Last month, the peer-reviewed journal Minerva: A Review of Science, Learning and Policy published an important article on COVID-related censorship. I have already written about it here. The researchers introduced their paper by defining some terms, recalling some COVID controversies, and noting how several respected medical professionals have been hurt in the fallout from the pandemic controversy.
They then described the specific experiences of their study participants, including 13 established physicians, scientists, and healthcare professionals who have been censured, repressed, or otherwise punished for expressing their disagreement with COVID-19 orthodoxy. 19 in force. All of those who participated have either an MD or a doctorate in their respective fields, and four have both. So they are not conspiracy theorists or internet trolls. They are reputable minds who have simply transgressed the “consensus” view, which as I said in my previous post has changed drastically since March 2020.
Position and credibility
The researchers kept these participants anonymous to protect them, but emphasized their reputation and credibility. In interviews, they collected first-hand quotes to show how harsh and brazen the censorship was in some cases, listing the tactics used by the medical establishment and the media against them. They reported:
Censorship and repression tactics described by our respondents include exclusion, derogatory labeling, hostile comments and threatening statements by media, both mainstream and social; dismissal by the respondents’ employers; official inquiries; revocation of medical licenses; court case; and retraction of scientific articles after publication.
Respondents to the study noted that publications that previously endorsed and published them began excluding their work and refusing to publish or interview them. One participant said,
Neither X nor Y [two major newspapers in the respondent’s country] wanted to publish my articles. Without a good explanation. …It was quite egregious that they stopped accepting articles expressing a different opinion from that of the Ministry of Health (MOH). The number of journalists who can really be talked to, who are willing to listen to another opinion, to publish, has been drastically reduced, and most health journalists today are very biased towards the Ministry of Health.
Beyond the simple exclusion of posting privileges, respondents were also downright denigrated. Headlines called them out for their criticism, defaming them, damaging their reputations and twisting their opinions. One participant said, “I was vilified… I was called a quack…, anti-vaccine and COVID denier, conspiracy theorist. In the face of this kind of ridicule, other like-minded medical professionals understandably remained silent. Thus, the tactic of silence may have suppressed many other medical professionals, as the researchers note in their introduction.
Not the only victims
The study also showed that reputations were not the only victims. Entire quarries have been destroyed. Another respondent said:
I lost my job…, I worked for 20 years in X [the institution’s name]…And so the media started coming to X…there was a concerted effort to…ruin my reputation, even though, unbelievably, they had the lowest death rate in the world, and the doctor who brought it to them, gets reviled and calumniated. So I left on my own…
Other respondents described being censored by social media. Sites such as Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube and LinkedIn deleted heterodox posts and in some cases suspended the respondent’s account. That Twitter blacklisted and “shadowbanned” prominent medical experts like Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya has since been confirmed. One study participant said:
I’ve always had videos, just my teaching materials that I’ve uploaded to YouTube…but I’ve also started putting up materials around that, just sort of talking about some of the research… looking at vaccine effectiveness data… YouTube started taking it down. And so now…, I can’t post, I can’t even mention vaccines, because within seconds, as soon as I try to upload the video, YouTube will say that this video is against our guidelines…
No explanation or due process
Beyond media censorship, the medical establishment has suppressed research and diversity of viewpoints. Academic institutions, peer-reviewed journals, and scientific committees played a role in excluding some respondents and refusing to have their voices heard fairly. One respondent said he was “stripped” of a committee and editorial position without explanation or due process. The Respondent had been on this particular committee for decades, but was still cut off without a word. Additionally, the researchers noted that some respondents “recounted how their research was withdrawn by the journal after publication.” During the pandemic, it has become increasingly difficult for some of the respondents to publish in journals where their work was once well received.
The study then documented how participants initially reacted to these suppression tactics and the tactics they used to fight back. I will cover this in my next and final article in this series.
#Media #Medicine #Suppressed #Heterodoxy #COVID #Evolution #News