TikTok, Reddit, and Facebook Are Killing People by Publishing Ivermectin Disinformation

Kait Sanchez, writing for The Verge:

On TikTok, Rolling Stone found videos, some of which had more than a million views, promoting ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment under tags like #ivermectin4covid and #ivermectinworks. TikTok has since removed the videos for violating community guidelines and blocked the tags, and a spokesperson says TikTok will continue removing related videos and hashtags. The #ivermectin tag is still up, though many of the most popular videos in the tag are of healthcare professionals debunking misinformation.

On Reddit this week, moderators of several hundred subreddits called on the platform to take action against COVID-19 misinformation, including banning subreddits that spread medical disinformation.

Disagreeing with the requests for outright bans, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman shared a response in r/announcements, saying “Reddit is a place for open and authentic discussion and debate. This includes conversations that question or disagree with popular consensus.” The post goes on to say that Reddit will take action when people promote fraud or encourage harm, as well as quarantine certain subreddits so that they don’t appear in searches and can’t be accessed without logging in.

This ivermectin lunacy is like hydroxychloroquine 2.0. The people pushing this are doing evil, and I don’t use that word lightly. Steve Huffman has talked himself into a circle if he believes a single word of his own defense for allowing this. Reddit doesn’t allow for “open and authentic discussion and debate” regarding all sorts of toxic, evil topics. You can’t go on Reddit (or TikTok, or Facebook, or Twitter…) and openly call for racial genocide, or beating up LGBT folks, or mutilating the genitals of girls. The N-word is rightfully banned everywhere, and this ivermectin bullshit — along with all the rest of the anti-vax nutjob liturgy — clearly and obviously should be considered in the same “beyond the pale” territory. Anti-vax cultism is literally killing people, including innocent kids with susceptible parents. There is no legitimate debate: everyone who can get vaccinated should get vaccinated, and dummies should not be self-medicating with horse de-wormers.

Put your big boy pants on, Huffman, and be a real leader for once.

Friday, 27 August 2021