back to article Twitter gives up fight against COVID-19 misinformation

Twitter under Elon Musk won't be taking down COVID-19 misinformation anymore, according to quietly updated policy pages. "Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy," reads the note above a blog post dated January 12, 2021, and a Transparency report. The change in …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Twitter down the toilet.

    Oh goodie gumdrops!

    1. Steve Button Silver badge

      Hardly. It's just so difficult to determine what's considered "misinformation" around Covid-19.

      The virus might have leaked from a lab? That was misinformation, until it wasn't.

      That masks are not effective? Misinformation. Even though there was not a single large study which showed a statistically significant benefit.

      Vaccines aren't as safe as we've been led to believe? Misinformation. This is a really tough one, as I see LOTS of anecdotal reports of people damaged by these. Facebook have even taken down support groups for people who have been vaccine damaged. They certainly don't seem to be even nearly as effective as we were first promised, and that seems to wear off after a few months.

      So, it's better to just open it up and let people have their opinions. You can agree or disagree.

      I think Twitter is full of a great deal of toxic nonsense, but I also feel like it's still a hugely important platform. Hardly down the toilet because they are allowing people to say what they want to, and are legally allowed to.

      What will be really interesting is when Elon releases the details of what suppression / censorship / shadow banning has been regularly going on there.

      My point is, who gets to decide what is and what is not misinformation? And if "the authorities" get it wrong as often as they have in the last couple of years, why should we rely on them as the single source of truth?

      1. 43300 Silver badge

        Agree (and from the downvotes it's clear that the fans of censorship on here are still keen on censoring things which don't fit the narrative). 'Misinformation' seems to mean anything which is counter to the approved government narraive at that particular time.

        For the fans of the assorted NPIs, find graphs of case rates in a few countries (it really doesn't matter which ones) and see if you can spot whether and when particular NPIs were imposed in each one - because if they are effective, they would have an impact on case numbers (at least, a slowing of any increase), right?

        And as regards the "vaccines" see the yellow card and VAERS data, and similar in other countries, and bear in mind that these are reckoned to capture no more than 10% of the actual number of adverse reactions for any medicaton.

        1. Steve Button Silver badge

          Exactly this.

          I do wonder if the downvotes are people who have either a) bought into the latest narrative and are true believers, and therefore triggered by anyone who is ant-mask. or b) people who feel they have been conned, but aren't ready to admit it, even to themselves.

          Your point about NPIs. You'd think Scotland would have seen a dramatic (or even a slight) difference in their case rates, when they kept masking for many months after England. Same with North/South Dakota. The graphs for each side are virtually identical, once you take population into account. However some Americans still seem to love 'em. Good Morning America, I'm collecting Down Votes below. Yee haw.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Remember when Fauci went on US TV and said the vaxx stops transmission? And Rachel Maddow saying that once the virus reaches a vaxxed person it stops completely. Both completely false statements but taken as gospel. And maybe the spread would have been different if people had taken more care rather than acting in the belief that being vaxxed made them invincible.

            1. Cav Bronze badge

              No, he didn't say the vaccine stops the virus completely. You're lying. No one has ever said that.

              1. Steve Button Silver badge

                https://twitter.com/drelidavid/status/1537166889754865664?s=21&t=ZzZiNX1tGbuOGnXLXf73tw

                “When people are vaccinated, they can feel safe that they are not going to get infected.” —Fauci

                We kept the receipts. There are MANY more.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Many MANY more! But this will not change the mind of some.

                2. heyrick Silver badge

                  I can't believe an actual doctor said such a dumb thing. I think the best vaccine we have is against polio and that's only about 97 or 98 percent effective after three doses.

                  The bottom line is that vaccines (usually) introduce an inert form of something into your body so that your immune system can learn what it is and how to deal with it, so that when the real thing turns up your reaction will typically range from nothing happened to mildly unwell. It doesn't always work as the body is ridiculously complex, sometimes for some reason the chemical interactions are different (but, then, look at blood groups, there are so many variables), and of course things like viruses mutate.

                  Covid mutated a lot.

                  Therefore anybody who said that getting vaccinated will make you safe and that you won't get infected... should be replaced by somebody who knows what the hell they're talking about.

                  1. Steve Button Silver badge

                    It's not just that it's not very effective (non sterilising), it's also not very long lasting. Polio vaccine pretty much lasts your whole life.

                    But that's not the point. The point was that saying these things would get you taken off Twitter for "misinformation", and the people at Twitter simply don't have the expertise to decide, so they farm it out the the WHO, the NIH or the NHS. And it seems that the WHO were also saying things that have now proven to be wrong.

                    So, the whole premise of this article "Twitter gives up the fight against COVID-19 misinformation" as if that's a bad thing, is just plain wrong. They should never have got into the business of deciding what's true and what's not true.

                    But we were in a pandemic / panic at the time, so it's kind of understandable I suppose.

                    1. that one in the corner Silver badge

                      You rail against misinformation over Covid (which, oddly, we are still learning about, one reason that advice changes) but you can't even be bothered to report accurately snd honestly about diseases we *have* gained a lot of knowledge about:

                      > Polio vaccine pretty much lasts your whole life.

                      The standard Western-style Polio vaccine regime - when you have completed it, all 5 doses[2] - provides good[1] protection GIVEN THE LEVEL OF EXPOSURE YOU ARE LIKELY TO ENCOUNTER IN AN ALMOST COMPLETELY VACCINATED POPULATION. If there is a bad outbreak in your area, you go and get a Polio booster!

                      Which is why a polio booster is on the recommendations for travellers.

                      [1] good, not perfect

                      [2] some places only do 4 doses, cheaper that way - remember, this is NOT some magic guaranteed shield against Polio, it is all a numbers game!

                      1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                        Yeah, I am currently considering whether I should bother my GP to ask for a tetanus booster, as the last one I had was well over 3 decades ago. Apparently, as far as I can work out, you just get given the teenage booster (diphtheria/tetanus/polio) again. AFAIK, diphtheria and polio have been eradicated in the UK (or as near-as), and tetanus can be treated by antibiotics, if you get it early enough, but the risks of tetanus infection when you have an allotment are non-zero...

                        Of course, I have to balance the risks to myself, with the currently over-stretched nature of the NHS.

                        1. genghis_uk

                          Diphtheria has affected a number of people in the migrant detention centre in Kent recently... lots of boosters given and it should have been contained

                          Polio was detected in London sewage over the summer but no confirmed cases. New York has had quite a few cases and at least one confirmed case of paralysis. This has been linked to a much lower level of vaccination.

                          So it's not the 1950s again but the diseases are still out there and if you are unlucky to bump into them it's better to have some level of immunity

                          1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                            I'm assuming the dip/tet/polio vaccines I had as a child still have some efficacy *mumble* years later. Tetanus is the only thing there's a realistic, if small chance of getting, and to be fair, I probably still have enough immunity for it to only make me seriously ill, rather than dead.

                            Apparently if you ask your GP for a tetanus booster, you get given another shot of the combined childhood booster for all three though. Presumably because it's mass-produced and cheap.

                    2. nsld

                      Irony alert

                      Ironic you're complaining about scientific competence at twitter when every post you've made on this thread is a bin fire of unscientific conspiracy theories.

                      If you think masks, vaccines and other mitigations didn't work explain why the deaths at the peaks of cases in 2020 are so much higher than in 2021...

                      Public heath 101, vaccinate, reduce contacts, deploy infection control!

                      Cummings 2013 essay on infection driven herd immunity is a masterclass of someone confusing ambition with ability, hence why Hancock whacked so many elderly people. The same strategy advocated by the GBD and assorted loons who came out with the drivel you're posting...

                      1. Diogenes

                        Re: Irony alert

                        why the deaths at the peaks of cases in 2020 are so much higher than in 2021

                        Oh oh pick me pick me!

                        Covid has mutated into a much less serious form.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: Irony alert

                          It's more that we managed to update our immune systems on a near global scale to turn it from deadly into moderately annoying. This is why Covid remains a problem in areas with less effective or plain absent vaccinations.

                          Because of my age I've had every Covid jab and booster going early (all Pfizer) and have not had any side effects. In between the boosters I did get Covid from someone at work which was merely inconvenient.

                          I have lost people due to Covid, so I don't take it lightly. We seem to forget too soon that we had a time that countries had to use refrigerated HGVs and containers to store the departed because we could not bury them quick enough.

                          It is in that context that sowing doubt of properly reviewed medical advice is IMHO pretty much criminal.

                      2. TheMeerkat

                        Re: Irony alert

                        Masks don’t protect from viruses. It is the fact that was known long before Covid, but for politicians mandating them was the cheapest way to show that they “are doing something”.

                        What works is not being with other people on a same train and in a same house.

                        1. heyrick Silver badge

                          Re: Irony alert

                          But when you have no choice but to be in the same place as plague zombies, everybody wearing masks is better than people coughing their muck into the shared air.

                        2. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: Irony alert

                          Masks don’t protect from viruses.

                          Yeah, sure. Let's just ignore, you know, the whole sciency thing. Masks are a part of a cumulation of measures that reduce the risk of transmission. That means masks alone will not protect 100%, but they significantly reduce exposure - provided, of course, they're fitted correctly. If you've seen the news of Jack Ma showing up in Tokyo you will have seen the picture of him wearing a mask - but upside down..

                        3. gandalfcn Silver badge

                          Re: Irony alert

                          "Masks don’t protect from viruses." Stop lying/

                          1. gandalfcn Silver badge

                            Re: Irony alert

                            To the ill informed downvoters. Masks reduce the risk of infection by the virus, i.e they protect. Learn some science, you are supposed to be science literate not Murdoch drones.

                        4. genghis_uk

                          Re: Irony alert

                          Masks are about reducing transmission of the virus. They may not stop you getting it but they reduce the aerosol when breathing, coughing etc.

                          With an infection that is airborne and potentially asymptomatic, it is easier for everyone to wear a mask in case they are carrying but don't know it.

                          Would you ask a surgeon to remove his mask when operating on you, because you don't agree with them?

                          One thing the pandemic has highlighted is just how bloody minded and selfish a lot of the population is. 'My freedom from a little inconvenience is much more important than your safety' is an odd thing when daily deaths were rising rapidly.

                          While I have my soapbox out, yes the official guidelines changed over time. That is not because the requirements changed but because the understanding did. I think Reg readers should understand how science works, they did not know how this virus worked initially so implemented a set of standard procedures. Some were right others not so much. Many advisors told the government not to scare people into submission but they did it anyway which, in the long term was a bad idea... masks were not a bad idea but better ventilation in schools and public places would have been better

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    So we should get rid of Fauci? Good, we agree on that!

                    I'm old enough to have had the single dose polio vaxx, that seemed pretty effective.

                    One of the reasons covid mutated was the leaky vaccine. It is the same process that gives rise to antibiotic resistant bacteria. This is not some nutty theory.

                    1. that one in the corner Silver badge

                      Single dose Polio vaccination? Huh? If you have truly only ever had one dose, go and talk to your GP.

                      Or just play the numbers game.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Nah, I'm good. If my GP at the time thought I only needed 1 dose way back in the mists of time then one is what it shall be.

                        Now vaccines seem to be like Pokemon cards, gotta get them all!

                        1. jake Silver badge

                          "If my GP at the time thought I only needed 1 dose way back in the mists of time then one is what it shall be."

                          I'd fire the GP and then sue him/her for malpractice.

                          Childhood jabs have been re-occurring since the year dot ... currently 4 jabs for polio, 6 for diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough, 3 for hepatitis B and 2 each mumps, measles, rubella and chicken pox. (That's off the top of my head, and for the US. I may have missed one or two, and I might be off by one on one or two of 'em. Your country's mileage vaccination protocols may vary.)

                          Later, as adults, recommendations for some of those return ... although chicken pox becomes shingles if you're old enough to have had the actual disease. I also add reoccurring 'flu, rabies, anthrax, cholera and a couple others to my mix. And now Covid. And no doubt something new in a year/decade or two. Ain't science GRAND‽

                          Some of the adult jabs are a lifestyle issue; I'm nothing if not pragmatic.

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Blimey, no wonder kids are sick and confused these days! I had chicken pox before the vaccine was even developed although I'm not old enough to have had the smallpox vaccine. Back then the polio vaccine was a weakened live strain given as one dose. Us oldies are made of tougher stuff! We had to survive chicken pox parties.

                            1. jake Silver badge

                              A lot of kids died before the modern protocols went into effect. The graveyards are full of 'em. Go look.

                              Presumably, as a fellow chickenpox "survivor", you have received your Shingles jabs (2, 6 months apart)?

                              1. Anonymous Coward
                                Anonymous Coward

                                And a lot of kids have died since. Now they just drop dead of 'suddenly'. The UK only offers the shingles vaccine to over 70s and it is a single shot. I'm not THAT old :) Maybe the US vaccine regime is not based on any actual health benefits, just the health of Pfizer's profit margin.

                              2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                                I really must remember to go and get the shingles vaccine. I have this year's flu vaccine – yes, the annual influenza vaccine is a crapshoot, but I have a minimal reaction to it and I've only ever gotten the flu in years I've neglected to get the vaccine, which of course proves nothing but pushes some probability mass in favor of getting it. But I never remember to get the one for shingles.

                                I've had shingles twice, and in both cases my symptoms were very mild. Just a rash and a sort of restlessness in the affected area, like I need to keep moving it because it's uncomfortable. Apparently that's one of the less-common symptoms. But I know for many people it's really painful, and there's no guarantee that it won't be for me the next time it becomes active.

                                Rabies probably wouldn't be a bad idea. We have a lot of potential vectors around the house, such as skunks and feral dogs. We don't have many bats, at least; our previous place was in a bat-infested area, and bats have a relatively high rabies incidence (something like 3% for small brown bats). And with a bat, the chances of finding the bat that bit you are pretty low, so you basically have to assume it could be rabid and get the treatment.

                                We have plague (Y. pestis, the good ol' Black Death) around here too, courtesy of prairie dogs. But the live vaccine for that isn't licensed for use in humans, and the killed vaccine apparently is not very effective. The main plan with Y. pestis is 1) don't get it, 2) definitely don't get the septicemic version, and try not to get the pneumonic; and 3) if you do get it, hie thee to a hospital as soon as symptoms show up. Fortunately it's very rare (5-15 cases a year in humans in the US).

                            2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                              I've had chicken pox, shingles, measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, all as a child some decades ago.

                              All of which, I can guarantee you, I would rather have had a vaccination against.

                              They didn't kill or seriously disable me, but that is largely because I live in a first-world country where I was adequately fed, housed, and cared for whilst sick. Measles, especially, is a risk to life, and mumps can cause sterility. Chicken pox can be serious if you get it as an adult; my wife was unlucky enough to get it both as a child and later as an adult, which is rare, but not unheard of, and wasn't pleasant.

                              I've also had a real influenza infection a couple of times in my life (not "man-flu"), and if I'd been offered a yearly vaccination as an alternative, I would have jumped at the chance, because spending a week in bed feeling thoroughly rotten is nobody's idea of fun.

                              As for "us oldies are made of tougher stuff". Well, we're only oldies because if we weren't lucky, we wouldn't have made it. I'd much rather not have been exposed to the rolls of the dice that could have finished me off at any point if I had been unlucky enough to, say, contract both measles and the flu at the same time.

                              1. This post has been deleted by its author

                    2. gandalfcn Silver badge

                      "One of the reasons covid mutated was the leaky vaccine. " Don't be daft.

                  3. gandalfcn Silver badge

                    "I can't believe an actual doctor said such a dumb thing." They are taken out of context / cherry picked etc.

                  4. Chet Mannly

                    It's interesting because in Australia the narrative was always 'vaccinations means far less severe symptoms and less hospitalisations/deaths, and a lower rate of passing it on'. Which is perfectly reasonable and seems to have been borne out by the data.

                    Couldn't believe when Fauchi et al were saying safe from infection and stops transmission over in the US.

                3. MrDamage Silver badge

                  Cherry picking by the ignorant

                  Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that the more vocal of the US population, are also those who are unable to grasp the minutiae of situations? Everything is always black and white, night and day, with no room in between.

                  Anyone with half a brain realises that a vaccination will not stop infection, but it WILL boost your immune system to make infection less lethal. Fauci could have said that, and what would have happened. Idiots and Republicans would have leapt onto that statement as "proof" that the vaccination did nothing, and there was some other mind-control nanobot injection campaign happening.

                  People like you like to jump onto the stats that show vaxxed people still getting admitted into hospital at the same rate as unvaxxed, but what you refuse to show is the death rate between the two groups, because THAT does not fit into your narrative.

                  1. 43300 Silver badge

                    Re: Cherry picking by the ignorant

                    The recent stats on the death rate do not show what you are claiming - go and have a look!

                  2. Graham Cobb Silver badge

                    Re: Cherry picking by the ignorant

                    Exactly. The discussions Twitter removed were not for being "lies". They were for being "misinformation".

                    Medicine, even more than some other sciences, is not exact. And simple statements about life and death are almost always false. However, many people do not have the training or experience to make useful inferences themselves and need to trust people with that knowledge. In other words, experts.

                    The "misinformation" was not much about factually false statements (those are sort of obvious and not many people believed those). It was about (apparently deliberate) abuse of statistics and misleading statements to sow enough confusion and worry to have a measurable impact on the effectiveness of the country's response to Covid.

                    It was completely clear that masks, vaccination, self-isolation, and the other recommended actions had a massive, measurable, effect on reducing both infections and the seriousness of those infections. Sure, they were annoying. Sure, they damaged other things (particularly the economy). Sure, you could debate what levels and timings to set for all the controls - particularly in trading off between the economy, personal freedom, risks. And, of course, it all evolved over time as society changed, the virus changed, and our understanding changed.

                    But misinformation attempts to influence that discussion with deliberate lies and misinterpretations. As most people just do not have the relevant information to make a judgement on that, it is in the best interests of society to make sure that anything that disagrees with the commonly agreed expert opinion be heavily marked as such. Otherwise we can't have sensible debates.

                  3. Zolko Silver badge

                    Re: Cherry picking by the ignorant

                    to make infection less lethal

                    less lethal than harmless ? How could that be ? Yes, it was harmless from day 1 for most of the population. The "vaccine" was hammered as protection for the others, that even those for whom it was accepted as harmless must get vaccinated to not infect the endangered (who were also vaccinated, therefore protected ... wait, where is the logic ?)

                    The whole covid thing was a scam from the beginning and the concerted censoring is proof of that. I never liked Musk but I might change my mind after this.

                    1. NeilPost

                      Re: Cherry picking by the ignorant

                      6.6 million people around the world may disagree with your assertion that Covid was harmless … except they are Fucking DEAD !!

                      Millions more with Long COVID, or who were (and still are) being knocked off their feet when the do contract it for 1, 2, 3 weeks will concur as they are not dead.

                    2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge
                      Stop

                      Re: Cherry picking by the ignorant

                      Would you care to dig my wife's uncle up and tell him that the infection that killed him, in his mid-50s was harmless?

                      The sheer audacity of the bullshit some people try to pull...

                  4. gandalfcn Silver badge

                    Re: Cherry picking by the ignorant

                    "Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that the more vocal of the US population, " Are science denying godbotherers

                4. Jan 0 Silver badge

                  When people drive cars, they feel safe, but the statistics tell otherwise.

                  Vaccinated people, like people in cars feel safe because they are safer. There is no such thing as absolute safety.

                5. gandalfcn Silver badge

                  Dr. Eli David ./ LOL

              2. gandalfcn Silver badge

                "No, he didn't say the vaccine stops the virus completely. You're lying. No one has ever said that."

                Correct. but it seems that certain people believe obvious bs and conspiracy theories. as conclusively proved on this thread. And these areew the same people who mock others for not understanding simple tech.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  There is video of him saying just that as did many other TV pundits.

                  This really is 1984.

                  "<person> said/did <thing>"

                  "No they didn't, you are lying"

                  <video of person saying/doing thing>

                  "you're still lying"

                  And usually add in some personal attacks and foul language.

                  The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.

                  1. Steve Button Silver badge

                    I know!

                    Not just that but the person who says "No they didn't, you are lying" gets double the amount of thumbs up / thumbs down.

                    It's almost as if they are working for The Party.

                    'The past was alterable. The past never had been altered. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.'

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      It is the group mind mentality. I have a theory that only certain personalities can survive without the constant support/conformation/validation of the group. They feel life is meaningless without it.

                      In the past you'd turn to gawd or some similar religion. Now we have so many other religions/cults to provide the necessary support and if an outsider questions it the collective will swarm to protect itself. To quote a shouty bald Italian, everything within the party, nothing outside the party.

                2. Steve Button Silver badge

                  NOT correct. I posted a link to a video of him literally saying that. Now you are the one who is lying.

                  1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                    Where? The only link I can find in one of your posts in this thread is to a tweet, not a video. And what Fauci says in that tweet (assuming you've quoted it correctly, because I refuse to enable Javascript for Twitter, and they refuse to serve content which has no reason to need scripting without it) is that the vaccinated "can feel safe that they won't get infected".

                    That is a dumb thing to say, but 1) Twitter's design favors saying stupid generalizations and imprecisions over anything accurate and nuanced, and 2) it's in no way a claim that the vaccine provides perfect protection.

                    This is sophomoric casuistry: taking an offhand remark (even a stupid one) and insisting on interpreting it literally and as a claim of certain truth, and making it into a strawman to support a much stronger and broader argument about a systemic misinformation campaign. Oh, one person you disagree with is on the record as making an incorrect statement! Well, your point is no doubt unassailable now.

                    1. jake Silver badge

                      "This is sophomoric casuistry"

                      Well, yes. That's what trolls DO.

          2. Cav Bronze badge

            Not triggered. Just have more than two brain cells and actually understand the issues and why most of what is being posted here is garbage.

          3. heyrick Silver badge

            Instead of collecting downvotes and talking about people being "damaged" by the vaccinations, how about a simple comparison between a country with a decent level of vaccine uptake and mandatory mask wearing, lockdowns, etc...

            ...versus a country who's general opinion seems to be "fuck it, no, and I'll take you to court if you infringe upon my right to be a plague spreader"?

            Nobody got it right, but I think some countries (and their population) took the idea of health and the greater good a lot more seriously than others. They also understood that masks were not so much to protect you as to protect others from you (especially important given the high number of asymptomatic cases).

            Sure, one can talk a lot with the benefit of hindsight, but nobody had that at the time. Some countries took it as a serious problem and tried to do a reasonable (if not perfect) job, and damaged their economy in the process. Others preferred to downplay the whole thing and, well, they have the body count to show for it.

            1. 43300 Silver badge

              One country against another is quite limited - there are datasets involving many countries and areas within countries (such as US states) which give a broader view. If the NPIs and "vaccines" were as effective as their fans claim, there would be a clear correlation when looked at across a number of countries (i.e. high levels of both would lead to better outcomes). There is no such correlation.

              As regards deaths, the concept of a "Covid death" can be useful in some cases, but there were many ways of counting (and exaggerating) them - so all cause excess mortality is more useful in some cases as it shows how populations fared overall. And is there a correlation between low all cause mortality and high levels of NPIs / spiking? Of course not...

            2. gandalfcn Silver badge

              "how about a simple comparison" Befroe all thge murtatgionbs kicked in the nuimbers were

              New Zealand. Population. 5 million. Covid deaths. 51, or 10- per million.

              Hong Kong. Population. 7.6 million. Covid deaths. 213, or 28 per million.

              UK. Population. 68.3 mn. Covid deaths. 148,089 (7th in the world), or 2,164 per million (10th in the world).

              USA. Population. 333 million. Covid deaths. 766,117, or 2.3k/mn.

              Russia. Population. 146 million. Covid deaths. 203,900, or 50,824/mn.

              Israel. Population. 9.3 million. Covid deaths. 7,675, or 823/mn.

              NZ had masks and lockdowns that were adhered to, as did Hong Kong. UK and USA didn't, they had sporadic lockdowns and very sketchy kask wearing.

              Sadly the followers of Murdoch/Fox/Tucker Carlson et al just believe edited and doctored clips and misinformation.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Now do Sweden. And look at the US state by state.

                1. nsld

                  Sweden was a binfire

                  Now do Sweden. And look at the US state by state....

                  Norway called, said something about a lot of dead Swedish grannies!

                  State by state in the US shows right wing republican states with higher death rates, but not from parasitic worms Thanks to all the horse wormer they necked...

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Sweden was a binfire

                    "State by state in the US shows right wing republican states with higher death rates"

                    Indeed. See https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

                    Sort on "Deaths per 1M Pop". Draw your own conclusions.

                    I'd like to see that broken down by county ...

          4. that one in the corner Silver badge

            "Narrative" - pillock.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Down voting isn't censorship. It is just other Commentards saying they disagree with what you've written. Reporting your post as abuse and getting it pulled would be censorship.

          1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

            re: Censorship

            "Reporting your post as abuse and getting it pulled would be censorship."

            The specific post above would probably not be pulled if reported as being abusive, as it may be contentious, but is not (AFAIK) defamatory or grossly offensive. But generally, it depends on what the post said.

            Reporting a post which described an identifiable and prominent person as a pedophile or having committed a specific criminal offence, without evidence or a conviction, would be responsible as libel is illegal in the UK, and I doubt that the Register's coffers could survive the sort of damages that could be awarded. Remember that the BBC paid considerable damages to Sir Cliff Richard just for covering a police raid on one of his homes (nothing untoward was found btw). Sir David Steele also received damages from a news organisation that started a false rumour he'd been 'naughty', and Sir Elton John reportedly got £1 million from a UK tabloid newspaper for a front page article claiming he had engaged in unacceptable acts with a minor. (I believe that much of these damages went to charities.). I don't think that counts as aggressive censorship, but accepting that telling offensive lies is not what this site is about.

        3. that one in the corner Silver badge

          "Narrative" - grow up.

      2. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

        Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

        "So, it's better to just open it up and let people have their opinions. You can agree or disagree."

        The problem is SO many people present their opinions, hypothesis, conjectures, conspiracies, et cetera as ABSOLUTE GOSPEL TRUTH FACTS and will flame-war you SO hard if you disagree AT ALL about any part of it. While this can go both ways for any given topic, it does tend to lean more to one side with regards to anything related COVID-19 and the US elections of 2020 and their aftermath. Thus, many folks prefer that the companies deal with the extremes (e.g.: moderation) rather than doing the hard thing and putting up with the craziness themselves.

        (But that's just my opinion, and although I prefer well-reasoned rebuttal you may feel free to disagree via downvotes.)

        1. Steve Button Silver badge

          Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

          I agree it's not ideal. Hence an upvote. I just don't think the answer is to censor.

          I see some horrible views on Twitter and I just block or mute those people. Also, I don't tend to follow nasty people, so I just don't see their stuff as much. Or if I do, I just roll my eyes and scroll on.

          MORE discourse is the answer, not suppression or moderation. Of course there are some things that DO need moderation, but not just opinions which are WrongThink against the current narrative.

          1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

            Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

            On a person-to-person level, in the absence of moderation/censorship, usual attempts at "more discourse" that I have seen [caveat: anecdotal evidence!] are often met with ad hominem insults and threats. Presenting evidence behind alternate opinions is often met with "that evidence is false/fake" without proof or counterevidence. This is not "discourse" and is as harmful and unproductive as moderation/censorship, if not more so.

            The real solution is for everyone to act with more kindness/grace, with everyone, all the time, no matter the medium. It saddens me greatly that many in the US have embraced a Christian Nationalism that acts counter to grace despite the clear Biblical teachings of Christ himself and his early followers that show that the Christian Church at Large should be the leading the world in grace and kindness. If you need more discussion, try the podcast "Truth Over Tribe" -- CN was discussed in a recent episode.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

              The ad hominem attacks around here are quite good fun. Commentards trying to be edgy but really just showing they are rather silly.

              It does have a slightly worrying side as reacting to information that is counter to your world view with such vitriol hints at a serious level of indoctrination and an almost cult like devotion to their personal ideology. 'I am right, you are wrong, f-you!!1' The outbursts are the internet version of a childs tantrum. And we are seeing that spill into real life and people have died as a result. And before anyone jumps in with name calling this is not limited to a specific group, it has happened with pretty much all the political ideologies and through direct and indirect means.

              1. Cav Bronze badge

                Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

                " hints at a serious level of indoctrination and an almost cult like devotion to their personal ideology" No, it results from the fact that lying cretins are directly responsible for the fact that more real, living people died and suffered the consequences of morons lying or being too stupid to understand the information from medical experts.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

                  All the people who were forcibly ventilated due to the WHO initial treatment guidelines and likely died as a result. All the people who caught covid as the hospitals were emptied and patients sent to nursing homes even though they were sick. The state/local medical advisors saying in early 2020 that there is nothing to worry about, go to Mardi Gras as its safe.

                  Yes, the cretins have caused a lot of deaths.

                  1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

                    Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

                    All the people who were forcibly ventilated due to the WHO initial treatment guidelines and likely died as a result.

                    Putting aside my dislike of your phrasing - Any stats on that?

                    I am grown-up enough to accept there probably were people who died as a result of being ventilated who may have survived if they hadn't been, but how many were saved because they were ventilated who would have died if they hadn't been?

                    I will lament all deaths but am not a fan of 'we mustn't do it if it kills some people' if it means many more will die as a result.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

                      https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(20)30110-7/fulltext

                      An early study with a very small sample size but 86%.

                      US hospitals were financially incentivised to put patients on ventilators. This is not good medicine.

                      https://people.com/health/doctors-concerned-long-term-lung-damage-putting-coronavirus-patients-on-ventilators/

                      https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200415/ventilators-helping-or-harming-covid-19-patients#1

                      I know its the daily mail...

                      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8856931/Coronavirus-UK-Rush-patients-ventilators-wave-RAISED-death-rate.html

                      An undeniable issue is that mechanical ventilation for any length of time is going to damage the lungs. Covid or not. It is a good way to get bacteria into the lungs and to lengthen the recovery process. I can't find the tweet but the WHO did send out recommendations early in 2020 and one of them was to put patients on ventilators quite early on.

                      1. PB90210 Bronze badge

                        Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

                        "WHO did send out recommendations early in 2020"

                        that's early in the pandemic, when people were trying just about anything t get people through it

                        and most of those people will have already been at death's door

                      2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

                        Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

                        https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(20)30110-7/fulltext

                        An early study with a very small sample size but 86%.

                        That is the number of deaths in that instance. But there appears to be no evidence they died because of being ventilated, would have survived if they hadn't been, or had been ventilated without good cause.

                        Sometimes people are so far gone that no amount of treatment will save them. As the detailed report notes most subjected to ventilation, invasive and non-invasive, were "critically ill", older patients, with most having "organ function damage".

                        At the time there were few, if any, alternatives available other than to not treat patients.

                        Medical staff who would act to deliberately harm a patient, who will indulge in invasive or extreme intervention except as a last resort and with best intent, are thankfully few and far between.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

            " I just block or mute those people" - isn't that a form of censorship? You're refusing to read what these people are saying?

            1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

              Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

              Censorship is stopping others from hearing/reading stuff, not ignoring it yourself.

              you have a right to an opinion, but you don't have the right to force anyone to hear it.

              1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

                Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

                Upvoted because I generally agree with your sentiment, but one of the worst problems of claimed 'cancel culture' is the people who claim they are being denied a platform never seems to answer questions. I reckon the right to free speech should be balanced by a responsibility to listen to comments and answer polite questions. So although I 'have a right' to state my opinion, I have an obligation to read and consider comments, otherwise I'd just be a troll.*

                *1st rule fo the Internet - Don't feed the Trolls!

                1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                  Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

                  I reckon the right to free speech should be balanced by a responsibility to listen...

                  I'll say it again, you have the right to speak, nobody has an obligation to listen.

                  1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

                    Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

                    Please do not misquote me misleadingly, what I actually posted was:

                    "I reckon the right to free speech should be balanced by a responsibility to listen to comments and answer polite questions."

                    My point was that if I post something, then I have an obligation to listen to responses, not that you have an obligation to listen to me. But if you say something, then a polite response requesting, for example evidence, more information or clarification should be listened to.

                    1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                      Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

                      Yes, it was a selective quote, but my point is, that even with the qualifier of "polite questions", you don't have the right to place that obligation onto others. Your questions might be polite, reasonable, and even well thought-through, but obliging others to answer them is an unreasonable imposition. I trimmed off the end of the sentence, because although it gave context, it didn't affect the fundamental essence of what you were trying to justify imposing.

                      This can be boiled down to you having the right to speak, but others not having the obligation to listen.

                      I totally, agree, that in a polite discourse, each person should listen to the other and respond, politely, in kind. It must be some other internet you are thinking of where this happens, though.

                      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

                        Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

                        Hi,

                        Re: "I reckon the right to free speech should be balanced by a responsibility to listen to comments and answer polite questions."

                        The end of the sentence not only puts it into context but is essential to understanding what I meant. I did not mean that having a right to free speech should include an obligation to listen 'full stop', as you claimed I meant, by deleting everything after the word "listen". If you make a contentious statement and others ask you to explain it, clarify it or provide evidence then failure to answer polite requests is basically rude. It is the tactic used by people who basically have no actual answers, but just want the glory, without any of the tedious having to make sense or make things work that goes with good governance. I'd put it as a moral obligation. Now, the response might be "I don't know", or, "I'll get back to you on that" or "well here is the evidence" with a reference or maybe even "Sorry, I was wrong" (The Police Officer turned comedian Alfie Moore, was recently challenged over a joke he made which included a reference to schizophrenia, he accepted that was wrong of him and apologised.)

                        Consider one of the most contentious recent issues of the denial by Donald J Trump that Joe Biden is the democratically elected president of the USA. The claim is that there as extensive voter fraud and whenever questioned about it, Trump and his supporters have claimed there is lots if evidence, but never pointed to an actual examples. The fact that when there has been voter and electoral or referendum fraud, such as in NAZI Germany, there was ample evidence, and the vote counters were all well aware of discrepancies between what they had counted and what was announced but that not one vote counter in the USA has come forward with allegations of irregularities, indicates that Trump is wrong.

                        And another, there are people who still publicly deny the effects of fossil fuel combustion on the Earth's climate. Yet none is qualified in meteorology, oceanography, physics, chemistry, biology or geology. When asked for evidence that human activity is irrelevant they are highly selective in their 'evidence', and Trump claimed that it was a conspiracy to damage the US economy. However, none of them can explain how so many scientists (literally thousands), and so much data from records of soil C02 sequestration to Antarctic ice cores, river and sea sediments all point to substantial increases in CO2 emissions as contributing significantly to atmospheric warming and ocean acidification. That is some amazing conspiracy if it is all false - yet they ignore any possibility of explaining how it might have come about or how powerful an organisation would have to be to keep it going for decades.

                        If something matters enough to you to post it on a reasonably popular site, then I think that you should at least have the decency to defend it when asked.

                        All the best.

            2. Steve Button Silver badge

              Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

              Yeah, I can see why you think that, but it's subtly different.

              Those people are free to say what they want, and I'm also free not to listen to them if I don't want to. I don't have to listen to everything that everyone says, I just don't have time for that.

              It's a similar situation in the newspapers, people are free to have an opinion piece if the paper will publish it, but that doesn't mean I have to buy that paper or to read it. I have chosen to NEVER again read The Guardian (except the Bike Blog, which I like), because their views are way to extreme for my taste and I feel that they are peddling misinformation and gross exaggeration. But they are free to publish that.

          3. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

            Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

            The problem is that "more discourse" just results in more bots and troll accounts drowning out the sensible discourse.

          4. Cav Bronze badge

            Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

            "WrongThink against the current narrative". No, some things are just simply wrong. Idiots posting here are repeating lies. No one has ever said that the vaccines were 100% effective and no one has ever said that they were 100% safe. They were just better than being in hospital on a ventilator and then dead.

            No one said masks were 100% effective or 100% ineffective. They are effective for different things. Simple cloth masks do not stop you catching the virus. They stop you from coughing your infected secretions over others and so stop the infected, symptomic or not, from speading the disease. But we still have fools spouting the nonsense that big, bad government has lied to people because a simple cloth mask can't stop viruses and so can't stop you from getting infected. No one has said they can. That is not their purpose.

            1. Steve Button Silver badge

              Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

              There's a big difference between 100% effective and "statistically insignificant".

              And as for vaccines they said they were "93% effective" to begin with, which we now know if totally made up. They just aren't really that good, and they wear off really quickly down to 0% or even negative after 5 months (because of OAS - look it up)

              https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33692194/#:~:text=The%20concept%20of%20original%20antigenic%20sin%20(OAS)%20was,a%20similar%20but%20not%20identical%20array%20of%20antigens.

              1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
                Boffin

                Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

                Determining the efficacy of vaccines is quite complicated :

                "Vaccine efficacy is generally reported as a relative risk reduction (RRR). It uses the relative risk (RR)—ie, the ratio of attack rates with and without a vaccine—which is expressed as 1–RR. Ranking by reported efficacy gives relative risk reductions of 95% for the Pfizer–BioNTech, 94% for the Moderna–NIH, 91% for the Gamaleya, 67% for the J&J, and 67% for the AstraZeneca–Oxford vaccines. However, RRR should be seen against the background risk of being infected and becoming ill with COVID-19, which varies between populations and over time. Although the RRR considers only participants who could benefit from the vaccine, the absolute risk reduction (ARR), which is the difference between attack rates with and without a vaccine, considers the whole population. ARRs tend to be ignored because they give a much less impressive effect size than RRRs: 1·3% for the AstraZeneca–Oxford, 1·2% for the Moderna–NIH, 1·2% for the J&J, 0·93% for the Gamaleya, and 0·84% for the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccines.

                ARR is also used to derive an estimate of vaccine effectiveness, which is the number needed to vaccinate (NNV) to prevent one more case of COVID-19 as 1/ARR. NNVs bring a different perspective: 81 for the Moderna–NIH, 78 for the AstraZeneca–Oxford, 108 for the Gamaleya, 84 for the J&J, and 119 for the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccines. The explanation lies in the combination of vaccine efficacy and different background risks of COVID-19 across studies: 0·9% for the Pfizer–BioNTech, 1% for the Gamaleya, 1·4% for the Moderna–NIH, 1·8% for the J&J, and 1·9% for the AstraZeneca–Oxford vaccines."

                From: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanmic/article/PIIS2666-5247(21)00069-0/fulltext

          5. Smeagolberg

            Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

            "MORE discourse is the answer"

            Nice idea, but social media is probably not a place characterised by intelligent discourse as much as by 'influencers' and people with many followers, that their egos don't recognise are mostly following for the entertainment value of watching motorway pile-ups / train wrecks.

            E.g. Florida Orange Man had many such followers, but exhibited little in the way of intelligent discourse.

          6. that one in the corner Silver badge

            Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

            > WrongThink against the current narrative

            Sigh. You were doing so well, then the paranoia slipped through in the last sentence.

            Seriously, if you actually *want* to be taken seriously, re-read your comments before posting and edit out lines like that.

            Alternatively, instead of using narrative, just call dissenters "sheeple" - saves on the typing.

            1. Steve Button Silver badge

              Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

              It's just a bloody 1984 George Orwell reference.

              I mean, c'mon WAKE UP SHEEPLE.

              1. that one in the corner Silver badge

                Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

                > It's just a bloody 1984 George Orwell reference

                Good grief, you aren't capable of getting something as simple as *that* right!

                The word "narrative" doesn't occur even once in the entire text of "1984".

          7. genghis_uk
            Stop

            Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

            Moderation is not Censorship!

            You may not have been free to post misinformation on twitter but there are 101 other places you could have posted it.

            Considering how small twitter is compared with the other social media sites, I would be surprised if anyone cared - it's only the disproportionate reporting of tweets by lazy journalists (and grandstanding pols) that make it even slightly relevant

          8. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

            Twitter is a commercial enterprise, and as such is not censoring anyone. They decide what they want to publish.

            Moaning about Twitter's moderation as "censorship" endorses the completely bogus notion that Twitter is somehow public property or the sole venue for expressing opinions.

            Personally, if Twitter is going to exist, I prefer in principle1 that it do less moderation as well, because I too believe that suppressing expression is rarely useful and often harmful, and counter-speech is better than obstructing speech. But I also understand that when Twitter obstructs, it is not censoring, any more than if the Reg moderators removes one of my posts.

            1I don't use Twitter, so this has no effect on me in practice. I also think Twitter's effect on popular opinion and world events is hugely overestimated by the people who think Twitter matters.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

              Nice in theory but the US govt (and it appears potentially the UN and EU) have been involved in getting people removed from social media platforms which is censorship and in the US a violation of the 1st amendment.

              And in the US there are some issues around section 230 with respect to platform vs publisher. Once you start moderation that exceeds law and rule breaking then you are a publisher.

              You broke the rules = legit

              You broke the law = legit

              We retrospectively changed the rules so you are now breaking the rules = iffy (as are all retrospective law/rule changes)

              We just don't like what you are saying cos it hurts our fee-fees but it doesn't break any law or rules = its their platform so yeah maybe but then maybe they shouldn't have started a publicly available social media site.

              Government wants you banned but you are not breaking any laws or rules = censorship, no ifs, ands or do you mind if I don'ts.

              If a government has to silence its people there is a problem.

      3. Steve Button Silver badge

        further.

        https://twitter.com/DaveAtherton20/status/1597521794969505794

        "Oncologist Dr Adnan Al-Daini

        @respect65

        says Covid boosters help stable cancer rapidly progress.

        Oncologist Prof Angus Dalgleish, agrees & adds: "The link with clots, myocarditis, heart attacks & strokes is now well accepted"

        Cc

        @DrSarahJarvis

        @TalkTV"

        Here's one which might be flagged up as misinformation. Does that seem OK? shouldn't it be allowed to look into such questions?

        What's causing all the excess deaths we're seeing right now (non Covid)?

        https://trusttheevidence.substack.com/p/excess-deaths-a-quick-update-yet

        Is it vaccines? Is it lockdown hangover? Cancer? Obesity? Something else?

        I'd really like to know, but the authorities don't seem in the least interested and offer no explanation + most of the press don't seem to care either. I'm not seeing daily press briefings for this.

        I'm just giving an example of something that would probably get flagged as misinformation, but is actually something that warrants further investigation. Why are no journalists picking this up?

        1. Potemkine! Silver badge

          Re: further.

          "Oncologist Dr Adnan Al-Daini"

          Dr Adnan Al-Daini (PhD Birmingham University, UK) is a retired university engineering lecturer.

          That starts well...

          == Bring us Dabbsy back! ==

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: further.

          Great - two twitter links. Referencing two individuals. Adnan Al-Daini. Retired University lecturer in Engineering. Not an Oncologist. Professor Angus Dalgleish. A proper oncologist. One specialising in vaccines. What has he said about vaccines. Let's look for stuff under his own byline, not some random twit/you tube account's hearsay. He has recently written to the BMJ, expressing the opinion that the risk benefit of 4th booster shots isn't there any more with Omicron. The quote t'he link with clots, myocarditis, heart attacks & strokes is now well accepted' appears to actually conflate two statements. 'We have heard anecdotal reports of an increase in myocarditis and myocardial infarction and of deaths of young adults within 48 hours of receiving the booster' and '. It is generally accepted that the Omicron is more contagious but considerably less harmful on an individual basis'

          1. Steve Button Silver badge

            Re: further.

            So, your point? This should be taken down as "misinformation", or kept up as opinion.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: further.

          Covid affects the cardiovascular system, so serious effects are possible for many months after infection. It also seems to affect mental ability, although it is not clear if this is directly or indirectly or whether it is permanent or temporary (months not years). Perhaps the Chinese authorities know, or think they know, something about its longer term impact.

          Hope that helps.

          1. Steve Button Silver badge

            Re: further.

            No, it doesn't really help. You seem to have jumped to a conclusion, without any evidence. Well done Sherlock.

            I'm saying I'd like some actual experts to investigate, instead of the media and medical silence we're seeing at the moment.

            I REALLY don't know what's causing it, but surely it's worth looking into? (unless you don't want to know the answer).

            If it's Covid, that should be relatively easy to work out from the stats.

            1. Smeagolberg

              Re: further.

              "I REALLY don't know what's causing it, but surely it's worth looking into? (unless you don't want to know the answer)."

              A good line of reasoning. Let me try it...

              I REALLY don't know what's causing the green slime monster that everyone but you can see eating your brain and rendering any potential but unrealised critical faculties into a decomposing sludge, but surely it's worth looking into? (Unless you don't want to know the answer).

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: further.

                "A good line of reasoning. Let me try it..."

                Me too, please.

                I was at a party and heard some people laughing about the stupid drunk, so I jumped up on the table and looked around to spot who it was ... and would you believe it? Everyone but me was drunk!

            2. genghis_uk

              Re: further.

              Starting to sound like Tucker Carson...

              Spout a whole load of off the wall BS in the name of 'just asking questions' then act outraged when someone calls out the BS

        4. Cav Bronze badge

          Re: further.

          ""The link with clots, myocarditis, heart attacks & strokes is now well accepted""

          And rare. Side effects exist with all vaccines. The important thing is the comparison between the deaths from the vaccines compared to the deaths from Covid. Millions died from Covid. Others died because they needed intensive care beds blocked by covid patients.

          It is simply fact that the majority of those requiring intensive care, once the vaccines were available, were the unvaccinated. Those who say that there were vaccinated in intensive care too, so they didn't work, are simply wrong. The rations are the important thing. There were far more unvaccinated than vaccinated.

          1. Steve Button Silver badge

            Re: further.

            "It is simply fact that the majority of those requiring intensive care, once the vaccines were available, were the unvaccinated"

            Bullshit. Show me figures.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: further.

            Millions died 'with' covid, not 'of'. Even the BBC admits this.

            However some politicians have used the 'with' covid to try and make things look much worse than it really was such as a Canadian kid who died of brain cancer but also had covid. The politicians tried to make hay from this before getting brutally shot down by the family and admitting that the child didn't die because of covid.

            In the US the hospitals were financially incentivised to make everything 'covid'. They got government money for a 'covid' patient so no matter what the real reason for being there, if you tested positive you were now a statistic.

            1. heyrick Silver badge
              Unhappy

              Re: further.

              Your final paragraph is why those asking for proper research are pissing in the wind. A pandemic hit, loads of people died. How many of Covid? Some places had incentives to label deaths as being Covid, other places preferred to sweep it under the carpet and find any other reason for death (like "heart stopped", duh).

              Couple that with the partisan behaviour both pro and anti vaccine (lockdown, face mask, etc) and I think it's going to be a long time figuring out what the hell happened with statistics that can be disputed by both sides of the argument.

              And it's all rather pointless, because if another pandemic rolls around in 2050, we'll fuck it up all over again.

              1. Steve Button Silver badge

                Re: further.

                Ha! This made me chuckle. Yeah, it does all seem rather pointless.

                Except, "experts" want to bring back masking now for The 'flu...

                https://www.eugyppius.com/p/the-covidification-of-influenza

                And also, it would be really really nice to work out if it did in fact come from a lab, so that we can, as a society, agree that gain-of-function research should only be carried out in BSL-4 labs and not BSL-2 (similar to a dentist - face shield) which seems pretty risky, no? I mean, if we should even be funding gain-of-function research at all!?

                1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                  Re: further.

                  Well, for influenza, whether you wear a mask or not in a shop is pretty moot, because if you actually have influenza, you will almost certainly be in bed, feeling like aboslute shit.

                  If you're talking about "man-flu", then I think it's fair to say we probably should adopt a culture where, if someone has an infectious cold, they mask up, to reduce transmission to others, out of sheer common courtesy.

                  This is common in some countries, such as Japan, and is rare in this country, largely because many people have no sense of social responsibility, and never think of the welfare of others. In some countries, that sort of attitude would be frowned upon, but we seem to have imported the American "cult of the individual" where it's all "me, me, me". I think that's probably an artefact of late-stage capitalism, to be fair, where everyone becomes more mercenary in order to survive those at the top sucking up all the resources.

                  1. Steve Button Silver badge

                    Re: further.

                    I guess I've never had 'flu in my whole adult life then, must be pretty rare. Because I've never been ill in bed with a virus, only ever from eating dodgy food and getting stomach cramps.

                    1. that one in the corner Silver badge

                      Re: further.

                      > I guess I've never had 'flu in my whole adult life then, must be pretty rare.

                      I've never broken a bone, they must be pretty rare as well.

                      1. jake Silver badge

                        Re: further.

                        I've never been in a fatal solo-driver car wreck. I guess they never happen.

                        1. heyrick Silver badge
                          Coffee/keyboard

                          Re: further.

                          Oi! Keyboard!

                      2. Steve Button Silver badge

                        Re: further.

                        That's a really dumb comparison.

                        Broken bones ARE pretty rare. We don't all go around wearing padded suits all the time, just in case we slip over and break our arm whilst walking. But it DOES happen. Sometimes people slip over and bang their head and die, but we don't mandate that everyone must walk around wearing a helmet just in case.

                        And even though 'flu is a lot more common than broken arms, it's not common enough that I'm going to go around wearing a mask for my whole life, for something I've literally never caught in my whole life. Although I suspect it's more common that that, and I've just shrugged it off as a bad cold.

                        1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                          Re: further.

                          It's a pretty good comparison. I think I've had flu maybe twice in what is rapidly approaching five decades. I've also broken one rib, and dislocated one shoulder, so statistically, broken bones and dislocations are about the same level of incidence.

                          Nobody is saying you should go around wearing a mask to stop you catching influenza. I was suggesting that if you are walking around with an infectious virus (which is unlikely to be the 'flu because it's not what you think it is), you should wear a mask to protect others from you.

                          The reason people were asked to wear masks during the peak of covid is that a lot of infections were largely asymptomatic, but the carriers could still spread it by coughing and sneezing, and masks offered some protection, for others, from them. Because not everyone would get an asymptomatic infection, and some people would get seriously ill, suffer from long-lasting effects, or die.

                          That's how public health initiatives work, they protect the public, not you personally.

                          Do your part, you selfish git.

                          1. gandalfcn Silver badge

                            Re: further.

                            "That's how public health initiatives work, they protect the public, not you personally."

                            But then Thatcher and the "me, me, me" fillofersee arrived and everything that went and still goes with it.

                          2. Steve Button Silver badge

                            Re: further.

                            https://www.eugyppius.com/p/the-covidification-of-influenzahttps://www.eugyppius.com/p/the-covidification-of-influenza

                            Here's the link AGAIN.

                            "Nobody is saying you should go around wearing a mask to stop you catching influenza."

                            Actually, that's EXACTLY what some people are saying. Which was my point.

                            You are arguing a different point. If I've got a bad cold I don't go out, and if I invite people round the house I'll warn them "Look, I've got a stinking cold, you might want to come next week instead". I do my bit, I'm not a selfish git.

                            "asymptomatic, but the carriers could still spread it by coughing and sneezing, and masks offered some protection"

                            Please show your working, and don't make the assertion that they offer some protection. How much? 5%? Less?

                            I'm not being selfish by refusing the play your game, because I don't believe that it actually does anything.

                            The large scale studies that have been done either show no benefit, or statistically insignificant benefit.

                            And we weren't ASKED to wear masks, it was MANDATED.

                            1. Anonymous Coward
                              Anonymous Coward

                              Re: further.

                              "If I've got a bad cold I don't go out ... I do my bit, I'm not a selfish git"

                              But if you are asymptomatic then, by your logic, you are not going to stop going out and, as a selfish git without a mask, you will be spreading your germs over everyone and everything you pass

                              1. Anonymous Coward
                                Anonymous Coward

                                Re: further.

                                https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-19802-w

                                "The screening of the 9,865,404 participants without a history of COVID-19 found no newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, and identified 300 asymptomatic positive cases with a detection rate of 0.303 (95% CI 0.270–0.339)/10,000. The median age-stratified Ct-values of the asymptomatic cases were shown in Supplementary Table 1. Of the 300 asymptomatic positive cases, two cases came from one family and another two were from another family. There were no previously confirmed COVID-19 patients in these two families. A total of 1174 close contacts of the asymptomatic positive cases were traced, and they all tested negative for the COVID-19. "

                                Asymptomatic spread appears to have been a bit of a myth in the early days. One of the scare tactics.

                                https://publichealth.jhu.edu/2021/new-data-on-covid-19-transmission-by-vaccinated-individuals

                                However it appears that with widespread vaccine uptake a person can be infected but not sick and spread it about.

                                The science being that the vaccine does not stop the virus in the respiratory tract but only once it tries to spread to the rest of the body. So you can carry it in your mouth and nose and spread it about without being ill.

                                So this is one of the cases where myth became fact due to the vaccine. Ooops!

                                Again how much harm did the Fauci et al claim that vaccinated are fully protected (and yes, he DID say this!!!!) with vaccinated people now going out and actually being the asymptomatic spreaders they claimed the unvaxxed to be?

                              2. Steve Button Silver badge

                                Re: further.

                                ohhhh kayyyy.

                                So, for the 3 weeks of my life when I'm actually symptomatic with the 'flu, I should also wear a mask the rest of the time, by your logic? Which is every time I go out, just in case? Because you never know?

                        2. heyrick Silver badge

                          Re: further.

                          If tens, then hundreds, of thousands of people started slipping over and banging their heads and clogging up A&E and the x-ray, you can bet that there will be serious discussion about requiring helmets and padded clothing.

                    2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                      Re: further.

                      You probably haven't. I think the stats are that you are likely to get it 2-3 times in your whole lifetime. Let's hope it's not when you're very old, because it'll probably do you in if you're not vaccinated against that strain.

                      1. Steve Button Silver badge

                        Re: further.

                        So, let me get this straight. Are you suggesting that I SHOULD wear a mask, all the time (in crowded places) to protect me from something that I might catch 2-3 times in my whole lifetime, even though I am yet to see any compelling evidence that the mask would actually give me any protection?

                        If I happen to catch something when I'm "very old" and it finishes me off, then so-be-it.

                        For me personally that risk/reward ratio just doesn't add up. And clearly for the vast majority of people, it also doesn't add up, as I now see hardly anyone in England wearing them.

                        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

                          Re: further.

                          "So, let me get this straight. Are you suggesting that I SHOULD wear a mask, all the time (in crowded places) to protect me from something that I might catch 2-3 times in my whole lifetime, even though I am yet to see any compelling evidence that the mask would actually give me any protection?"

                          No. To stop you from spreading germs. It is patently obvious that you don't understand simple science.

                          "as I now see hardly anyone in England wearing them." And that is why the UK had such a high mortality rate. It still has the 9th highest infection rate and 7th highest death rate globally/

                          The USA which has a similar kiss my arse approach has the highest rates in the world.

                        2. that one in the corner Silver badge

                          Re: further.

                          > to protect me from ..

                          No, to protect *others* FROM YOU

                          > For me personally that risk/reward ratio just doesn't add up

                          Not risk/reward, this isn't some kind of monetary bet that you have voluntarily entered!

                          > I now see hardly anyone in England wearing them

                          So, everyone else is ignorant and/or an arsehole, therefore you can act the same way they are, with a clear conscience.

                          Except that you've entered into discussions on the subject and been given answers, so you don't get to use the "ignorant" excuse.

      4. lotus49

        Is it time to block COVID tin foil hattery on The Register? It appears so.

      5. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        If you can't tell the difference between an opinion and a fact, try holding the opinion that falling off a building won't hurt you, and then try arguing with the fact of the ground coming up to meet you.

        The fact is that the internet is awash with misinformation and just because you can make your opinion widely heard, and voice it convincingly, doesn't make it a fact. If you don't have the skills to critically evaluate sources of information for their veracity, and spot obvious bullshit, maybe you should not be repeating everything you hear as if it is fact, and the internet will become just that tiny little bit less of a cess-pit.

        tl;dr: If you don't know what you are talking about, please shut up.

        1. Steve Button Silver badge

          I think you are getting Twitter muddled up with The Lancet. Twitter is full of opinions. Some of them are total rubbish, some are fact, many are somewhere in-between. It's a bit like people chatting down the pub about politics. Many people don't know what they are talking about, but it's a bit unfair to ask them all to "please shut up", because they aren't experts.

          And even the experts get things wrong, sometimes.

          Like, I don't know, The Lancet.

          https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30641-1/fulltext

          (who failed to declare the massive conflicts of interest).

          1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

            If I set up a web site, let's call it, I dunno, the "Sharp Prick", and position it as a balanced publisher of information, on a par with such erstwhile and long-established publications as the Lancet, and then make up some completely bullshit claims, and dress them up to look like legitimate science, whilst completely ignoring all of the scientific standards, such as reproducibility, not falsifying my data, and peer review, and, when demonstrated to be talking utter shite, reuse to take it down, or publish a retraction or correction, is my web site equivalent to the Lancet?

            Hint: the answer should obviously be "no".

            The problem is, that this is essentially what is going on, and in some cases, the disinformation is very well funded

            Of course, the point of science is not that it gets everything right. Science is a process, and part of that process is to be able to say, "we thought this was right, but it turns out it wasn't, so here is a correction". It also doesn't mean that scientists are automatically trustworthy. They are no more or less so than any other people, because they are... just people. That's why science, as a process, has these mechanisms to correct things, so that, as a whole, science moves towards a more accurate reflection and understanding of reality. Some bloke with a youtube channel is not, as you may be able to notice, the same thing.

            1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

              ...I will, of course, add that bullshit can slip past the peer review process and get published in the Lancet. A high-profile example of this is that of Andrew Wakefield, and his paper about the combined MMR vaccine, which, when it was found to be based on flawed and falsified data, was withdrawn, and he was subsequently struck off the medical register and banned from practising medicine in the UK due to his gross professional misconduct.

              Sadly, there are so many complete idiots in the world, this revolting excuse for a human being now has a cult following of people who think he was censored, instead of being in a large part personally responsible for all the harm caused by global anti-vax campaigners. Ironically, his original motivation was pretty obviously a financial interest in a rival vaccine, but he has since discovered that a lot of money can be made from just peddling lies instead.

              So, in essence, because of sheer greed, and people's gullibility, we now have children dying from measles who otherwise would not have done so, in places where the vaccination level has fallen below the threshold needed to prevent community transmission (which is a high threshold due to the high transmissibility, or "R" rate)

        2. heyrick Silver badge

          "If you don't know what you are talking about, please shut up."

          Uh, dude, this is the internet. This is the actual place that people who don't know what they're talking about get to mouth off on topics they barely understand. It's like open mic night at the pub, only with a global audience.

          1. Steve Button Silver badge

            How about this for people mouthing off on the internet...

            https://usrtk.org/covid-19-origins/timeline-the-proximal-origin-of-sars-cov-2/

            Pretty explosive stuff?

            1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge
              Mushroom

              Fluorine oxide is pretty explosive stuff, your link is... a random link that I'm not going to follow.

            2. This post has been deleted by its author

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No it isn't. Except to the idiots that buy into conspiracy theories at the drop of a hat.

      7. DS999 Silver badge

        Presenting the lab leak as fact

        Is still misinformation. Saying "no one has been able to prove the lab leak theory is false" is true, but likely no one will ever be able to prove exact origin of it anymore than we can prove the exact origin of AIDS or the 1918 flu pandemic.

        You can try to portray this as a gray line where you have to allow discussion, but the people pushing misinformation are way over that line. They are presenting lab leak as fact. They are presenting "getting the vaccine is much more likely to kill you than not getting it" as fact. They are presenting "the vaccine is part of a mass sterilization campaign" as fact.

        They aren't trying to toe a line and getting slapped down for stepping slightly over it. They are leaping several miles over the line and then whining "but muh free speech!" when a misinformation warning is attached to their post that's left in place. Twitter is (was) merely exercising THEIR right to free speech by attaching a misinformation warning.

        1. Excused Boots Bronze badge

          Re: Presenting the lab leak as fact

          Indeed, if I claim that I have invisible fairies living at the bottom of my garden, and nobody has (indeed can) proved that there isn’t, than must it be taken as accepted that, yes fairies do exist and that they indeed inhabit the end of my garden and public policy is based on that assumption?

          Because, that is the situation regarding the COVID vaccines and mask mandates and restrictions on group meetings etc. No they will not ever be 100% effective, yes there will be some people who will die even though they conformed to all the restrictions and dutifully got themselves vaccinated etc. There will be a tiny number of people with an underlying condition, which having the vaccine just pushed over the edge and they died, which wouldn’t have happen right then (it would have happened a little later though) if they had not have the vaccine - and that is a tragedy for their family, but it doesn’t mean that the vaccine was faulty or they shouldn’t have taken it.

          Let me give an example, theoretically imagine a group of 100000 people who are all susceptible to a virus, this virus, statistically will kill, say 10% of people who get it, that’s not high but it is 10000 people. There is a vaccine but it’s not 100% safe or effective, statistically if everyone took it then there is a 95% chance that it will stop you getting ill, and massively reduce your chances of passing the virus on. But there is a small, 0.01% chance that an individual who has the vaccine develops complications (and no two people are the same so impossible to tell up front) and may well die.

          Now you are the local Prime Minster, President, State Governor, the people are looking to you for advice, now assuming that your priority to to avoid unnecessary deaths (unless, of course you really don’t care), what advice do you give?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Presenting the lab leak as fact

            Let me give an example, theoretically imagine a group of 100000 people who are all susceptible to a virus, this virus, statistically will kill, say 10% of people who get it, that’s not high but it is 10000 people. There is a vaccine but it’s not 100% safe or effective, statistically if everyone took it then there is a 95% chance that it will stop you getting ill, and massively reduce your chances of passing the virus on. But there is a small, 0.01% chance that an individual who has the vaccine develops complications (and no two people are the same so impossible to tell up front) and may well die.

            Yes, except the infection fatality rate by age for the original strain of COVID, which was a great deal more deadly than the current omicron strain, were as follows:

            0.0003% at 0-19 years

            0.003% at 20-29 years

            0.011% at 30-39 years

            0.035% at 40-49 years

            0.129% at 50-59 years

            0.501% at 60-69 years

            https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.10.11.22280963v1

            With these sorts of numbers it's clear that universal vaccination did not make a lot of sense, especially since vaccine side effects such as myocarditis tend to be more prevalent in the adolescent age group and the COVID vaccines do little to prevent transmission.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Presenting the lab leak as fact

          Is still misinformation. Saying "no one has been able to prove the lab leak theory is false" is true, but likely no one will ever be able to prove exact origin of it anymore than we can prove the exact origin of AIDS or the 1918 flu pandemic.

          Yes, except the animal host of the SARS1 outbreak in 2002 was traced and that was at a time when our detection and sequencing protocols were relatively primitive in comparison to today. No equivalent intermediate species has ever been identified for the current pandemic.

          The reason the lab leak hypothesis should've been a strong contender from the start are as follows:

          1) The Wuhan Institute of Virology studied bat coronaviruses and gain of function research and was only a few miles from the initial epicentre of cases.

          2) The French team who helped set up the lab and train staff had concerns regarding the safety protocols employed by the Chinese.

          3) The Chinese have withheld data from the start of the pandemic and hampered the WHO's investigation.

      8. gandalfcn Silver badge

        "Hardly. It's just so difficult to determine what's considered "misinformation" around Covid-19." Not really if one can think for oneself - you should try it/

    2. lotus49

      Twitter has been been down the toilet for a long time swirling in shit. Now Musk has pulled the chain. How dare Apple not want to jump in after Twitter.

    3. gandalfcn Silver badge

      "?Swisher claimed that Roth had once said Twitter was "actually safer under Elon." Asked if he still felt that way, Roth bluntly said: "I don't.""

      That he even considered Leon "safe" is a joke.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    conspiracy nut

    According to Elon, that's not misinformation but free speech

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: conspiracy nut

      All he really wants is fee speech (as El Reg put it a while back).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: conspiracy nut

      Truly free speech only happens when people can be punched for spewing bullshit in person. The internet protects them from the repercussions of being belligerent fools, so we're stuck with thousands of people screaming absolute nonsense at the top of their lungs online when in "the village square and soap box" days they'd have been "taken care of" by the townspeople and police.

  3. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge
    Joke

    Elon's on a crusade the make the internet free of advertising

    just joking, of course, he's sinking the boat

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Elon's on a crusade the make the internet free of advertising

      Not a joke. Musk's long term plan to 'save' Twitter was to change the proportion of revenue sources so advertisers would not have to power to silence viewpoints that the majority of their customers strongly object to (strongly enough to stop buying products that fund advertising on platforms that allow objectionable content). Musk has been very successful at reducing the proportion of income from advertising. What he did not expect what his actions would cause such a rapid fall in advertising and that other sources of income would not come close to making up the difference.

      This is not Musk deliberately burning Twitter to the ground. It is an attempt to create Musk's next great money earner: x.com. The plan was to connect social media, online payments and online banking into one site (Musk's path to a billion Twitter users in under two years). Advertising could then be directly linked to purchases and so command a steeper commission. This has been Musk's dream since before his x.com merged with Thiel's confinity to create paypal. Back then Musk was unable to implement his dream, was fired from Paypal which Theil sold the eBay and that made the pair of them rich.

      The only thing that has changed is Musk now has a much smaller connection to reality and so gets surprised when his actions have unexpected (to him) consequences. Musk genuinely sees his path to a world dominating does everything internet site. Others see the same path leading to a different destination.

      1. that one in the corner Silver badge

        Re: Elon's on a crusade the make the internet free of advertising

        Hmm, the most salient Chief Twit Tweet on this subject would appear to back up your descripton:

        https://mobile.twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1577428272056389633

        > Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app

        However, when you say

        >> This is not Musk deliberately burning Twitter to the ground

        keep in mind that many an arson investigations revolves around identifying the type and source of the accelerant.

  4. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    The proposed new Government's UK policy document is basically saying "if a statement is not illegal then it's free speech and is subject to site imposed policies".

    If Twitter doesn't have a policy for take down of legal material it would actually conform to that Act (if enforced as written) in the easiest and cheapest way ...

    It's more interesting that if a social media site (whatever one of those is defined as) actually has its own policy document for postings and doesn't enforce it to the letter, whether or not a complaint is received, then the company may potentially be criminally liable under the Act when something completely legal but in contravention of the company's own imposed restrictions is said.

    The new/old Twitter policy may not be to everyone's taste at the moment but it may actually be a signal of the way others will go in the UK to reduce future company liability ... no boundaries, no liability.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Andy The Hat - Yeah, but

      it's the UK government who decides what is illegal. What if tomorrow the government will decide to back the flat-Earth theory and make illegal any discussion on the actual form of our planet ? Wouldn't it be a gross misinformation to claim Earth is not flat ?

      The country where I was born and spent the first half of my life had all the attributes of a fully functional democracy, however it was the communist party that was making the rules and decide what is illegal and what is not.

      Besides, I personally find it weird that someone posting on the Internet about Christ resurrection does not spread misinformation while if someone dares to post an opinion about COVID that is contrary to government propa... sorry! line, it is automatically flagged as misinformation.

      Something is wrong here!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Andy The Hat - Yeah, but

        Render unto Caesar. I.e.. listen to doctor's about health, priests about flying spaghetti monsters, etc.

        As long as we live in society we need some rules. Governments make rules. If they make dumb rules your choice is to vote them out, emigrate or lead a successful coup. But, and it's a big but, just because you don't like a rule doesn't mean that the community as a whole doesn't like the rule, and maybe it's not the government that are being dumb?

      2. Cav Bronze badge

        Re: @Andy The Hat - Yeah, but

        "about COVID that is contrary to government propa" You mean facts. That can be verified if you bother to learn anything about the subjects involved.

  5. trevorde Silver badge

    Bring back Tay!!

    She'd feel right at home with Twitter's latest changes:

    https://www.theregister.com/2016/03/24/microsoft_ai_goes_troll/

    https://www.theregister.com/2016/03/30/microsofts_tay_ai_chatbot_brief_return/

  6. Binraider Silver badge

    What do you do with "harmful" information that might also be legal? For example, the much-publicised case of a teenager being pushed suggested post after suggested post regarding "how to kill one's self".

    Now, I know that case was a "Zuck" rather than a "Musk" but the problem still holds true.

    Moderating by not-moderating is passing the buck for responsible reading entirely to the user, which I think we can all agree there are plenty of clueless users out there. A cursory look at Fail videos or similar proves that.

    The "right sort" of censorship over free speech would be my preference, however, good luck algorithming that. It's rather easier to do with 3 TV channels and a dozen newspapers....

    Better yet, we should sack off using such crappy platforms. (Noting that some forms of social media are now the only contact details I have for certain people - though that could be fixed).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Binraider - There's no "right sort of censorship"

      By censoring a message you remove the possibility of a debate to establish the truth. This is bad for science.

      Yes, there are a lot of weirdos and downright idiots who speak all kind of nonsense but many scientists, academics, physicians and journalists have been conveniently added to the same bunch because they didn't toed the government line. Now I can't tell if those qualified (to me at least) people were right or wrong because they were suppressed both professionally and socially, together with their message.

      However, what is worrying me is the fact that this happened simultaneously in many countries with different cultures and health care systems. I've noticed the anti-anti-vax people all over the world are following the exact same script, using the same arguments and governments are using the same arsenal of heavy-handed repressive measures.

      I know, I know, it's all for our own good.

      1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: @Binraider - There's no "right sort of censorship"

        If I was to post something that is libellous, and it was removed, would that be censorship?

        In what sense would it be a valid debate to discuss whether or not there is veracity in such a claim as, for instance, "Annoymous Coward has sex with dogs"?

        There is a clear line between removal of false or defamatory claims, and censorship of legitimate debate. To claim otherwise is to draw a false equivalence and is deeply disingenuous.

        1. Binraider Silver badge

          Re: @Binraider - There's no "right sort of censorship"

          While the examples you give are clear cut; what about the censorship of Galileo (and publically forced retraction of his work).

          There are no easy answers to this debate!

          1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

            Re: @Binraider - There's no "right sort of censorship"

            So the whole argument boils down to "moderation of Twitter is censorship because of the Spanish Inquisition"?

            Nobody expected that!

            1. Lil Endian Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: @Binraider - There's no "right sort of censorship"

              ¡La nueva ley de Godwin!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Binraider - There's no "right sort of censorship"

        Laughs - I've noticed the anti-anti-anti-vax people all over the world are following the exact same script, but instead of being one written by scientists based on data, their scripts were written by a failed pizza delivery person from their parent's basement.

        1. Binraider Silver badge

          Re: @Binraider - There's no "right sort of censorship"

          If I didn't know better, perhaps the anti-vaxx messaging's "commonality" could be ultimately traced back to a certain dictators goals to get advantages over the West at any expense.

          But that's a conspiracy theory in itself :-P

      3. Cav Bronze badge

        Re: @Binraider - There's no "right sort of censorship"

        "By censoring a message you remove the possibility of a debate to establish the truth."

        No, you don't. The average social media poster doesn't have a clue about the subjects involved and so is not capable of expressing a valid opinion. There is no truth to be had in their comments. Debate of medical subjects belongs to medics, not idiots who believe anything and everything that they read. Most of what the average social media user posts is ignorant garbage. And that is dangerous during pandemics or elections.

        1. cornetman Silver badge

          Re: @Binraider - There's no "right sort of censorship"

          > The average social media poster doesn't have a clue about the subjects involved and so is not capable of expressing a valid opinion. There is no truth to be had in their comments. Debate of medical subjects belongs to medics, not idiots who believe anything and everything that they read.

          I would suggest to you that you are implying a false dichotomy. Twitter users are not composed of only "experts" and "idiots". There is a range of people on there. It might certainly be difficult to figure out who is who, but stating that everybody that is not a medic has nothing useful to say is demonstrably wrong.

          Much of the debate surrounding Covid measures is not purely factual. The various options proposed by governments and the medical community come with upsides and downsides. The balances of risk and downsides are not always very straightforward or obvious.

          - How many companies should go bust before we judge that the damage of some policy is doing more harm than good long term?

          - What level of risk aversion should we consider acceptable when trying to decide if lockdown is to be recommended?

          These are not factual concerns and different people have differing views on those questions.

          Such nuanced discussion is hard to find and often drowned out by the hysterical. And we are certainly seeing a lot of hysteria in some of the postings here.

      4. Binraider Silver badge

        Re: @Binraider - There's no "right sort of censorship"

        In Science; fabrication of data tends to be uncovered by other scientists cross checking workings. As an author of various academic papers, believe you me, the cross checking is both tenuous to deal with, and a good thing.

        The most extreme example I am aware of a very poorly peer reviewed paper is some outfit claiming that a circle is square and using (invalid) arguments at length to do so. This was of course a poke at the peer review system in itself.

        But when it comes to Grifters spreading utter rubbish (e.g. Piers Corbyn and his antivaxx freedumb brigade), people were, and still are willing to throw money after hearing the message they want to hear. It's not "enough" that the rational "rubbish" those messages; which is what would happen in any scientific setting.

        For general-purpose throwaway comms platforms like Faecesbook or Twatter? Yes, all in favour of censorship (but, accept hard to do!)

        And I equally accept the freedom of speech argument; Galileo's persecution being a prime example that held back science in the Western hemisphere for decades (arguably, longer) in fact.

        Strong arguments both ways... Argh. I'll stick to maths; algebraic symbols (usually) aren't quite so ambiguous in their output.

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: @Binraider - There's no "right sort of censorship"

          > cross checking is both tenuous to deal with, and a good thing

          Did you mean to say "tedious to deal with"?

          You did? Good, good, just checking (We've got enough trouble from the anti-science brigade without giving them fuel around peer-review being fake!)

        2. Fading

          Re: @Binraider - There's no "right sort of censorship"

          As an author of various academic papers you must be fully aware of the replication crisis that is getting worse?

          https://www.news-medical.net/life-sciences/What-is-the-Replication-Crisis.aspx

          1. Binraider Silver badge

            Re: @Binraider - There's no "right sort of censorship"

            Yes, indeed. Nobody can replicate the results of CERN. But you can look elsewhere in Physics. If the Higgs Boson did not have the properties that it had been theorised to have, and what the detection devices say they found, then other areas of physics would not behave as they do either.

            In the case of the above, in some ways NOT finding things agreeing with the theory would have been the more exciting result.

            Fortunately the sort of stuff that I have published material on is installed in large quantities in many countries. There are ample test cases available both at home and abroad. But the more esoteric you go, the harder it is to do.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Repeal Section 230

    Let Social Media be held to the same libel standards as all other publishers. Then it will either self-regulate or pay those it damages.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC - Re: Repeal Section 230

      It's not that easy. This will force them to play safe and remove anything that might get them into trouble. Remember that photograph taken during the Vietnam war and showing a naked girl running from incendiary bombs ? Is it child porn, a message against the horrors of war or a journalistic masterpiece ?

    2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

      Re: Repeal Section 230

      Either they are "common carriers" and the people posting stuff are liable for the content, or they are "curators", and if they show someone something that is not true, for example, by "promoting" a post algorithmically that they might not have otherwise chose to see, they are liable for doing so.

      Personally, I think the latter should apply as soon as the likes of Facebook and Twitter start doing the "curating" and "sponsored posts" stuff. They started doing this some time ago. If one of my friends posts some utter nonsense, they are liable for its truthfulness, but if an advert from Vote Leave touting false information about all of Turkey planning on moving to the UK is promoted onto my feed during a national referendum campaign, based on profiling of what I might be liable to believe, then the company putting it in my face is responsible.

      There's an awful lot of money sloshing about to prevent any comeuppances for the latter from happening though, more's the pity, because social media networks should have already been stomped into the ground for promoting misinformation. IMHO, they are responsible for moderating the content of such, and should be liable for its truthfulness.

    3. aerogems Silver badge

      Re: Repeal Section 230

      If you did that, things like the comment section here on El Reg would go poof overnight. Or, at the very least, they'd send all comments to some holding bin where someone will read them one by one and decide what can go up on the site.

      1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge
        Gimp

        Re: Repeal Section 230

        Bring back the Moderatrix!

    4. Chet Mannly

      Re: Repeal Section 230

      Surely libel applies to the poster, not the platform? Unless of course the libelous post is made by the platform itself.

  8. Potemkine! Silver badge

    All the conspirationists and other nuts celebrate worldwide.

    This link will become more vital than ever.

    == Bring us Dabbsy back! ==

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Potemkine! - What does your vital link tell about this

      ...The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted in its announcement of emergency use authorization of the vaccine that there was not yet evidence that it prevented transmission of the virus from person to person.

      It's a public document so you can find it yourself

      or this:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A2ZkW8pUWg (Pfizer representative full hearing in from of the COVID EP comission)

      Now I'm confused, who is a conspirationist and who is not ? If Dabbsy can help us, bring him on!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Potemkine! - What does your vital link tell about this

        I see your youtube link, and i raise you a BMJ royal flush -

        https://www.bmj.com/content/379/bmj-2022-072065#:~:text=1%20period%20was%2057%25%20(47,days)%20and%20during%20the%20BA.

        and

        https://www.bmj.com/content/376/bmj.o298#:~:text=A%20study2%20of%20covid,transmission%20by%2040%2D50%25.

        A study2 of covid-19 transmission within English households using data gathered in early 2021 found that even a single dose of a covid-19 vaccine reduced the likelihood of household transmission by 40-50%. This was supported by a study of household transmission among Scottish healthcare workers conducted between December 2020 and March 2021.3 Both studies analysed the impact of vaccination on transmission of the α variant of SARS-CoV-2, which was dominant at the time.

      2. aerogems Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: @Potemkine! - What does your vital link tell about this

        I thought we weren't supposed to trust anonymous sources.

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: @Potemkine! - What does your vital link tell about this

          I like El Reg's clarification of anonymous sources as "Posted by a snivelling, miserable coward", I laughed hard when I first saw that icon change but now, reading the El Reg comments I strongly appreciate the El Reg view! An anonymous posting isn't necessarily bad but it's not defined as good or bad ... for example, it's like a politician - it's what they do or say that makes them clearly either form of idiot.

      3. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: @Potemkine! - What does your vital link tell about this

        [some link to a youtube video]

        Now I'm confused, who is a conspirationist and who is not ?

        Answer: it's the person publishing their "research" on youtube.

        Next!

      4. cmdrklarg

        Re: @Potemkine! - What does your vital link tell about this

        *** It's a public document so you can find it yourself ***

        Piss off! It's YOUR job to prove your assertions. I got better things to do than research some random AC on the interwebs.

      5. Excused Boots Bronze badge

        Re: @Potemkine! - What does your vital link tell about this

        And you know that’s fine, at the time, they acknowledged that there wasn’t compelling evidence that it prevented transmission, but was there evidence that it reduced transmission and/or reduced the chances of dying as a consequence of contracting the virus?

        Do you not think that the fact (as you admit to) that this is a public document, would mitigate against there being some massive ‘cover up’ but actually all the known facts (and, of course, things change as more is understood, as more research is done, as advice changes based on better understanding) are freely available if anyone wants to check and make their own opinions?

        I’m sorry, but I can’t help but think that there are some political parties in all parts of the world, who are prepared to claim ‘freedom from government restrictions’ is a rallying call. It’s simplistic, it appeals to those who can’t or won’t use their own brain power to wonder about the validity of their claims. Ultimately, I can’t help but wonder if these institutions are more concerned about gaining power by means of manipulating people’s fears than they are about their constituents dying.

  9. Delay

    On Covid Misinformation

    So what is the Covid misinformation? It has changed so much and was gotten so wrong by those making the rules. First masks don’t help, then they do. Then it wasn’t released in a lab accident. Now it probably was. Then it won’t spread if you get the vaccine, now the vaccine doesn’t prevent spread.

    All of these were official lines from the CDC that were later debunked by the supposed misinformation that was propagated online. The problem is official sources can lie just like unofficial sources. The only way to eventually find the truth on complicated topics is to allow ideas to compete. While it may be messy, it’s necessary. Otherwise we will become like China and Russia holding up blank pieces of papers protesting idiotic policies because there is no opposing viewpoint allowed. I will take the bad that comes with free speech over their horrible system, where a couple of leaders decide on wars and horrible policies.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: On Covid Misinformation

      But twitter and you tube dont' do science. Scientists do science. Peer review debunks poor hypotheses. And science moves, understanding changes.

      And your labelling of evolving science as 'later debunked' is just silly language. What was debunked was that 4G signals caused and injecting bleach cured COVID.

    2. aerogems Silver badge

      Re: On Covid Misinformation

      Covid is a novel virus. That means we've never seen it before and everyone is still learning as they go. Officials were giving the best information they had AT THE TIME. Some of it turned out to be wrong, but that's how science works. You don't prove something so much as you prove it can't be anything else. It doesn't mean they were lying or it was some big conspiracy intended to prepare people for the biblical end of days, it just means they were working with very preliminary data and further analysis showed that it was incorrect and so the information being given to people needed to change accordingly.

      This is one of the downsides to Google Syndrome. People think that because they can type a few words into a search engine that makes up for decades of education and experience in a highly technical field. People who don't know how to properly interpret what they're looking at, interpret it incorrectly and muddle the message. That's the best case scenario; someone who's well-meaning, but just doesn't know what they're doing. The worst case scenario is people like you, who actively try to promote the idea that officials are lying or it's part of some grand conspiracy and people shouldn't listen to what is being said. That's the sort of thing that got thousands of people needlessly killed over the last couple of years.

      SOME vaccinations DO prevent infection. India recently approved a nasal vaccination that is designed to prevent covid from being able to enter the body through the nasal canal. The vaccinations you get in the US and UK are more traditional vaccines that don't really prevent infection, but rather prevent serious illness. They train your immune system to recognize covid and how to fight it off. They may not stop you from getting covid, but they do tend to make it significantly less likely that you'd need to be hospitalized or die from it.

      Take off the tinfoil hat, it's cutting off circulation to your brain and is impairing your higher order thinking abilities.

      1. Zolko Silver badge

        Re: On Covid Misinformation

        Covid is a novel virus

        no it's not, it's called SARS-2 for a reason : 2 because there was a 1. Actually, it should even be 3 because MERS was also a SARS.

        And also the claim that governments were caught off-guard by surprise is also provably wrong since there was an exercise about pandemic prevention on 18. october 2019, called event 201, organised by ... the WEF.

        I'll need new complotist theories, all those I've believed-in have become true.

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: On Covid Misinformation

          Just in case anyone else is as confused as this poor chap:

          The name "SARS" is a description of the *symptoms*, not the *cause*:

          Sudden (it happens without prior warning symptoms)

          Acute (it acts on a short time scale - you die or you get over it quite quickly)

          Respiratory (the bits you breathe with are affected the most)

          Syndrome (Mr Incredible's nemesis - no, sorry, it means there is a group of symptoms that all relate to this and you get a selection of them: e.g. total loss of smell, difficulty breathing but this time you didn't get the muscle aches).

          A while back, the world had an outbreak whose identifying characteristic symptoms fit the above description and that is how the medics described it when asked by the TV sofa dollies: who promptly decided that that was a *name* not just a description of symptoms and ran with it. If we'd had sofa dollies back in the day then Shingles would be LOIS (Late Onset Itchie Scabbies).

          When we got another outbreak with similar symptoms, the condition got, surprise, the same description and the medics, sighing as they talked to the media, said "No, we have no proof that it is the same disease as the previous SARS" so guess what it became known as? Yup, SARS-2.

          In between, MERS got tagged as a Respiratory Syndrome coming from the Middle East.

          Remember, SARS and MERS are just descriptions of symptoms - they do *not* say anything about the *cause* of the symptoms. Consider: if we had only discovered in the last few years that a large group of people had a long-standing wet cough, distinctive yellowing of the epidermis and smelt foul then that would also be described as a Respiratory Syndrome - chronic, not acute, so Chronic Respiratory Epidermal Smell Syndrome or CRESS. Aka Smoker's Cough.

          The *cause* of SARS-2 is a *novel* (as in, we had not seen this one before) virus which is in the family of coronavirii, which was discovered in 2019, hence COVID-19 (which is actually just a convenient abbreviation for the actual name of the disease agent, which is - skip that, this comment is too long already).

        2. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: On Covid Misinformation

          Shorter version:

          Tummy Trouble (SASS) : caused by too hot curry

          SASS-2 : caused by catching 'flu

          SASS-3 : caused by catching a very fast football in just the wrong way

          All three have the same major symptoms, hence get the same descriptor, but have three distinctly different causes.

          SASS-3 was described as "novel" because it turned out it wasn't a football but a medicine ball and no-one had seen anyone manage to kick one like that before.

        3. aerogems Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: On Covid Misinformation

          Thank you for proving one of my points.

          MOST governments handled the pandemic pretty well. The US and Brazil being notable exceptions. When you're dealing with an airborne virus, there's not a whole lot you can do about it. People kind of need to breathe to stay alive. There's even less you can do about it when a group of jackasses decide that it's all some big conspiracy and deliberately ignore the advice being given that's intended to try to help save their lives. Then they clog up hospitals, spread the virus to more people, who then go to the hospital, and a vicious cycle is born where you have literally thousands of people dying PER DAY. That had more to do with political leaders more concerned with their own personal lust for power than the lives of the people they were supposed to be serving.

          Also, its full name is SARS-CoV-2. SARS refers to the fact that it's a respiratory virus, CoV means it belongs to the Covid family of viruses. And Covid-19 means it was first discovered in 2019.

      2. DrXym

        Re: On Covid Misinformation

        You're being too reasonable.

        Some of these morons genuinely believe Dr Fauci, Bill Gates, George Soros built virus labs in Wuhan and Ukraine to release COVID so that something something, mask oxygen deprivation, 5G towers, FEMA camps, horse dewormer, bleach.

        It's hard to even keep up with all the nonsense since it metastasized into a rolling ball of stupid that snagged every conspiracist, Qanoner, and far right loon along the way. Some platforms made more effort than others to crack down on this nonsense. YouTube did a reasonable job, Facebook tried but failed, Twitter paid lip service but no more. It's no wonder so many millions died really.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: On Covid Misinformation

          "It's hard to even keep up with all the nonsense since it metastasized into a rolling ball of stupid"

          Describes 4chan quite nicely. +1

          1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

            Re: On Covid Misinformation

            If you follow the nonsense far enough, you always end up with antisemitism at its core as well. It's a dead giveaway when you end up finding the person in the middle quoting the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" apparently oblivious to the fact that it was a hoax, and largely copied from a satirical work of fiction from the previous century.

            I'm not sure why the Jews get singled out exactly, over any other marginalised group, but if there's this core of antisemitism in there, you can be pretty much entirely sure that the rest of whatever that person is saying is 100% bollocks.

            All we need to do now is develop an algorithm that tracks all this shite down, and we could make it into a browser plug-in, so we can concentrate on the bits of the internet that aren't a festering sore.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: On Covid Misinformation

        The vaccinations you get in the US and UK are more traditional vaccines that don't really prevent infection, but rather prevent serious illness.

        I'm sorry but I have to correct your own misinformation here.

        The COVID mRNA (Pfizer & Moderna) and viral vector (AstraZeneca & J&J) vaccines are most certainly NOT traditional. Both types utilise new technology with the Pfizer vaccine being the very first mRNA type to receive approval. Likewise, the first viral vector vaccine (for Zika) only received approval in late 2019. As we now know, both types are really rather ineffective at preventing infection and subsequent transmission of COVID, especially so for the omicron variant.

        This is in stark contrast to traditional vaccines that most certainly are very good at preventing infection. For example, the MMR vaccine achieves a 99% efficacy rating in preventing measles after two doses.

        1. aerogems Silver badge

          Re: On Covid Misinformation

          If you want to get pedantic, sure, mRNA vaccines aren't "traditional" in that they don't use a dead or weakened version of the virus. However, the fact that they are aimed more at preventing severe disease and death, not infection, is what I was going for when I said "traditional."

          As for their efficacy, they are still remarkably effective. Since this is a novel virus we don't really have any data on how the long-term effects work, so researchers are using the one thing they can measure: anitbody levels. High antibody levels means your immune system is on high alert for any foreign invaders, or maybe is even fighting off something. However, antibodies are really only the first-line of defense for your immune system. There's also various kinds of T-cells, which can maintain a memory of how it fought off the same virus before, and NK cells. It's pretty high level, but you should check out the Cells at Work anime on Netflix. It actually does a pretty good job of describing how the body reacts to various things.

          Finally, not all viruses evolve, or mutate, at the same rate. Plus, vaccines like MMR have been mandated for so long that finding someone who hasn't gotten the vaccine is pretty rare. That creates a situation where, even if there were a giant cloud of Mumps virus floating around your area, it may infect people but their immune system would know how to take care of it quickly and they may not even know that they were ever infected. That doesn't give the virus much time in which to multiply and spread. And even if it spreads, it just finds another dead end in a vaccinated host. The thing that sets viruses apart from bacteria, is viruses need a host to survive and multiply. Some can survive outside the body longer than others, but eventually they all die. Covid is a particularly fast evolving virus, and when you literally have millions of little laboratories all over the world, the idea that a new strain emerges is simply logical.

          1. aerogems Silver badge

            Re: On Covid Misinformation

            I should also add that mRNA is not a new technology. It has been in development for the last 20+ years. This is just the first time it's ever been used as part of an actual vaccine. The fact that it was more successful than most people hoped, it will likely be the future of vaccinations and one of the biggest medical advancements since the first vaccine was created.

            It's a serious game changer technology that will allow the creation of vaccines at a much faster rate, that are safer (some versions of the polio vaccine use live virus that can infect other people, for example), and easier to update if you have a rapidly evolving virus like covid.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: On Covid Misinformation

            We were sold on the fact the vaccine STOPPED you getting infected and STOPPED transmission. This is what Fauci said on TV and other pundits repeated. Not that it prevents you getting severe disease'.

            https://youtu.be/jDtUWXOmLLg?t=391

            "A vaccinated person gets exposed to the virus, the virus does not infect them, the virus cannot then use that person to go anywhere else"

            Can it be any more clear? This is what the public were being told.

            Some more from the same video about CDC data

            https://youtu.be/jDtUWXOmLLg?t=315

            Can we just stop with deflecting and the weasel words about how it wasn't really what they meant and somehow it was misinterpreted and just agree that for a long time the public was being fed on a diet of 100% organic bovine sourced fertiliser?

            Also:

            https://twitter.com/who/status/1217043229427761152

            "no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission"

            1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: On Covid Misinformation

              Whodathunkit, someone said something that might not have been 100% factually correct, so you can go and believe something that is 100% factually incorrect instead.

      4. Chet Mannly

        Re: On Covid Misinformation

        "Officials were giving the best information they had AT THE TIME"

        Yes, but the issue he is raising is that points of view that were actually factually correct were censored because they did not match the official line. This included doctors and medical researchers.

        The only way that incorrect information gets corrected is by examining the veracity (or lack thereof) of contradicting information.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Tackling misinformation" is censorship by another name

    To give just one of many examples linked to the COVID pandemic. Initially, the theory that the virus originated from a lab in Wuhan was considered misinformation and people were kicked off twitter for discussing it. Later on, as more evidence emerged, it became and remains a credible explanation.

    Stifling debate during a rapidly evolving situation like a pandemic is criminal, IMO.

    1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

      Re: "Tackling misinformation" is censorship by another name

      It's tricky, though, because mixed in with legitimate debate was an awful lot of dangerous bullshit, like claims that injecting bleach into yourself would protect you, or claims that Bill Gates is injecting you with 5G microchips to reinforce the mind-control rays, so that they can get through your tin-foil helmet.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Tackling misinformation" is censorship by another name

      That it was a virus developed in America after Trump ended the moratorium on bio research then released by America in Wuhan while the military games were on, a few weeks prior to the Chinese detecting it, as part of Trump's trade war against China, remains a credible explanation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Tackling misinformation" is censorship by another name

        <gets the industrial tin foil out>

        Almost, it was released by China in collaboration with the Democrat party to get Trump out of office.

  11. aerogems Silver badge
    FAIL

    Odds are

    My guess is after the last two pogroms and even firing people who signed up to be "hardcore" Twitler just doesn't have the people left to handle this sort of thing. What few content moderators are left are devoted to higher priority things, like getting rid of anyone who says anything bad about Twitler, or people who appear to have evidence of a massive data breach at Twitter and were about to expose it to the world.

  12. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge
    Flame

    Can I get an $8 a month subscription...

    ...for all the popcorn I'm going to need, watching this dumpster fire?

  13. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    Caveat?

    If Twitter is giving up moderation of tweets about Covid-19, maybe there should be a sign on every relevant tweet stating that "Twitter no longer checks whether statements about Covid-19 are correct, so read this post with care."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Caveat?

      Why is it twitters job to do any of that?

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Caveat?

        According to Musk's lawyers, Twitter is a home to invective and hyperbole. No reasonable person would consider it a source of factual information.

        It is now up to Musk whether he wants Twitter to be considered a source of factual information or not. He has clearly chosen not. Unfortunately the internet is not entirely populated with reasonable people. They consider Twitter factual and clog up hospitals with preventable COVID which reduces the resources available to treat people with illnesses that were not so preventable.

  14. jake Silver badge

    Something nobody's touched on ...

    ... is the fact that Musk is being played like a fiddle by the teenage twats on 4chan. The poor bastard's jumping around like a mog on a hot tin roof.

    For some sick, twisted reason I find this funnier than hell! :-)

    We now return you to arguing with disengenuous Covid conspiracy theorists, as it seems to float your boat.

  15. jake Silver badge

    Thought for the day:

    If Elon Musk bans people calling him a stoned idiot on Twitter, and yet those same people can call him a stoned idiot here on EReg (or pretty much anywhere else on TehIntraWebTubes), would the proverbial Thinking Man truly think that Musk's ban was even close to being censorship?

  16. Cav Bronze badge

    I'm sure some people posting here live in an alternate reality.

    How can you down vote "Millions died from Covid. Others died because they needed intensive care beds blocked by covid patients."?

    These are simple facts. You can no more argue against them than against the statement that water is wet. Globally, millions of people did die. Fact. I knew two of them. I know of others who spent weeks in intensive care, nearly died and now, nearly three years later, still have terrible lung function. I have co-workers who had family members and friends die. Anyone who argues that others were not killed by the fact that beds were blocked is a fool. Clinical staff dealt with intensive care units packed with covid patients on ventilators. If others needed the beds because of strokes, heart attacks or RTAs there were few to none available. Fact. Even where people were diverted to other hospitals, the delays caused deaths. How many cancer patients died because so many medical staff were off sick with Covid, even if they experienced milder, flu-like symptoms?

    I had Covid. I ended up with a partially collapsed lung and still have some breathlessness. If you deny the reality of the impact of Covid then you are delusional.

  17. DrXym

    They hardly put up a fight to begin with

    An antivaxxer had to say something egregiously dumb and newsworthy for Twitter to react and shut them down. Most of the time it did nothing and offered no way to report this brain damage so it was easy to find even without trying. The site was infested with people going on about ivermectin or passing around moronic conspiracies.

    And Musk was promulgating misinfo himself. So it is no wonder that even the veneer of misinfo moderation has disappeared.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some take their medical advice from social media trolls

    I prefer to talk to an actual Doctor with a science degree, etc.

    I’m funny like that.

    Vaccines save people by the millions everyday.

    Viva modern science!

  19. Lil Endian Silver badge
    FAIL

    Absolute Narcissist, Ultimate Saddo

    Most recently, he asked of Apple, which has dramatically reduced its ad spend: "Do they hate free speech in America?"

    "You don't unquestioningly worship me as your Messiah, you hate America!"

    For a genius, he knows fuck all about argument theory.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I recently had my annual 'flu' vaccine*, and my pharmacist asked me how many Covid injections I've had. I told her the figure n, and she asked if I would like another. I told her no, because I don't like the risk profile, expecting a lecture on why I should. What actually then took place was a 15 minute discussion on why she agreed with me based on the number of unexplained deaths within days amongst people previously fit following vaccines n+1, n+2. She said she won't have any more than n until stronger evidence for a better risk:benefit profile is shown, and that she is now having a crisis of conscience when people come in for vaccines beyond n.

    * Up to six or so years ago I didn't used to, because I assessed the risks to be greater than the benefits to me - things have changed since then.

    (Posted anonymously just in case I have inadvertently given away too much identifiable information.)

    1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge
      Stop

      based on the number of unexplained deaths within days amongst people previously fit following vaccines n+1, n+2

      [citation really really really required]

      I hear a lot of anecdotal "FOAF died from the vaccine" stories, but these are never backed up by published stats, and the person involved in never identified (or when they are, it turns out to be bullshit, like that "testicles swelled up" story from America)

      I'm inclined to believe that if there were such things happening, the stats would be published, and there's not some vast conspiracy amongst the whole medical and scientific community to cover it up.

      As they say, the plural of anecdote is not evidence.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it odd that there has been no counter-mainstream narrative that Covid is much worse than governments are saying ?

    Were I so inclined I'd quote the significant drop in the numbers of people available for work reported in both the UK and the US, but I'm not so I wont.

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