Connect with us

General

Large Meta Analysis: Mask Wearing May Lead To Health “Consequences In Many Medical Fields”

Avatar

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A recently published meta-analysis examined potential health consequences of extended mask use and determined that there are multiple concerns and possible health consequences that can arise as a result.

  • Reflect On:

    Are masks as safe as we've been made to believe? Why are concerns always ignored and in some cases ridiculed? Can they stop the spread of COVID? All of this is discussed within the article.

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

What Happened: A large meta analysis recently published in the Journal Environmental Research and Public Health titled, “Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards?” looked at 65 studies pertaining to prolonged mask wearing to examine whether or not there may be any health consequences.

advertisement - learn more

Prolonged mask wearing is a new phenomenon, it’s something we’ve never really seen en masse before. Today, mask mandates are spread across the globe in multiple countries, mostly if you’re inside a public space, like a school, bank or business for example. For workers who are not working from home, masks are still worn throughout the day in many countries around the world. Since the beginning of the pandemic a number of scientists and researchers have published papers in medical/scientific journals creating cause for concern around this practice. Many even became quite active on social media expressing their concerns with mandatory mask measures as it pertains to human health.

--> Become A CE Member: The only thing that keeps our journalism going is YOU. CE members get access to exclusive benefits and support our shared mission.. Click here to learn more!

This in turn sparked mass ridicule from organizations like the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and other government health authorities who claimed, and continue to, that prolonged mask wearing is completely safe and there’s nothing to worry about. But is that really true? How do we know? Are there any side effects?

One of the challenges in answering the question of do ‘masks work to stop COVID spread’ is that the “yes” narrative is given so much attention, while the “no” narrative is ridicule, ignored, and in many cases deemed a “conspiracy theory.” Later in this piece I will get more into the discussion of whether masks work to stop the spread of COVID, but first let’s explore what this meta analysis says about the side effects of long term mask wearing.

According to the authors:

Up until now, there has been no comprehensive investigation as to the adverse health effects masks can cause. The aim was to find, test, evaluate and compile scientifically proven related side effects of wearing masks. For a quantitative evaluation, 44 mostly experimental studies were referenced, and for a substantive evaluation, 65 publications were found. The literature revealed relevant adverse effects of masks in numerous disciplines.

advertisement - learn more

In the paper the authors provide a wealth of data and evidence for psychological and physiological deterioration that are quite consistent, statistically significant, and measurable throughout multiple studies when it comes to extended mask use. They believe that “extended mask-wearing by the general population could lead to relevant effects and consequences in many medical fields.”

So where is the evidence? It’s outlined quite well in the paper. If you’d like to get a full scope of the health harms that can result from extended periods of mask wearing, I suggest you go through it. This article simply provides a brief summary, so it’s important to refer to the study.

The researchers discovered and confirmed that “relevant, undesired medical, organ, and organ system-related phenomena by wearing masks occur in multiple fields of internal medicine.” These fields are neurology, psychology, psychiatry, gynecology, dermatology, ENT medicine, dentistry, sports medicine, sociology, microbiology, epidemiology, pediatrics and environmental medicine.

They then go through each of these fields and explain what they found. There are clear, statistically significant, and concerning findings, especially when it comes to respiratory physiology.

For example, when it comes to the pediatric section, they explain:

Children are particularly vulnerable and may be more likely to receive inappropriate treatment or additional harm…Special attention must be paid to the respiration of children, which represents a critical and vulnerable physiological variable due to higher oxygen demand, increased hypoxia susceptibility of the CNS, lower respiratory reserve, smaller airways with a stronger increase in resistance when the lumen is narrowed. The diving reflex caused by stimulating the nose and upper lip can cause respiratory arrest to bradycardia in the event of oxygen deficiency.

In an experimental British research study, the masks frequently led to feelings of heat (p <0001) and breathing problems (p < 0.03) in 100 school children between 8 and 11 years of age especially during physical exertion, which is why the protective equipment was taken off by 24% of the children during physical activity.

Scientists from Singapore were able to demonstrate in their Ib study published in the renowned journal “nature” that 106 children aged between 7 and 14 years who wore FFP2 masks for only 5 min showed an increase in the inspiratory and expiratory CO2 levels, indicating disturbed respiratory physiology. However, a disturbed respiratory physiology in children can have long-term disease-relevant consequences. Slightly elevated CO2 levels are known to increase heart rate, blood pressure, headache, fatigue and concentration disorders.

It is also important to emphasize the possible effects of masks in neurological diseases, as described earlier. Both masks and face shields caused fear in 46% of children (37 out of 80) in a scientific study. If children are given the choice of whether the doctor examining them should wear a mask they reject this in 49% of the cases. Along with their parents, the children prefer the practitioner to wear a face visor.

A recent observational study of tens of thousands of mask-wearing children in Germany helped the investigators objectify complains of headaches (53%), difficulty concentrating (50%), joylessness (49%), learning difficulties (38%) and fatigue in 27 % of the 25, 930 children evaluated. Of the children observed, 25% had new onset anxiety and even nightmares. In children, the threat of scenarios generated by the environment are further maintained via masks, in some cases, even further intensified, and in this way, existing stress is intensified.

This can in turn lead to an increase in psychosomatic and stress-related illnesses. For example, according to an evaluation, 60% of mask wearers showed stress levels of the highest grade 10 on a scale of 1 to a maximum of 10. Less than 10% of the mask wearers surveyed had a stress level lower than 8 out of a possible 10.

As children are considered a special group, the WHO also issued a separate guideline on the use of masks in children in the community in August 2020, explicitly advising policy maker and national authorities, given the limited evidence, that the benefits of mask use in children must be weighed up against the potential harms associated with mask use. This includes feasibility and discomfort, as well as social and communication concerns.

According to experts, masks block the foundations of human communication and the exchange of emotions and not only hinder learning but deprive children of the positive effects of smiling, laughing and and emotional mimicry. The effectiveness of masks in children as a viral protection is controversial, and there is a lack of evidence for their widespread use in children; this is also addressed in more detail by the scientists of the German University of Bremen in their thesis paper 2.0 and 3.0.

Keep in mind that pediatrics is one of twelve areas where they found significant concerns. I suggest you refer to the study to go through the others.

This data is quite eye opening and really makes you wonder how well thought out these mandates are, and what long term consequences they could have. With nobody really paying attention to these concerns, if there are consequences of extended periods of mask wearing, will the connection between the masks and the consequences ever be made? Again, this may be difficult due to the ridiculing of any evidence, opinion, and discussion around this, which is why we have chosen to cover these topics.

As the researchers state:

Long-term disease-relevant consequences of masks are to be expected. Insofar, the statistically significant results found in the studies with mathematically tangible differences between mask wearers and people without masks are clinically relevant. They give an indication that with correspondingly repeated and prolonged exposure to physical, chemical, biological, physiological and psychological conditions, some of which are subliminal, but which are significantly shifted towards pathological areas, health-reducing changes and clinical pictures can develop such as high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis, including coronary heart disease (metabolic syndrome) as well as neurological diseases.

For small increases in carbon dioxide in the inhaled air, this disease-promoting effect has been proven with the creation of headaches, irritation of the respiratory tract up to asthma as well as an increase in blood pressure and heart rate with vascular damage and, finally, neuropathological and cardiovascular consequences . Even slightly but persistently increased heart rates encourage oxidative stress with endothelial dysfunction, via increased inflammatory messengers, and finally, the stimulation of arteriosclerosis of the blood vessels has been proven. A similar effect with the stimulation of high blood pressure, cardiac dysfunction and damage to blood vessels supplying the brain is suggested for slightly increased breathing rates over long periods. Masks are responsible for the aforementioned physiological changes with rises in inhaled carbon dioxide and small sustained increases in heart rate and mild but sustained increases in respiratory rates.

For changes that do not exceed normal values, but are persistently recurring, such as an increase in blood carbon dioxide, an increase in heart rate or an increase in respiratory rate , which have been documented while wearing a mask, a long-term generation of high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis and coronary heart disease and of neurological diseases is scientifically obvious. This pathogenetic damage principle with a chronic low-dose exposure with long-term effect, which leads to disease or disease-relevant conditions, has already been extensively studied and described in many areas of environmental medicine . Extended mask-wearing would have the potential, according to the facts and correlations we have found, to cause a chronic sympathetic stress response induced by blood gas modifications and controlled by brain centers. This in turn induces and triggers immune suppression and metabolic syndrome with cardiovascular and neurological diseases.

In summary, the authors feel that the typical conditions that have been documented include increase in breathing resistance, blood carbon dioxide, decrease in blood oxygen saturation, increase in heart rate, blood pressure, decrease in cardiopulmonary capacity, increase in respiratory rate, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, headache, dizziness, decreased ability to concentrate and think and more. All these and more can lead to serious health outcomes.

Why This Is Important: This is important because long term mask wearing is being mandated and the health consequences may be great. Questioning this helps us ask whether or not our government and health authorities are doing their due diligence when it comes to protecting our health. Furthermore, the idea that masks help to stop the transmission of COVID is a heavily debated topic, suggesting that ignoring this data could be extra costly.

The researchers of this particular meta-analysis outline a significant amount of evidence that calls into question the ability for facemasks to protect somebody from COVID, as well as stop the spread of the virus. There is no shortage of peer-reviewed medical literature showing that masks are not effective, while on the other hand there is research that claims they work. The only difference is that research that shows they are effective is usually what’s presented by mainstream media and mass culture, while the research showing they are not effective is ignored.

Below is a brief explanation from the researchers. Overall, they show that the evidence for the effectiveness of masks to stop the spread and transmission of COVID is weak, and that the perceived effectiveness is mostly a psychological belief:

In a laboratory experiment, it was demonstrated that both surgical masks and N95 masks have deficits in protection against SARS-COV-2 and influenza using virus-free aerosols. In this study, the FFP2-equivalent N95 mask performed significantly better in protection that the surgical mask, but neither mask type established reliable, hypothesis-generated protection against corona and influenza viruses. Both mask types could be penetrated unhindered by aerosol particles with a diameter of 0.08 to 0.2 μm. Both the SARS-CoV-2 pathogens with a size of 0.06 to 0.14 μm and the influenza viruses with 0.08 to 0.12 μm are unfortunately well below the mask pore sizes.

In a meta-analysis of evidence level Ia commissioned by the WHO, no effect of masks in the context of influenza virus pandemic prevention could be demonstrated. In 14 randomized controlled trials, no reduction in the transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza infections was shown. Due to the similar size and distribution pathways of the virus species (influenza and Corona, see above), the data can also be transferred to SARS-CoV-2. Nevertheless, a combination of occasional mask-wearing with adequate hand-washing caused a slight reduction in infections for influenza in one study. However, since no separation of hand hygiene and masks was achieved in this study, the protective effect can rather be attributed to hand hygiene in view of the aforementioned data.

A recently published large prospective Danish comparative study comparing mask wearers and non-mask wearers in terms of their infection rates with SARS-CoV2 could not demonstrate any statistically significant differences between the groups.

One paper titled “Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis” concludes:

The existing scientific evidences challenge the safety and efficacy of wearing facemask as preventive intervention for COVID-19. The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks. Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression. Long-term consequences of wearing facemask can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death. Governments, policy makers and health organizations should utilize prosper and scientific evidence-based approach with respect to wearing facemasks, when the latter is considered as preventive intervention for public health.

I’ve written about a study published in the New England Medical Journal by Harvard doctors that outlines how it’s already known that masks provide little to zero benefit when it comes to protection in a public setting. According to them:

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.

The papers cited above are a few of many, there are a plethora of them available within the scientific literature.

On the flip side, according to a press release by the University of California San Francisco,

There are several strands of evidence supporting the efficacy of masks.

One category of evidence comes from laboratory studies of respiratory droplets and the ability of various masks to block them. An experiment using high-speed video found that hundreds of droplets ranging from 20 to 500 micrometers were generated when saying a simple phrase, but that nearly all these droplets were blocked when the mouth was covered by a damp washcloth. Another study of people who had influenza or the common cold found that wearing a surgical mask significantly reduced the amount of these respiratory viruses emitted in droplets and aerosols.

But the strongest evidence in favor of masks come from studies of real-world scenarios. “The most important thing are the epidemiologic data,” said Rutherford. Because it would be unethical to assign people to not wear a mask during a pandemic, the epidemiological evidence has come from so-called “experiments of nature.”

A recent study published in Health Affairs, for example, compared the COVID-19 growth rate before and after mask mandates in 15 states and the District of Columbia. It found that mask mandates led to a slowdown in daily COVID-19 growth rate, which became more apparent over time. The first five days after a mandate, the daily growth rate slowed by 0.9 percentage-points compared to the five days prior to the mandate; at three weeks, the daily growth rate had slowed by 2 percentage-points.

Another study looked at coronavirus deaths across 198 countries and found that those with cultural norms or government policies favoring mask-wearing had lower death rates.

Two compelling case reports also suggest that masks can prevent transmission in high-risk scenarios, said Chin-Hong and Rutherford. In one case, a man flew from China to Toronto and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. He had a dry cough and wore a mask on the flight, and all 25 people closest to him on the flight tested negative for COVID-19. In another case, in late May, two hair stylists in Missouri had close contact with 140 clients while sick with COVID-19. Everyone wore a mask and none of the clients tested positive.

A Mayo Clinic study released November 24, 2020, whose “findings strongly support the protective value and effectiveness of widespread mask use and maintaining physical distance in helping to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.” The experimental study “emulated the production of respiratory droplets by using mannequins, that were masked and other mannequins that were unmasked and measured the spread of those droplets at various distances.”

This is what Matthew Callstrom, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the department of radiology at the Mayo Clinic, said in a news release about the study he co-authored with Elie Berbari, M.D., chair of the department of infectious diseases at the institution.

We found the most important measure for reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is to wear a mask. We found that both disposable paper medical masks and two-layer cloth masks were effective in reducing droplet transmission and we did not find a difference between mask types in terms of how well they blocked aerosol particles emitted by the wearer.

The Takeaway: In an era where certain information is simply not presented to the masses, it’s important for various platforms to continue to share this information.

At the end of the day, it’s very difficult to determine who is right or wrong, which is why we need open dialogue. The fact that simple discussion and pieces of evidence that change the narrative, or threaten it, are being shut down, censored and completely ridiculed is quite concerning. The mainstream media continues to fail to have appropriate conversations surrounding all things COVID while forcing their opinion on the public. This in turn has created a great divide among the citizenry when really, we should all be coming together and respecting everybody’s decision to act as they please.

When things are not so cut and dry, should we give governments the ability to control our lives in the manner they have done with this pandemic? It’s a tough question, but one worth asking.

At the same time, things are getting to the point where more information seems unhelpful. No matter how much information and evidence is presented to support a particular idea, we’re always left with a divide among people. Why? What is happening in our thinking processes to create this? Can we really blame it all on “fake news” or are we starting to realize there are other factors at play?

Right now, the mainstream narrative suggests level 1 thinking: go to war with the virus. It does not consider long term consequences or a holistic approach to all things societally. Is this really effective? Perhaps we’re being asked to question that and mature in our thinking and decision making and perhaps do away with authoritarian mindsets.

We are at the point where we must be able to respect other people’s choices and the actions they choose to take without enforcing these actions on others who disagree. This, more important than who is right or wrong, is where we must meet each other.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Advertisement
advertisement - learn more

General

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

Avatar

Published

on

By

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...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

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?

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading

General

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

Avatar

Published

on

By

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...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

“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.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading

General

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

Avatar

Published

on

By

CE Staff Writer 6 minute read

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

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.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading
advertisement - learn more
advertisement - learn more

Video

Elevate your inbox and get conscious articles sent directly to your inbox!

Choose your topics of interest below:

You have Successfully Subscribed!