Recently, Twitter put out a statement, based upon the opinions of so-called fact checkers, that the Covid-19 jab rollout does not contravene the Nuremberg Code. This is just the latest in a long line of such pronouncements from all the social media big players. Twitter said:
The 10-point guidelines established in response to Nazi atrocities during the Holocaust are unrelated to widespread Covid-19 vaccination efforts, according to Lead Stories, FactCheck.org, RMIT ABC and other fact-checkers. Legal and medical experts told The Associated Press that Germany’s new Covid-19 measures don’t violate the Nuremberg Code because that ethical code applies to research involving human subjects, not public health interventions. Moreover, the Nuremberg Code does not apply to Covid-19 jabs, according to Rappler and Full Fact, because they have undergone extensive clinical trials and have received emergency use authorization around the world.
Like other major social media platforms, Twitter employs fact checkers, supposedly to debunk false claims. As we shall see, that claim itself is false.
Reuters is one of the news agencies that are official fact checking partners of Twitter. James C. Smith, chairman of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, is also a Pfizer board member. Reuters is a member of the Trusted News Initiative, whose stated purpose is to combat allegedly harmful vaccine disinformation.
This is just one strand of a web of conflicts of interest that broadly characterise the fact checking industry. Independence and impartiality seem to be irrelevant, as far as the fact checkers and their clients—the social media platforms and the mainstream media—are concerned.