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Ex GAVI Vaccine Scientist Claims COVID Vaccines May Create “Highly Infectious Variants” Deemed False By Fact Checkers

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche recently shared his belief that the COVID-19 vaccine may create more variants of the virus and an increase in cases. His claims have been labelled as false by many fact checkers and other scientists in the field.

  • Reflect On:

    What sources of information do you seek out when making decisions about this topic?

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This article has been updated and corrected. 

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Is it possible that COVID vaccines could somehow lead to to the spread of more infectious variants? According to the current consensus, because each of the COVID vaccines in circulation contain a single gene from the virus that causes COVID-19, and the gene instructs our cells to make the protein with no other proteins from the virus being made, no. The whole virus particles are never present, and as a result, people who are vaccinated cannot shed or spread the virus to other people.  As of right now, there is no evidence that indicates vaccination will cause more variants of the virus, and the claim that variants can escape vaccine-induced immunity and cause more severe disease is unsupported.

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A new hypothesis from  Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche, suggests that it’s a possibility, despite being criticized my many scientists in the field, as well as Facebook face-techekrs.

In India right now, there is wide scale spread of new variants and a sharp rise in cases. This comes after nearly 120,000,000 people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 23,000,000 have received two shots. Their vaccine campaign began months ago, and the recent exponential explosion is creating headlines all around the globe.

If you take a look at the graph below, India has experienced more than 300,000 cases a day for multiple days now. India’s vaccination campaign began in January. The uptick in cases, along with a variant strain that is correlated with an increased vaccination rate. But correlations does not mean causation, the graph below could simply be a reflection that India’s vaccination rollout has resulted in a very small percentage of the population being vaccinated.  One could argue that 120,000,000 shots does not even represent 10 percent of India’s total population, and the rise of cases could be due to the fact that not enough people have been vaccinated yet. There is preliminary date showing that COVID vaccines reduced viral transmission to some extent, and that they can prevent disease as well as possible protection from variants. This completely contradicts Bosschen’s claims.

There are several factors that could have lead to this sharp spike, some scientists have argued that isolation measures, like lockdowns, simply create more infectious waves due to the fact that these strategies prevent natural herd immunity from taking place, as well as weaken our immune systems due to lack of exposure to various pathogens. Again, this in itself is also heavily debated among scientists, as there is data on the other end of the coin showing that lockdowns have been very effective in stopping the spread.

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Furthermore, if the vaccine was connected to the spread, why wouldn’t we be seeing the same type of thing in the United States for example, where vaccinations have correlated with a drop in cases? Again, there are many questions to ask, and things usually become more clear in the long term than they do in the short term. In Canada, one could make the same argument as India with regards to the emergence of new strains. Right now, there’s a lot that we don’t know.

Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche is one of many vaccine experts, scientists and doctors from around the globe that are voicing their concerns about the current COVID-19 vaccine. His current positions are more theory than evidence based, but we should still listen. Who is he?

Bossche received his DVM from the University of Ghent, Belgium, and his PhD degree in Virology from the University of Hohenheim, Germany. He held adjunct faculty appointments at universities in Belgium and Germany. After his career in Academia, Geert joined several vaccine companies (GSK Biologicals, Novartis Vaccines, Solvay Biologicals) to serve various roles in vaccine R&D as well as in late vaccine development. Geert then moved on to join the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Discovery team in Seattle (USA) as Senior Program Officer; he then worked with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) in Geneva as Senior Ebola Program Manager. At GAVI he tracked efforts to develop an Ebola vaccine. He also represented GAVI, with other partners, including WHO, to review progress on the fight against Ebola and to build plans for global pandemic preparedness. Back in 2015, Geert scrutinized and questioned the safety of the Ebola vaccine that was used in ring vaccination trials conducted by WHO in Guinea. His critical scientific analysis and report on the data published by WHO in the Lancet in 2015 was sent to all international health and regulatory authorities involved in the Ebola vaccination program. After working for GAVI, Geert joined the German Center for Infection Research in Cologne as Head of the Vaccine Development Office. He is at present primarily serving as a Biotech/ Vaccine consultant while also conducting his own research on Natural Killer cell-based vaccines.

Bossche penned a letter to the World Health Organization (WHO), stating the following:

I am all but an anti vaxxer. As a scientist I do not usually appeal to any platform of this kind to make a stand on vaccine-related topics. As a dedicated virologist and vaccine expert I only make an exception when health authorities allow vaccines to be administered in ways that threaten public health, most certainly when scientific evidence is being ignored. The present extremely critical situation forces me to spread this emergency call. As the unprecedented extent of human intervention in the Covid-19- pandemic is now at risk of resulting in a global catastrophe without equal, this call cannot sound loudly and strongly enough. As stated, I am not against vaccination. On the contrary, I can assure you that each of the current vaccines have been designed, developed and manufactured by brilliant and competent scientists. However, this type of prophylactic vaccines are completely inappropriate, and even highly dangerous, when used in mass vaccination campaigns during a viral pandemic. Vaccinologists, scientists and clinicians are blinded by the positive short-term effects in individual patients, but don’t seem to bother about the disastrous consequences for global health. Unless I am scientifically proven wrong, it is difficult to understand how current human interventions will prevent circulating variants from turning into a wild monster.

You can read the letter in its entirety, as well as a more in depth explanation a few weeks after he wrote the letter, also addressing the many criticisms against him, here.

He brings up the topic of viral immune escape, which, based on my understanding of his explanation, is when our immune system starts to defend against a virus, threatening its replication potential and ability to transmit to others. As a result of this, the virus itself will do what it has to do so that it can no longer be recognized by our immune systems, meaning it is trying to develop other ways to survive. If it develops in ways it cannot be recognized, it cannot be attacked by our immune system and is therefore able to escape immunity. This is called “viral immune escape.” It’s no secret that viruses have ‘studied’ immunology over millions of years of coevolution with their hosts. During this ongoing education they have developed countless mechanisms to escape from the host’s immune system.

A study published in the International Journal of Experimental Pathology explains,

These viruses persist, usually at low levels, and the biology of their persistence represents one set of linked evolutionary strategies. These are DNA-based pathogens, with large genomes by viral standards, containing hundreds of genes. Their major weapons could be described as ‘camouflage’ and ‘sabotage’, possession of highly evolved molecules, which are encoded with the incoming virus and which have evolved to disrupt conventional host defence mechanisms. The other mechanism employed by these invaders is targeting sites for replication in regions of the body perhaps less readily accessible to host defence.

In contrast, there are multiple viruses with RNA-based genomes, often much smaller, which also manage to set up persistent infection, and survive within hosts in the face of ongoing immune responses. The strategies used by this group of organisms, which have much less ‘technology’ at their disposal, are quite different. Unlike their more stable DNA counterparts, the mutability of these RNA genomes allows this group, potentially, to evolve within their host, and to set up ‘high level’ persistence. The principle strategies employed here could be described as ‘speed’ and ‘shape-change’.

Bossche explains his reasoning more in-depth, with all of his scientific reasoning in his recent work found on his website. For a full explanation and more specific details/science, I suggest you check that out to get the full explanation.

According to Matt Ferrari, an epidemiologist at Pennsylvania State University’s Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics in University Park, Vaccines will “almost inevitably create new evolutionary pressures that produce variants.” (source)

There’s another problem to contend with as immunity grows in a population, Ferrari says. Higher rates of immunity can create selective pressure, which would favour variants that are able to infect people who have been immunized. Vaccinating quickly and thoroughly can prevent a new variant from gaining a foothold. But again, the unevenness of vaccine roll-outs creates a challenge, Ferrari says. “You’ve got a fair bit of immunity, but you still have a fair bit of disease, and you’re stuck in the middle.” Vaccines will almost inevitably create new evolutionary pressures that produce variants, which is a good reason to build infrastructure and processes to monitor for them, he adds.

Bossche Has Received A Lot of Criticism 

It’s also important to note that while Bossche is calling for a stop of mass vaccination with current COVID vaccines and is instead leaning towards the use of a future NK vaccine he claims to be developing. This might represent a conflict of interest.

Viral immunologist, Professor at the University of Guelph, and vaccine expert Dr. Bryan Bridle, has explained several concerns regarding the rollout of COVID vaccines. He makes it clear that “there’s lots of people who are very deep thinkers about this, doing their own research about the COVID-19 vaccines and coming up with very legitimate questions.”

An article published by Jonathan Jarry for McGill University calls the claims by Bossche “complete nonsense.”

This is complete nonsense. I reached out to Dr. Paul Offit, a paediatrician specialized in vaccines and immunology and the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, to get his thoughts on whether antibiotic resistance and vaccine-associated immune escape are indeed comparable. “In a sense it is, but he misses the main point,” Dr. Offit told me. A vaccine shows your body an inert part of the virus so that it can make neutralizing antibodies against it. If the body ends up making low levels of these antibodies, i.e. not enough to swiftly kill the virus when you catch it, this could allow the virus to stick around in your body for a little bit and make copies of itself. Some of these copies may by chance have the right kinds of errors in their genetic code to become variants of concern, although the mutation rate of this coronavirus is quite low.

“But if you have a vaccine that results in high levels of neutralizing antibodies, that’s not a way to create variants,” he continued. To use an analogy, if a gaggle of invaders is coming but you have only managed to round up a few soldiers, be prepared for a long siege during which the enemy might learn a thing or two about your defences and adapt. But if you have a full and overpowering army at your command, the invaders won’t stick around for long. So the question becomes: do the COVID-19 vaccines give us low or high levels of neutralizing antibodies?

I’m not sure if I agree with the statement, “the mutation rate of this coronavirus is quite low” especially given the fact that we are seeing more variants arise. Offit also claims that that if you have a vaccine that results in high levels of neutralizing antibodies, it’s not a way to create variants. But According to Bossche:

Viruses, in contrast to the majority of bacteria, must rely on living host cells to replicate. This is why the occurrence of ‘escape mutants’ isn’t too worrisome as long as the likelihood for these variants to rapidly find another host is quite remote. However, that’s not particularly the case during a viral pandemic! During a pandemic, the virus is spreading all over the globe with many subjects shedding and transmitting the virus (even including asymptomatic ‘carriers’). The higher the viral load, the higher the likelihood for the virus to bump into subjects who haven’t been infected yet or who were infected but didn’t develop symptoms. Unless they are sufficiently protected by their innate immune defense (through natural Abs), they will catch Covid-19 disease as they cannot rely on other, i.e., acquired Abs.

AFT Fact Check makes their opinion clear that what Bossche is sharing is false information:

Gary McLean, a professor of molecular immunology at London Metropolitan University, told AFP that rather than creating a “monster” as Vanden Bossche suggests, mutations in the spike protein may hinder the spread of the virus.

Mutations are relatively subtle in spike and cannot go so far as suggested otherwise they will no longer resemble spike,” he said, adding “the virus will lose its way of infecting cells if spike continues to mutate and the virus will die out.”

Additionally, variants of the virus emerged prior to the widespread availability of vaccines.

Science Feedback has also addressed this issue.

Again, Bossche has answered most criticisms to his claims in his paper on his website. A recently posted video by Bossche gives a summary of his conclusions, where he stated it will probably be his final commentary on the issue.

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Autistic, Alzheimer’s & Multiple Sclerosis Brain Tissues Have Significant Amounts of Aluminum In Them

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CE Staff Writer 5 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A 2020 study found that the aluminum content in brain tissue of people with Alzheimer's disease, familial Alzheimer's disease, autism spectrum disorder and multiple sclerosis is significantly higher compared to tissues used in the study as controls.

  • Reflect On:

    Could aluminum be playing a role in these, as well as other diseases? How does it get into our brain?

Before you begin...

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There is no shortage of studies demonstrating that aluminum is present in human brain tissue. This is a problem given the fact that aluminum is neurotoxic and wreaks nothing but havoc on biology. This is firmly established in scientific literature. There is no debate on whether or not aluminum exists within human brain tissue, the science is settled. The debate is now focused on how much aluminum is too much. How much aluminum does it take to impact the health of a human being in a negative way?

A study published in the journal Nature compared the aluminum content in human brain tissue of people with Alzheimer’s disease, familial Alzheimer’s disease, autism spectrum disorder and multiple sclerosis with healthy controls. According to the authors, “detailed statistical analyses showed that aluminum was significantly increased in each of these disease groups compared to control tissues.” They go on to mention that,

We have confirmed previous conclusions that the aluminum content of brain tissue in Alzheimer’s disease, autism spectrum disorder and multiple sclerosis is significantly elevated. Further research is required to understand the role played by high levels of aluminum in the aetiology of human neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disease.

The researchers used tissue from twenty control brains of healthy individuals to compare against the brain tissue of people who have had a diagnosis of the neurodegenerative conditions mentioned. The fact that all disease groups had significantly higher brain aluminum content than the control group is quite concerning. That being said, it’s not proof that aluminum actually plays a direct role in each of these diseases. The important takeaway from the study and what we know about aluminum toxicology is that there is absolutely no debate, at all, as to the neurotoxicity of aluminum in humans. It’s just not a good thing to have in your body.

The study emphasizes,

Animal models of aluminum intoxication reproduce the neuropathologies and neurodevelopmental effects of human neurodegenerative disease, if not the diseases per se. Cell models and in vitro studies demonstrate mechanisms of aluminum toxicity known to be involved in human neurodegenerative disease. Perhaps the information that is still missing from understanding of aluminum’s role in each of the diseases compared herein is how much aluminum is too much in human brain tissue. The comparison we have made herein between control brain tissue showing no signs of neurodegenerative disease and the disease groups…is beginning to answer this question. Only further measurements on more donor brains will enable a definitive conclusion to be reached on the role played by aluminum in human neurodegenerative disease.

The authors make it clear that aluminum and its presence in human brain tissue “cannot be without consequence” given everything that’s been discovered about aluminum toxicity. There is a great need for further study here and to determine how much aluminum the brain, and other organs for that matter, can tolerate before there are detrimental effects. These effects may be short term as well as long term, and they may play a role in neurodegenerative disease like the ones the study examine. It’s hard to think that the high aluminum content in the brain tissue of people with these diseases  is simply a coincidence, especially given the fact that the aluminum content in “normal” brains is significantly less.

Once you start to see these sort of data together, once you start to see the levels of a known neurotoxic metal accumulate to these levels, it is absolutely inevitable that they will contribute to disease. – Professor Christopher Exley, lead author of the study, taken from the interview below.

Exley is a Professor at Keele University, and arguably the world’s leading expert in aluminum toxicology. Exley and his work is supported by many scientists from around the world, yet he is facing a potential set back with regards to continuing his research on aluminum and disease. One hundred scientists came together and recently wrote a letter of support, stating,

We are writing to express our concern over the possible interruption of research on aluminum and disease conducted by Christopher Exley and his group in your (Keele) University. We feel that Christopher Exley’s work conducted for so many years in line with the previous research of late Pr Birchall at Keele University has been an important service to the scientific community, patients and society in Europe and globally. We firmly declare that Pr Exley has always defended rigorous research independent of commercial conflicts of interest, and has freely carried out his research without any control by any of his sponsors.

You can read more about what’s going on with regards to this situation, and access the correspondence that’s happened between Keele University (Exley’s employer), Exley, and the academics who support his work, here.

Below is a very informative interview with Exley if you’d like to learn more about aluminum and its accumulation within humans. On a side note, ask yourself, what products and substances may contain aluminum that could be contributing its accumulation in various human organs like the brain?

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Texas Bans All Government Entities & Businesses From Requiring Proof of Vaccination

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CE Staff Writer 4 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Greg Abbott, the Governor of Texas, recently announced that it will be illegal for government entities and businesses within the state to require proof of vaccination in order to access their services.

  • Reflect On:

    Is the idea of "vaccine passports" just? Should governments have the authority to implement measures against the will of so many people? Do we give them too much power?

Before you begin...

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“Texas is open 100%. Texans should have the freedom to go where they want without any limits, restrictions, or requirements. Today, I signed a law that prohibits any TX business or gov’t entity from requiring vaccine passports or any vaccine information,” tweeted Greg Abbott, the Governor of Texas. He made the announcement on Monday and the news went viral across social media platforms and independent media outlets. It hasn’t really received much substantial coverage from mainstream media, in fact, debating or calling into question the idea of “vaccine passports” has not really been a welcomed conversation despite the fact many health experts have been condemning the idea since they were first introduced.

Texas will be the seventh state to sign such a measure into law. Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, and North Dakota have also banned businesses and government entities from requiring proof of vaccination, while Utah and Arkansas have barred just governments from requiring proof of vaccination.

As far as the United States as a whole, the Biden administration has said on multiple occasions that a national vaccine passport won’t happen. Instead the U.S. is working on a system that will allow Americans who travel internationally to show proof that they have been vaccinated. This will be required given the fact that multiple countries around the world will saying they will require it, like several European Union nations, and Canada.

Why ban vaccine passports? Well, there are multiple reasons, and I’ve covered these reasons in depth before. In an article I published in April titled “The top four reasons why some people, doctors & scientists refuse to take the COVID vaccine,” many of the points outlined indicate why freedom of choice and informed consent are paramount when it comes to COVID vaccines.

The fact that many of these points, as well as the doctors, scientists, and peer-reviewed papers that are raising concerns about the COVID vaccine, are being completely censored, and in some cases ridiculed and called a “conspiracy theory,” is also very unsettling and suspicious. You would think in a time of a global pandemic, all concerns that are being raised would be open to discussion, transparency and a healthy debate.

Critical criminology repeatedly has drawn attention to the state-corporate nexus as a site of corruption and other forms of criminality, a scenario exacerbated by the intensification of neoliberalism in areas such as health. The state-pharmaceutical relationship, which increasingly influences health policy, is no exception. That is especially so when pharmaceutical products such as vaccines, a burgeoning sector of the industry, are mandated in direct violation of the principle of informed consent. Such policies have provoked suspicion and dissent as critics question the integrity of the state-pharma alliance and its impact on vaccine safety. However, rather than encouraging open debate, draconian modes of governance have been implemented to repress and silence any form of criticism, thereby protecting the activities of the state and pharmaceutical industry from independent scrutiny. – Paddy Rawlinson, Law Professor, Western Sydney University. (source)

Is the push for vaccinating the entire population actually justified and scientifically sound? If it’s not, then why is there such a hard push for it? Is it really about our health? Or are there other agendas and conflicts of interests at play here? Why can’t freedom of choice remain for people who want to travel, attend sporting events and more? Do mandatory vaccine measures separate and divide society even more? Should people who want to take the shot and those who do not want to take the shot all unite as one to push for the freedom of choice? If a large portion of the citizenry can be made to believe that vaccine passports are just, what else would they agree to in the future? Would they agree with the idea that unvaccinated people cannot work, that it is just to take away their ability to feed themselves and keep a roof over their head? Would they agree with the idea that the unvaccinated should simply be exterminated?

A lot of questions, and important ones.

We are in a time where humanity must question the power and authority they are given to governments who implement these measures against the will of so many people. We have to question the motives of governments and whether they have the best interests of the citizenry at heart, or whether allegiances exist elsewhere.

Perhaps it is time to look elsewhere for solutions instead of constantly relying on our political system for significant change.

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Facebook Fact Checker ‘Lead Stories’ Can’t Answer Why My Report on Masks Is “Missing Context”

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Do masks work in stopping the spread of viruses? Do they work to stop the spread of COVID? Are they harmful to human health during prolonged use? These are all key questions that have been asked since the start of this pandemic, however, getting clear answers has been tough. Then came a meta analysis on mask wearing that I wrote about at the end of April 2021. This large meta analysis was published in the journal Environmental Research and Public Health and is titled, “Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards?”  It looked at 65 studies pertaining to prolonged mask wearing to examine whether or not there may be any health consequences. In short, the study found that masks can lead to “relevant effects and consequences in many medical fields,” and also clearly outlined why the effectiveness of masks to stop the transmission of COVID is highly questionable.

Not long after we published our balanced reporting on the study, it was subjected to a “fact check” via third party Facebook fact-checker Lead Stories. When I clicked on the notification sent through our Facebook Page (Collective Evolution), it took me straight to an article published by Lead Stories claiming masks are effective at stopping the spread of COVID. They claimed that my article was “missing context” and were essentially saying the scientists who published the large meta analysis I reported on were wrong, and that they (Lead Stories) were right.

Lead Stories’ article and headline irrefutably claiming ‘masks work.’

Meanwhile, the Lead Storied fact check article did not address any of the points I made in my article, nor did they reference it. It felt clear to me that the people at Lead Stories didn’t even read my article, although I can’t know that for sure. My article contained science suggesting masks are not effective, as did the meta analysis, but it also contained a discussion around the science showing that masks may actually be effective in stopping the spread of COVID. It was a well balanced piece, and as a result it was clearly, inarguably, not “missing context” at all. It seems any article or scientific publications that even suggests may be dangerous as well as ineffective is just not allowed to be shared without consequences. This is censorship at its finest.

Furthermore, the bulk of my article, as well as the meta analysis, focused primarily on the health consequences that can occur from extended periods of mask wearing. The Lead Stories article that Facebook was leading our readers to instead of mine didn’t even touch upon that topic at all. This made me wonder, how on earth could a fairly recent, large meta-analysis published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal be considered to be “missing context”? And who exactly at Lead Stories is responsible? How could such a punishment and label be handed down on an article that wasn’t even read? Keep in mind, when a Facebook page receives some sort of ‘fact check’ multiple things happen: the brand’s content reach can be cut, and thus their revenue is cut. The brand has the notion of ‘false information’ associated with its name, defaming and hurting the credibility of the brand. And of course, Facebook users don’t see the content the brand posted as easily, and instead are pressured towards reading the ‘fact check’.

I decided to contact Lead Stories to find out what happened. The contact information on their website provides information for a man named Alan, and another named Maarten. I sent an email to them explaining my concerns, suggesting it felt quite obvious that they did not even read my article before labelling it “missing context”. Perhaps the title and what it implied set them off? But there was nothing misleading about it, I was simply reporting on the study. “Large Meta Analysis: Mask Wearing May Lead To Health “Consequences In Many Medical Fields.”

In an email to Alan I wrote on April 29th, 2021,

Although the article is more so about the physiological and psychological changes that can occur as a result of mask wearing according to the meta-analysis cited, we do not believe our article was read by you. The article clearly outlines many studies that show masks can protect against the spread of coronavirus…So we are quite confused.

Furthermore, this article wasn’t posted on Facebook yet our reach/distribution etc. seem to have been severely punished, and we got the notification via our Facebook Page. I’m not sure if you have put any restrictions on our page as a result?

Please let me know if this is sufficient enough to remote the rating.

Kind regards,

-Arjun

He replied,

This was flagged with a Missing Context label. There is NO punishment imposed by Facebook for that rating.

We are not directly involved in that aspect, but we are assured by Facebook it is only the label.

I have my staff reviewing the merits of the appeal and we will reply soon.

I’m not sure I agree that “NO punishment is imposed by Facebook.” Our business metrics stem greatly off of data, we watch data everyday. It’s always strikingly clear when a Facebook ‘fact check’ has dramatically reduced our traffic. Perhaps Facebook is not being forthcoming about its censorship of pages?

It took over a month and multiple requests to Lead Stories to finally hear back from Alan. And when we did he said:

“Your article is missing context, which is what we rated it. Let us know when you have added the context.”

Once again, Alan has made it clear he has not read the article, nor can explain what the problem with our piece is. As journalists who work incredibly hard, Facebook fact checking has become a joke where ‘fact checkers’ do not respect the hard work of journalists and have the power to hold their stories hostage with little respect given to properly stand by their strong handed claims.

The “missing context” label has yet to be removed, and thus we are unable to post this article on our Facebook Page, because if we do that message will come up for our readers – further harming out brand and potentially adding more ‘instances’ where we ‘repeatedly publish false information’ which is something Facebook has said can lead to permanent page deletion.

Alan has failed to explain how this article is missing context.

I stand by my feeling that there is nothing that Alan and his team can say about this article to claim it is missing context. I still assume they didn’t even read my article before putting a rating on it, and I am still awaiting an appropriate reply Why won’t they simply remove the rating, email me back, and apologize? You can find his contact information at the bottom of this page if you’d like to ask him the same question.

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