Citing that those were some of the founding values of his company, he then hesitated and offered this.

“…we hear consistently from our community that people want us to stop the spread of misinformation…” Zuckerberg continued and disclosed a strategy that Facebook now employs, which is to focus on misinformation that “has the potential to lead to physical harm or imminent harm.” Zuckerberg went on and stated that health advice, or misleading health advice, was part of that strategy.

Before his time was up, Rep. Posey had a follow-up question to Zuckerberg’s response, “Are you 100% confident that vaccines pose no injury to any person on this planet?”  

Citing the “scientific consensus”, Zuckerberg’s reply was, “It is important that people get their vaccines.”

Reminding him of his platform’s promise, of being able to give people a voice, Posey pointedly asked Zuckerberg, “Shouldn’t somebody have the opportunity to express an opinion different from yours?” Reiterating the need for people to be able to have the information necessary to make an informed choice, Posey waited for Zuckerberg’s reply.

“Congressman, I do. And that’s why we don’t stop people from posting on their page something that’s wrong. Or if someone wants to post vaccine…anti-vaccination content…or if they want to join a group where people are discussing that content, we don’t prevent them from doing that. What we do is we don’t go out of our way to make our group recommendation systems try to show people or encourage people to join those groups. We discourage that.”

Zuckerberg continued by sharing a number of different tactics. “If someone is typing into the search results…into the search box something that might lead to anti-vax content, we don’t recommend anti-vax searches to them. If you type in the name of a group exactly, you can get the group. We’re not going to hide it, we’re not going to prevent you from joining it. But we’re not going to recommend or go out of our way to show people content that would encourage people to join those groups. But people can share that content if they want.”

Immediately, Posey replied, “Many of those people who are harmed by this policy are in fact parents of disabled children, and I don’t think we or you should be so quick to turn our backs on them.”

I’m grateful that Congressman Posey is not one of those people turning a blind eye or his back on parents. His past actions speak much louder than anything Zuckerberg has said. After the hearing, I called Posey’s office [(202) 225-3671] to thank* him for taking the short amount of time he had to speak up for the parents. I said that I was one of those parents he defended and that I’ve seen firsthand how difficult Facebook can be when people and groups share valuable information that FB considers anti-vaccine. His staffer said that she’d make sure Rep. Posey got my message.

In his testimony, Zuckerberg made it sound like Facebook is user-friendly for those of us who wish to look up what they deem “anti-vax”. It hasn’t been for a few months now, so I tested that claim a few hours after the hearing to see if anything had changed. What I saw was what I’ve slowly seen take over search box entries. I can’t always go straight to the group or page I’ve typed in like Zuckerberg said I could. And for certain searches, I’m offered a warning and what appears to be government-sponsored pro-vaccine pages instead. Here are just a few snapshots of what information I’m lately forced to sort through.

When I typed in Age of Autism, I should only get searches for Age of Autism, right? So why does another group, especially one that adamantly denies an autism-vaccine link, show up?

FB 1

Vaxxed movie makers had a major announcement last week, so I searched for them next. When I typed in their name, I got the same run around. I had to scroll down the page several times, including past The Gates Foundation link, to find them. I tried to shorten my search to see if that brought the Vaxxed FB page to the top search. No dice again. But I did get a free advertisement for the CDC in the process.

CJ 2

I decided to do one more search, this time on one of my go-to groups’ page that I read frequently, The National Vaccine Information Center. Instead of being the first search, I got the CDC warning again and links to other pages Facebook would rather me go to.

CJ 3

Before calling it quits, I decided to type in one more groups’ name in the Facebook search box: the CDC. Boom. There they were. I didn’t have to search multiple times or scroll past any vaccine hesitancy messages to find them. Facebook made sure it was easy to go straight to their page.

CJ 1

Facebook is making it hard for people to find the truth. They’re meddling with people who use their search box. Last week, Facebook was called out for the meddling they’ve done in other arenas. The company was grilled about some of its shady practices. While not a specific vaccine hearing, I’m glad that Congressmen Posey took a moment of his time last week to put on the record what parents who use Facebook have experienced. Some of their children, including mine, lost their voices post-vaccination. Posey knows that and respects that. But Facebook is working hard to silence those parents and advocates who continue to bravely speak up. Try as they might, it’s going to take more than a little bit of censorship on social media websites to shut us all up.

Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.

*For those who wish to send a note of thanks, Rep. Posey can be reached here.

 

 

Comments

MamaBear

Thank you Cathy. I wish someone would ask Mr. Z, what partnerships, actual or virtual, exist betwen you (corporately, personally, etc) & any pharmaceutical company? What financial benefit do you or FB receive, have received from pharmaceutical companies? Have pharmaceutical companies provided any talking points, tech assistance, e.g. to flag anti-vax searches or comments? To paraphrase Mr Seuss: oh the questions I would ask.

Margaret Jaeger

I appreciate your efforts Cathy, you and every person who speaks out for those harmed by vaccines. Our grandchild with vaccine brain damage autism is now 23 years old. At the time of this child's retreat into that..space between the spaces...the Autism forum was very small. But, it didn't go away. Now, seeing so many others speak up about the harm the kids of today are receiving, we Know it's continuing on; there will be others after our time , or our Kids time on earth is up. Will those in places of Power continue on this trail of deceit and great harm or will the tide of their autism cases be an unmanageable Tsunami..? There ought to be daily posting on social media's of the number of known Autism cases, then separate that into categories such as ...light/treatable/ public school material/. Then moderate disability ...cases...new and old. Then the next, more affected, then the more severe cases, -and the horrid last one ...deaths. And the years reported and not reported. And then postings of the rise of childhood illnesses that have occurred each year for which the CDC has no answers. These should be on cards to pass out by anyone to anyone, and big posters in each Congress persons office or desk on the house chambers. Fat chance. But it appears those reports will ever be with us. The government structures and the medical systems may think they have a monopoly on the time element to hide these facts but surprise..!! They're Never Going Away..!! Neither are the protectors, the Real ones, parents and caregivers at home or in the medical research and service practice field.

annie

As always, thank you Cathy! Grateful for Congressman Posey's query, however, I can't help but wonder what salacious "anti-vaccine misinformation" Mr. Zuckerberg was going to reference before time constraints compelled the Congressman cut him off. It really is the Clash of the Titans. I know that it's unlikely because in ChanZuckerberg world (which could possibly be a huge collaboration with Pharma) there is very little hope that FaceBook will triumph the realities of: the Hannah Polling decision, the Thorsen indictment, the Thompson transcript, the Zimmerman affidavit, the ever growing number of scientists coming forward to defend parents asserting that their child's life long chronic conditions are the result of vaccination, or any of the huge ignored scandals of the modern age regarding vaccine damage. The question, however, is will Mr Zuckerberg and Dr Chan allow Pharma to take the FaceBook brand down with it? As the American political left maligns FaceBook with all things racist and hate, it would seem that they would be apt to champion the cause of millions of vaccine injured people in the world and embrace that science that proves them right? One can hope.

Benedetta

Good Article, Cathy and well done with great research. We all here have had to endure this.
Meanwhile; my sister-in-law is starting to share vaccine safety issues!!!!!! Thank God. We all are slow, painfully slow, for we have been deceived so very, very supremely, but darn it she was so slow that it is too late to save her only two grand children.

susan welch

Another very informative post, Cathy.

Thank you.

Bob Moffit

Unfortunately.. Facebook is just one of the more recent highly successful efforts to deny people their right to participate in an OPEN court of public opinion … I can remember the frustration and angst I had for one-time successful book stores .. Borders and Barnes &Noble .. where I could not buy a book written by a conservative .. such as .. Rush Limbaugh .. when I tried to purchase such a book I was ALWAYS told they did not have it in stock. The same manipulation of public opinion was evident in my local public library … which also refused to display conservative/vaccine books … making me put my name on a waiting list in another library far from my own town. Letters to the editors of my local newspapers were routinely found not worthy of publishing .. especially if I was commenting on VACCINES … which ALWAYS were denied publication.

The problem with Facebook is the obvious advantage in the high numbers of users who are being denied critical information under the guise of corporate leaders like Zuckerberg pretending they are protecting those users from what THEY decide to call … MIS-INFORMATION.

As Orwell described in "Animal Farm" "all pigs are equal .. but … some pigs are more equal than others" .. and it is the MORE EQUAL PIGS LIKE ZUCKERBERG WHO GET TO DECIDE WHAT "IS" AND "IS NOT" MISINFORMATION.

In any event … Amazon finally emerged in direct competition to Barnes & Noble and Borders .. both of those former politically biased book stores available to the public have seen their monopoly on INFORMATION drastically reduced. Hopefully … someday … a similar company will do the same to Facebook …

We have a growing problem in our great country .. that being the growing power of CORPORATIONS .. Facebook being a prime example .. that have no loyalty to either our country or their customers … which is why you see a corporation like NIKE support any and all who denigrate our country by awarding them .. all talented professional "social justice warriors" huge contracts and far too much power .. such as .. NIKE removing sneakers bearing Betsy Ross Flag symbol because ONE MAN .. COLIN KAPERNICK decided Betsy's flag was racist. NBA star LeBron James's recent outburst criticizing someone who had outraged LeBron for twitting a rather mundane comment in support of Hong Kong protests .. was supported by NBA Commissioner in his outrage … because the NBA has a huge financial contract with China's corrupt human rights regime .. and were terrified THEIR financial contracts would be broken .. so …

the NBA did what today's CORPORATIONS always seem to do … act in their own selfish best interests .. the hell with what is "right or wrong".

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