BMJ editors ask Zuckerberg to correct fact-checker mistakes

In an open letter to Mark Zuckerburg The editors of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) asked him to correct an “incompetent and irresponsible” fact-check of one of their articles.

From the 10e November readers have started reporting problems; when they tried to share the article in question, they were redirected to a “fact check” carried out by a Facebook subcontractor called Lead Stories.

Facebook fact-checkers reported the BMJ article which was supported by peer review and research.

The BMJ article, originally published on 2sd November, was an investigation into poor clinical trial research practices at Ventavia, a contract research company helping to conduct the main Pfizer covid-19 vaccine trial.

BMJ Editors Fiona Godlee and Kamran Abbasi said this “should be of concern to anyone who values ​​and relies on sources such as the BMJ for reliable medical information.”

The article was based on internal company documents, photos, audio recordings and emails provided to BMJ by a former Ventavia employee.

The BMJ urged parent company Meta to reconsider its investment and holistic approach to fact-checking following further instances of incompetence.

The “fact check” did not identify anything false or false in the article and yet posted the story on its website under a URL containing the phrase “hoax alert”.

The BMJ complained to Lead Stories and Facebook asking them to remove the “fact-checking” tag and any link to the Lead Stories article.

BMJ said Lead Stories “refused to change anything about their article or the actions that led Facebook to report our article.”

BMJ editors said: “Rather than investing a portion of Meta’s substantial profits to help ensure the accuracy of medical information shared through social media, you have apparently delegated the responsibility to people incompetent to conduct do this crucial task. “


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Virginia C. Taylor