Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg testified before the House Financial Services Committee in the U.S. Congress on October 23, 2019. One of the Representatives who questioned Mr. Zuckerberg was Florida Congressman Bill Posey. Congressman Posey asked Mr. Zuckerberg: "Mr. Zuckerberg, is Facebook able to assure us that it will support users fair and open discussions and communications related to the risk as well as the benefits of vaccinations?" Mr. Zuckerberg replied: "What we do, is we try to focus on misinformation that has the potential to lead to physical harm, or imminent harm. And that can include especially misleading health advice. If someone wants to post anti-vaccination content, or if they want to join a group where people are discussing that content, we don't prevent them from doing that. But what we do, is we don't go out of our way to make sure that our group recommendation systems try to show people or encourage people to join those groups. We discourage that."
Unless you've been living under a rock or hiding beneath the covers in your bed for the past couple of months, you've undoubtedly heard the war cries against "fake news." Facebook — being the largest social media site on which news is shared among millions — has vowed to take steps to limit the amount of "misinformation" that can be spread on its site by forwarding suspected fake news stories to fact-checkers like Snopes. The danger of giving certain entities the power to tag a news story as "fake" or "real" is clearly demonstrated by recent revelations about Snopes. After Facebook announced Snopes would be used to fact-check stories, The Daily Mail questioned Snopes' façade as a paragon of truth. Snopes was created in 1995 by Barbara and David Mikkelson to explore the truth and fiction behind myths and urban legends (see video above). According to the Daily Mail's investigation into the company, the couple posed as "The San Fernardo Valley Folklore Society" when they first started — a society that, in fact, does not exist as a legal entity. David has admitted they created the fake society, with official-looking stationary and all, "to help make the inquiries seem more legit." The Mikkelsons divorced in 2015, but are still locked in a heated legal battle over corporate and private funds. Barbara claims David embezzled $98,000 of company money, allegedly spending it on "himself and prostitutes," and used corporate funds for his personal use, including attorney's fees, without consulting her. David, on the other hand, claims he's been underpaid, and is demanding an "industry standard" rate of at least $360,000 per year. He's currently making $240,000 a year from Snopes. He also accuses Barbara of taking millions of dollars from their joint bank accounts to buy property. According to the Daily Mail, David's attorneys have also "blasted Barbara as 'a loose cannon who simply must have her way.'"
With medical and health authorities all across the United States beginning to take action to remove freedom of choice in refusing vaccines, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has taken a public position in the current vaccine debate, in what many in the media are reporting to be a direct attack against those who refuse or question vaccines. So what's next for Zuckerberg and Facebook? Since Zuckerberg is apparently taking the position that "the science on vaccines is settled," will he also take the corresponding position that Americans do not have a right to refuse vaccines, for "the greater good?" Does this pave the way for Facebook to censor free speech on vaccines?