Chinese Censorship Goes Global: Facebook Agrees to Delete Corona Virus Posts Flagged by China

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Breitbart; Facebook has agreed to comply with Chinese health authority requests to delete “misinformation” about the Corona Virus outbreak.

Facebook to remove coronavirus misinformation after WHO declares global emergency

Katie Paul
TECHNOLOGY NEWS JANUARY 31, 2020 / 6:56 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc said on Thursday it will take down misinformation about China’s fast-spreading coronavirus in a rare departure from its approach to health content, after the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global health emergency. 

The world’s biggest social network said in a blog post that it would remove content about the virus “with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities,” saying such content would violate its ban on misinformation leading to “physical harm.”

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-facebook/facebook-to-remove-coronavirus-misinformation-after-who-declares-global-emergency-idUSKBN1ZU0X7

This kind of heavy handed censorship is the main reason nobody trusts the Chinese Government to tell the truth. Facebook allowing the Chinese government to control Facebook content will not stop the rumours spreading, with the TOR network and plain old telephone calls, there is no longer a way to stop the flow of information and rumours other than to shut down everything – and shutting down all communication would send its own message.

Are there plenty of lies flying about regarding the Corona Virus? Almost certainly. Could some of the lies lead to harm? Very likely. But I suspect the Chinese Government is doing its own share of lying, just as they allegedly lied and attempted to cover up the severity of the SARS outbreak.

In the Information Age, the way to respond to wild rumours is to answer them, to provide evidence the rumours are untrue, to invite trusted third parties to corroborate official statements, not to try to silence critics. Unless the official statements are lies, in which case this is not an option.

Facebook accepting direction from Chinese censors just means people have no reason to trust Facebook.

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137 thoughts on “Chinese Censorship Goes Global: Facebook Agrees to Delete Corona Virus Posts Flagged by China

  1. China did respond quickly to this virus. Could it have been faster? Of course but to assume China always lies is wrong and idiotic.

    • “China did respond quickly to this virus.”

      No, it didn’t. Which is why the disease is likely to become a global pandemic.

      And the WHO has been as useless as usual, playing down the risks and discouraging countries from quarantining themselves from China until infected tourists had already arrived there and started to spread it.

      Wuhan Flu is what globalism really looks like, red in tooth and claw.

      • “MarkG January 31, 2020 at 10:28 pm

        No, it didn’t. Which is why the disease is likely to become a global pandemic.”

        Already is global. But pandemic, not so much.

          • That’s what was said about SARS, MERS, swine and bird ‘flu. Never happened. Whether that was due to the actions taken at the time or the threat was simply blown out of all proportion in the media is debatable.

        • What do people do in CS if they don’t feel strongly about working programs and algorithm correctness – they change to CS management / marketing.

      • The NYT has a surprisingly critical piece on the failure to stop the epidemic early. Here we see filthy markets, doctors intimidated by police into silence, party officials too concerned with high-profile party events, and a structure which allows zero local initiative (thanks to Xi’s penchant for total top-down).

        Everything’s about “social stability,” which means minimizing threats to CCP authority.

      • The WHO is an institution and respects the other institutions.

        China is a very big institution.

        It’s like what’s called being “professional” in some “professional” circles. You don’t ever step on anyone toes, you don’t speak badly of any “peer” or other “professional”. You can express your disdain for the average Joe though. (It’s even recommended in “medicine”.)

        Linus Torvalds was strongly criticized for not being “professional”. By a few people (esp. women) in computers. Because he said so things not even in a very harsh way, like strongly. What do people do in CS if they don’t feel strongly about working programs and algorithm correctness?

    • Um… Who said ‘always lies’? read the 2nd last paragraph.

      Also, if China HAS been responsible in the handling of this, why are cases now being reported around the world? How long did they hold up reporting they had a new and contagious virus?

      But it isn’t just China – countries elsewhere have been slow to stop flights and implement quarantine.

    • Tim- how much time have you spent in China ? Or negotiating anything with the Chinese government ? I would never accuse the Chinese of “always lying” but experience has taught me to trust the Russians more than the Chinese. I’ve simply had to many high level Chinese officials look me in the eye and then proceed to lie through their teeth.

      • Marc

        There is an anthropological principle one must understand in order to deal across a cultural barrier. In a high context culture, answers are given that “were needed at the time”. A low context question is “What time is it?” The answer is not debatable and not very subject to misinterpretation or nuance.

        A high context question is, “Will you come to dinner on Wednesday evening?” The answer in some cultures is invariably “Yes.” But they probably won’t show. They will make some excuse afterwards about why. But to say, “No,” to someone’s face is not acceptable. One culture calls this “tarof”. Several probes must be made to find out the real opinion.

        Thus it is not likely that all officials tell you “lies”, they simply tell you what you need to hear at this time. Westerners have a poor understanding of high contextual answers save for questions like a child asking, “Where do babies come from?” That is one example from the West where we “do it”. But technical societies are highly likely to give an objectively correct answer even when it is offensive to do so. Working through a cultural wall is difficult unless you really know it well.

        In Thailand a meeting might be arranged for “three o”clock.” But there are 4 “three o’clocks” per day in Thailand. Did you establish which one? Things like that keep the naive unnerved.

    • China did respond quickly
      8 doctors were arrested in early January for spreading “misinformation”.
      https://www.theaustralian.com.au/world/praise-for-chinese-doctors-who-coronavirus-blew-whistle/news-story/eb47484900dbd409099e20784a9dda96
      In this case they have been forgiven

      However being a doctor in Wuhan at the moment is not all beer and skittles…
      ttps://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7947071/Coronavirus-doctors-beaten-patients-family-sufferer-died-disease.html

      Jailed for doing your job, beaten up for doing your job

      • We don’t hear about it, but regularly in China, doctors and teachers are beaten and sometimes killed. School stabbings of children are also common.

        • I noticed that #coronavirus has been totally coopted by Chinese propagandists, ie populated by “feel-good” stories.

          Smuggled video has been sent since January 20 to @howroute. He’s a big lefty, but has done a great job collecting stuff from brave Chinese. His January 20 video showing gowned techs on a plane should have been a giant clue to stop the planes.

    • I emailed friends and family on Friday 31Jan2020 as follows:

      “Just so you know, I cancelled my trip to Phuket today.“

      When asked why, I responded, “I am flying through China and have a long stop there. I am not so worried about the (corona) virus as I am about being quarantined somewhere for a long period of time.”

      To date the death rate in China is about 2% of those infected – it might be much lower in countries with better medical care. We will see.

      Major quarantines are being established all over the planet and one could easily be held in transit somewhere for months with no supports.

      So I’m staying home, and you poor dear people will have to tolerate my scribblings, instead of getting a much-needed break.

      Best, Allan

        • “The correct mortality rate is number of dead people divided by the number of infected people on the day the (soon to be) dead got infected.”

          Yes – and that is how I calculated the mortality rate – so what is your point?

          Did I count the dead, and the total number of people infected? No. Did you? No.

          https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/coronavirus-pneumonia-china-briefing-1.5448784
          https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/who-borders-open-coronavirus-1.5447071

          We either accept or reject the numbers provided. Again, what is your point?

          • M. Simon is not correct, nor are you Adam, because I used the same method that Simon described.
            “The correct mortality rate is number of dead people divided by the number of infected people on the day the (soon to be) dead got infected.”

            The question here is “are the input numbers essentially correct” – and nobody knows for certain- and it’s a moving target.

            Also, better or worse health care will result in lower or higher mortality rates. This is also a function of the number of those infected – a health care system can be overwhelmed by larger numbers of patients – there are a limited number of ICU beds – consider this real-life example, written by a medical colleague about a recently-averted disaster:

            “The possible implications of a major sour gas leak from the Mazeppa plant are almost beyond comprehension. I was one of the first people Allan consulted about Mazeppa, and it took courage for him to ‘run with the ball’ on this subject, as there are potentially angry parties who obviously took a loss by being forced to do the right thing when MacRae rang the bell. It is well documented elsewhere in this package exactly what transpired, but I can elaborate as a medical specialist, and former army officer trained in NBCW (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Warfare) a worst case scenario. Imagine a large leak of gas with the approximately 40% hydrogen sulfide present at Mazeppa, and a wind drifting it into SE Calgary. The gradual buildup of gas in the suburbs would desensitize the nose, and concentrations could then rise without alarming anyone. Tiny fractions of one percent concentration would make whole swaths of the city critically ill with respiratory failure. As it approached anywhere near a tenth of a percent strength… fatalities everywhere. And the thousands of critically ill survivors could not be managed in our city with only about a hundred ICU beds. It could be a wartime scenario, with potential casualty tolls like the worst firestorms from WW II bombing of Tokyo or Dresden. It would make the SARS epidemic look like an inconvenience. I’m not being melodramatic; this is an entirely plausible worst-case scenario.”

          • Allan, where did you get information on when the dead got infected. ( I see the link now)
            Many reports out of China say people are dying in line to get in. Many simply went home.
            Children under 12, now age 18 are not accepted.
            Test kits are very short, and many deaths are assigned to
            Viral pemonuia.
            All the hospitals in Wuton were overwhelmed when there was less then 1000 cases. ( Not likely)

            So let’s say 2 percent is about 20 times the flu death. If it is 4 percent then the 80 k that died in the US two years ago would turn into 3.2 million.

            China has many reasons to understate their numbers.

        • True. The problem is do we actually know the number of infected people. We know the infected people who went to a hospital. We know, maybe, those that died. So I have an issue with the calculated classical death rates.

          • I think the situation is much more dire in China than we are led to believe. I think they’re cremating bodies without counting all of them. If their quarantine measures don’t work, we’re looking a big numbers. FB, Twitter, Google have decided to censor and “control the narrative.” That’s going time have the effect of making us much more complacent.

    • If you take them at their word you are also foolish, but in the dealings that I have had with the Chinese (meaning government and business officials), you should distrust them always.

      • “China actually sent the police to those posting messages it didn’t like.”

        Facebook should tell China to fix the problem themselves. The Chinese authorities can order the posters to delete their posts and the “problem” will be fixed. That way Facebook can avoid being a censor for the planet.

        How many points are deducted from a Chinese citizen’s “conformity account” when they post fake news? No internet for you, son.

          • Google wrote the code that the CCP uses in it’s social networking sites. Facebook does the bidding of the totalitarian CCP. Do people keep using these platforms in this country without realizing they’re dealing with corporations that have little or no ethics.

            Not I.

    • Tim, they new about the virus and allowed 100,000 families to share in mass pot luck banquets for the Lunar new year and before they dispersed throughout China and globally…thus any containment is too late…

    • All governments lie. Period. It’s the nature of bureaucracy.
      That Chinal lies more than most is not in question. The Soviet Union did as well.

      PS: They weren’t just slow to react, they actively denied the existence of a problem for 2 weeks. Only once it had gotten completely out of control did they fess up.

      • “they actively denied the existence of a problem”… “Only once it had gotten completely out of control did they fess up.”

        Iran, China, theocratic and Communist, same result. Dictatorships cannot be trusted. They lie.

      • Not unlike what happened in Iran with downing the plane. Yes, all governments lie. And even, God forbid, the US.

    • You are right, and Trump said so today. What the people there are sacrifiving to prevent a global catastrophe is heartening. I actually read several Chinese (in English) media outlets and they have been giving a ton of details and explaining why they are requiring certain actions. These Chinese media postings are readily available on Twitter. Read them and start thinking for yourself instead of repeating the Breitbart slant. I believe the posted article is Sino-phobic and should be taken off. There are some people who will criticize whatever China does. If they impose safety requirements on travel, the Sino-phobes say their government is being authoritarian.

      In the mean time, look at what the CDC is reporting about our flu season. “CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 22 million flu illnesses, 210,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 deaths from flu.” Another CDC graphic says the death estimate is in the range of 10,000 to 25,000. In the 2017-18 flu seas, 79,000 people in the US died. We are one-forth the size of China. Let’s put their numbers in perspective.

  2. Preventing false claims or conspiracy theories about a potential global pandemic is “heavy handed censorship”.

    Uh huh.

    There’s that really high pitched whistle again, can anyone else here it?

      • Exactly. Who would believe anything on FB? It has all the integrity of the now defunct CNN iReport. Anyone can post anything – including fantasy -and call it news.

        • Isn’t that the point though? Where a person has something to say but no way of saying it, you either make a blog yourself, a popular choice, or Facebook it as little articles.

          Anybody can read it, anybody can laugh at it, anybody can become interested and ask questions. It “was” the perfect platform for quick delivery.

          Now Facebook; go woke, go broke.

          • “Where a person has something to say but no way of saying it, you either make a blog yourself, a popular choice, or Facebook it as little articles.”

            Or post it on Medium.com

        • It is called FaceBook, not FactBook – they have no business interfering with opinions expressed.

      • Form this website:

        https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/winter/flu

        “It is difficult to calculate the number of flu deaths annually, according to the CDC. States are not required to report flu deaths, not everyone who dies with flu symptoms is tested for flu, and the virus can cause death when other health conditions are present. About 5% to 20% of people in the U.S. get the flu each year. Flu-related deaths range from about 12,000 to 56,000 a year, depending on the severity of the outbreak. ”

        Using the highest numbers (20%, and 56,000), and assuming there are 330,000,000 people in the U.S. , that gives a death rate from the flu of about 0.1%

        Just remembering the figures I heard last night on TV, in China there have been around 250 deaths from 7000 cases of Coronavirus. That would give a death rate of about 3.6%. So about 40 times higher than the flu.

    • “Loydo January 31, 2020 at 10:35 pm

      There’s that really high pitched whistle again, can anyone else here it?”

      I can’t hear it. You must have some very special ears, and a glossy coat.

    • You should quit using metaphors until you can get them right. dog whistle politics When you come right out and say something in plain English that everyone, regardless of their opinion, will understand, that’s not a dog whistle.

      • Yep.

        Australian political theorist Robert E. Goodin argues that the problem with dog-whistling is that it undermines democracy, because if voters have different understandings of what they were supporting during a campaign, the fact that they were seeming to support the same thing is “democratically meaningless” and does not give the dog-whistler a policy mandate.[3]

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog-whistle_politics

        In politics, a mandate is the authority granted by a constituency to act as its representative.[1]

        The concept of a government having a legitimate mandate to govern via the fair winning of a democratic election is a central idea of representative democracy.

        New governments who attempt to introduce policies that they did not make public during an election campaign are said not to have a legitimate mandate to implement such policies.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandate_(politics)

    • Letting China decide what Westerners are allowed to say to their Western friends seems pretty heavy handed.

      • ah well FKbook already does that, so this isnt new is it?
        Ive blogged on it but just for the hell of it, here,
        why isnt anyone at all asking how the poor rural people are doing?
        because those bats n snakes came from??
        yeah, just where?
        and would have been eaten BY those locals also selling them
        so somehwere out in the sticks is a whole pile of dead or ill people being ignored?
        and the chinese govt want them( farmers) to travel into those zones to keep food supplies up to the restricted areas
        umm?
        bit of a problem there?

      • Suckerburg actually asked Xi to name his kid. He loves China and desperately wants to get in there to make some lovely advertising $$$.

    • Loydo,
      Yes, when the government decides what is “false claims” or “conspiracy theories”, that is the definition of censorship. Did you flunk every course in school?

    • False claim? How would the drones at FB know what a false claim about a new disease is?

      What are their qualifications? Being able to use the mouse?

  3. So basically all of social media now has the Chinese G deciding what is suitable content ?

    All the more bizzare when one considers that from the time this topic left the starting gate, there have been those making the suggestion that the very same Chinese G may have, or is being, rather conservative with their figures.

    At this point I’d have to think that information regarding the Corona virus has to be controlled, and rather then admit that its our own governments that wish to do so, its far better to pin the tail on the Chinese. They after all do have form when it comes to such things.

    Having said all that, one has to concede that not all folk will take a considered view of information from unverifiable sources. And given that a lot of people are likely to get a dose of Corona, the potential for things, ie, the public, to get out of hand is large indeed.

  4. Too funny. I just secured a permanent job here in Australia after job searching for 11 months when my last contract was terminated (1 day termination notices are common here in IT). My new manager sends me an email yesterday that I read only today. The person who is “handing over to me” is currently traveling back from China this w/e. The company has said he is to remain at home, in quarantine, for up to 14 days or until he gets the “all clear” from a Dr. I don’t think banning FB comments will make all that difference now.

    • “1 day termination notices are common here in IT”

      Tell me about it. I traveled all over the US for 10 years as a consultant. Finally got laid off one too many times and said screw it. Now my wife makes more than I do.

      • “Jeff Alberts February 1, 2020 at 12:15 pm

        Now my wife makes more than I do.”

        My wife decided to separate just weeks before I secured this job. When she graduates she will be making more money than I ever could.

  5. Camel’s head under the tent. Having once directed Google to censor something it makes it easier for the Chinese to get Google to censor something else. They tested their whip and found it to be effective.

    • Or maybe just that, the adults in the room realize that free speech isn’t a suicide pact. Big difference between something like this and political/everday stories. Nobody is saying they can’t show them after threat has passed.

      • You trust “the adults” to keep you informed? Which adults are those?

        Which adults have you verified.

        What information have you cross checked?

        • I cross checked the dead people in hospital corridors story on this site by asking a co-worker to listen and tell me if the person taking in video said the people covered were dead. No one said they were dead. What have you cross checked.

          • I have checked. “The virus is manufactured’

            So which adults should be deciding what is true? And if they make a mistake? How do you fix it?

          • How did you verify that, M.Simon?

            Serious question. I’m not interested in whether it was manufactured or not, just interested in how someone could actually know.

      • “Or maybe just that, the adults in the room realize that free speech isn’t a suicide pact.”

        Maybe you could have told the hippies that back in the 60s, and we wouldn’t be in this mess.

        But that’s the left for you. They loved ‘free speech’ back when they were using it to undermine Western culture, now they’re in charge they hate it, because they’re the ‘adults’ and we’re the ‘children’ and they don’t want anyone using it to undermine them.

        • How was the hippies free speech an emergency? We as a society ignored that festering sore and are reaping the fruits. We had time to counter those ideas with our own. We just didn’t. In that case the hippies were the children living in fantasy land, just like pretending there are never real emergencies that might require drastic measures is fantasy. Our job is to make sure those measures don’t stay. As the Communist hand book instructs it’s followers to take advantage of crisis to gain more power.

          • As you say, the proper response to mis-information is more information, it is not government punishing those who say things the government disagrees with.
            Once you go that route, totalitarianism is always the next step.

          • “How was the hippies free speech an emergency?”

            Ah there it is. If it’s an emergency you can censor anything. And I bet in your mind you can do a lot of other things as well, if there’s an emergency.

            You do realize don’t you, that’s why they now declare Climate Emergency’s in various countries and town? So that they can force their draconian wills upon the little people.

            As MarkW says; These things only ever go one way, and they only have one conclusion. You just can’t see that, yet.

        • MarkG February 1, 2020 at 7:54 am

          “Or maybe just that, the adults in the room realize that free speech isn’t a suicide pact.”

          Maybe you could have told the hippies that back in the 60s, when 20% of them were the original and 80% were undercover agents: counteragents / agents provocateurs.

      • Really, you trust the government to decide what information is fit for you to know?

        Working with your analogy, you have decided to let the grownups decide what information is good for you. Does that make you the child in this scenario?

        • I generally trust the government to do what is best for the government. Not having mass casualties is best for the government. Stopping it soon is best for the government. Giving itself more power is what the government thinks is best. All of us trust the government to some point except perhaps the ones holed up in a cabin that is selfsustaining. However, all that is a species argument as I never said trust the government. I simple am pointing out people like you who think no-one except for themselves could ever make the right decision are reacting in a childish knee-jerk fashion.

          • Wow, so much projection, so little actual thought.
            Where did I ever say or imply that I don’t believe people can’t make the right decisions for themselves? I’m not the one proclaiming that government should protect people from information that isn’t good for them. You are.

            Mass deaths aren’t good for anyone, however they won’t harm anyone in government if the people never find out about it. Which is your solution.

  6. With the UN having declared a “climate emergency”, isn’t this action a perfect precedent to censor anything on Facebook critical of the CAGW mantra?

    • That was my thoughts too.
      Censoring critique of official authorities, whether is is WHO, IPCC or NOAA, is the 1984 way.
      The fairness of censorship is in the eye of the beholder.

    • No. One is a clear emergency one is not. One will affect people today. The other will effect a change in forty years that may or may not be harmful even if it was true.
      Also, it makes clear to more people what emergency really means.

      • The difference is that you agree with one, and not the other.
        What happens when others disagree. Quite a few politicians have declared that Global Warming is a clear an present danger. What makes you think that your opinion of what is a real danger and what isn’t, is the one everyone should be forced to follow.

        • Put thoughts in others mind much.
          Yes they have, doesn’t change my answer. In which I clearly stated the time difference as the major factor not my thoughts. However, you chose to ignore that.

          • The time frame makes no difference. You are the one who believes that government can be trusted to decide what is a real emergency and what isn’t and to censor information based on that conclusion.

          • ironargonaut; you agree with one, and not the other. But that doesn’t make you right.

            Time difference or not, is irrelevant. The politicians who declared it a Climate Emergency believe it to BE and emergency. So in their mind, they have the right to censor article, and probably arrest people for spreading malicious rumors, thinking the wrong thoughts.

            You just can’t see your own bias and non sequitur.

    • ah but…I wonder if someone running that AGW is the cause of Corona virus will get censored?
      pretty much what some of the greentinged medicos are already trying to scare the gullibles with anyway

      • “I wonder if someone running that AGW is the cause of Corona virus will get censored?”

        E. Warren has already made that claim, or at least raised it as a possibility. (Sleeping viruses emerging from melting glaciers.)

  7. Y’all are so right I mean what’s next the government’s not allowing us to yell “fire” in a crowded theater? Do I need a sarcasm tag?
    What do you think the effect of allowing a rumor say for example that it is spreading through apt ventilation systems would be? Think that might cause people to flee a city and spread the infection? As far as “global warming ” being declared “emergency” I think this would illustrate the difference between real emergency and made up ones and make people more cautious about what emergency powers really mean.
    I really fail to see how posting videos of people sleeping in a hospital hallway and stills with arrows saying dead people from same video in which the person talking doesn’t say anyone is dead helps me or society prepare. Yes, that is a dig at a sensationalistic article on this site.

      • No, we need experts like you spreading panic and getting people killed. Because obviously you know that rumors never have killed anyone. So you in your expert opinion has decided that this is ok and we should all blindly follow your opinion. See what a stupid argument you just made when it is turned back against you? Everything in life is a cost benefit analysis this is no different.

        • The only one making stupid arguments here is you ironA.
          You are the one who is deciding which “crisis” are real and which aren’t and deciding that censorship is ok when you agree with it.

          Why do you believe that you are uniquely qualified to decide for others what is rumor and what is fact? Why do you believe that you are uniquely qualified to decide for everyone when a “crisis” is real and when it isn’t?

    • You are allowed to yell fire in a crowded theater. It’s just that you are responsible for any damage that may result if there is no fire.

      You don’t need a sarcasm tag, you just need to realize that you aren’t the center of the universe and you don’t get to decide for others what they are allowed to know.

      • Where did say I decide or I wish to decide? Do you trust people on the whole to all react in rational manner? We see how they react to fear of CAGW. Why do u think something more serious will be different.

        • Some people can react rationally, others can’t.
          On the other hand, you are the one who believes that government needs to treat people like children who can’t handle bad information.

      • Yes, what is at issue is what is called “Prior Restraint” in legal circles. Without gagging those attending the theater, it is impossible to prevent someone from yelling “Fire!” But, they should expect to be prosecuted later if there was no fire. Perhaps the way to handle the virus analog is to prosecute for willful lying and an attempt to induce panic. That is, anyone wanting to put their beliefs in front of the public should be required to provide their evidence at the same time — just as climate alarmists always do. 🙂

    • “Y’all are so right I mean what’s next the government’s not allowing us to yell “fire” in a crowded theater?”

      That argument was used to ban protest against US involvement in WWI, which was pretty much exactly the kind of thing the First Amendment was designed to protect. And at least one of the justices who voted for it said they regretted doing so later.

      So you’re literally arguing that governments should be banning speech they disagree with, not speech that is false.

      • If I am arguing that then you are arguing that all speech no matter how false and harmful is ok including incitement to murder.
        What I am saying is a pandemic is NOT business as usual.
        The Supreme Court has also said the Constitution is not a suicide pact.
        This is a business agreeing to restrict speech during a pandemic.
        The US government just gave itself the ability to detain innocent people against their will and has done so. Do you think that is wrong to prevent a pandemic? Can that not be abused? Do you agree with this? If so can I then say you are arguing to let governments imprison innocent people? At what point does common sense start to come into play?

        • Once again, the projection is strong with this one.

          The statement about the Constitution not being a suicide pact had to do with national security, not about censorship.
          Your idea that government is qualified to be “the adult in the room” and protect the “children” from information the government deems to be harmful is both insulting, and will ultimately result in a totalitarian government.

  8. So the chinese mess up again, sars, and now corona, they allowed people to leave china, they lied about its containment.

    People ear, raccoons, Bats, dogs, cats, and god knows what else, they have no hygiene and due to the utter stupidness of the chinese, people world wide are feeling the effects of corona 😐

  9. Censorship is rife and right across the board. Not only by governments. It is widely practiced by the consensus media in matters of the climate. The BBC being a good example of this. My own experience on the Quora site having genuine comments “collapsed” by the moderator where a nerve has been touched is another. It is a two edged sword often leading to the very misinformation it seeks to remove.

  10. One rumour I heard was that Chinese traditional medicine practitioners claim that the only known cure for coronavirus is to eat one of President Xi’s testicles. OK, when I say I heard it, I mean that I started it but…

  11. Seems to me that the Chinese government is doing its usual inept best to cope with a spreading disease. And it is spreading; local news reports that coronavirus has spread to four Chinese other cities. The problem is that this corona virus is sneaky: it is slow to manifest symptoms, which means you carry the bug without knowing it, and don’t feel lousy and sick for about 10 days.

    I don’t think the Chinese government is very good at dealing with panic attacks, much of which is wild rumor and hearsay, not real information. They are therefore stumbling their way through this, and it doesn’t help when people post hogwash about the bug on the internet.

    This bug is one good reason I will never get on a commercial air flight again.

  12. Interesting that there’s been little in the way of secondary infection reported outside of China … Despite extended periods of proximity with others before diagnosis. The U.S. case I’ve heard of was wife to husband. This suggests it’s not that contagious at this point. The main fear should be possible mutation – and for that purpose it’s important to get it out of human populations as quickly as possible.

      • We’ll have a better understanding of it in about another week or two. We should know the incubation period by then and how lethal it is.

      • China’s infrastructure is non-hygienic in nature and culturally the mainland Chinese are the same. In a typical restroom in Wuhan, most of the toilets are the squat type, which are messy (and disgusting really). Toilet paper is not always provided. Hot water is not usually provided and soap and towels rarely are. That’s not the case in high end restaurants and hotels, which are pretty much up to our standards of hygiene.

        Even here with modern conveniences, one may note that Chinese men in general don’t flush the urinals and don’t wash their hands. I don’t know why they exhibit this behavior here.

    • Unauthorised ‘Greta Thunberg’ and ‘Extinction Rebellion’ trademarks could pose a threat to climate change activists

      WTR discovers trademark applications in Germany related to Greta Thunberg
      Same applicant also filed applications related to Extinction Rebellion movement
      IP expert in Germany claims both could face costly court battle to defend rights
      Two major figures in the climate change activism movement, campaigner Greta Thunberg and protest movement Extinction Rebellion, are facing a legal battle in Germany due to unauthorised trademark applications. According to legal experts, both trademark applications could reach registration unless canny enforcement action is taken.

      Earlier this month, WTR revealedthat a trademark application had been filed at the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) for a logo related to Extinction Rebellion, the socio-political movement that aims to use non-violent resistance to compel government action on climate change. The application was filed on 7 August by a resident of German city Frankfurt, Daniel Seiffert. After an enquiry from WTR, a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion confirmed it was not linked to the application. “Needless to say this isn’t an application from the designers or Extinction Rebellion,” the spokesperson said. “We’re currently looking into this.”

      https://www.worldtrademarkreview.com/brand-management/mysterious-greta-thunberg-and-extinction-rebellion-trademarks-could-pose

    • I think they were kicked for showing a graphic pulled from the interweb that showed the contact details of a Chinese scientist.

      The complaint seems to have been put in by a soy type bod on a woke newsfeed, to the effect that the ‘Hedge’ doxxed a guy with publicly available information.

      Whilst I’d agree the the ‘Hedge’ is not the best place for those who lack critical thinking skills, it does seem to be offering about the best coverage of the Corona gig. Put another way, when zerohedge goes dark we’ll know we’re deep in do do land 🙂

  13. First, there is no known Patient 0, and only a guess as to how much of a head start the virus had.

    Second, the only two thing government does quickly is implement new taxes and oppress its people. That the Chinese managed to decode and share the viral genome within a month is lightning reflexes in the world of bureaucracy. I suppose that SARS was viewed as humiliating to some currently in power.

    Third, the Chinese government doesn’t *always* lie, just merely enough that nobody, even its officials from Big Brother Xi down to the lowest Communist Party peon in Xinjiang, can trust anything to be true.

  14. Facebook is not for information. It just isn’t. Share pictures with your friends, use facetime to call them, but anything beyond that is laughable. Censoring a non-information medium is therefore meaningless and getting upset about that is pointless. Just to make sure everybody knows social media should have a headline caveat: This is not a source of information.

  15. Socialism, can’t trust people to manage their own affairs and conversations. Facebook is ceasing to be a social media. How can it be when they decide the conversation.

    • Up above, we have a poster declaring that censorship is just having the “adults” decide for the rest of us what is safe for us to know.

  16. I have a solution to this censorship:

    President Trump should tweet out that he is ordering Facebook, Twitter and other social media to comply with the Chinese request. The companies would howl in protest, the MSM would erupt in outrage and even Loydo would be demanding that all posts be allowed to prevent the Orange Man from censoring the internets.

    • Could work. «In Genius Move, Trump Supports Impeachment, Forcing Democrats To Oppose» ⓒ The Babylon Bee

  17. My question is whether the report about Facebook self-censorship is real or fake news? At what point can any source about anything be trusted any more?

    Ugly rumors spread like the common cold. No authoritarian dictatorship can stop them. Instead, in our neo-1984 Disinformation Age the wild rumor mongers are subsidized, monetized, and lionized.

    This very comment could be the work of a Deep State sabotage/subterfuge cult funded by George Sorus. You can’t tell. But what difference does it make anyway? You can’t do anything about it.

    And that’s the purpose: to discourage and dis-empower you. Your vote doesn’t count so why bother? Just curl up and die, peasant.

    But the Big Brother Plot/Plan doesn’t work, either. Nobody is curling up and dying. Defiance is pandemic. The authoritarians are running scared. The Crazy Ship is sinking. The rats flee, and the fleas rat. Pass the popcorn. And the tissues.

  18. In this case, just who,specifically, is deciding what is “misinformation” versus what is relative data?

    • Only the Ministry of Truth can be trusted so.
      Well, there also was that amusing internet site run by a cat lady and an embezzling adulterer, but it seems to have lost zeal and popularity after their divorce.

  19. China needs to think about their place in history.

    China has pushed the story that they have control of the spread of the Wuhan Virus which appears to be not true.

    The worst case is the Wuhan virus becomes established in a poor populous country so that it becomes like the flu, except the death rate is around say 5%, without hospitalization. One in ten Americans get the flu each year and roughly 37,000 people (mostly old and young) die from the flu every year.

    If the Wuhan virus become established in the US (Population 330 million, assuming a one in ten infection rate and 5% fatalities) there would be 1.6 million deaths per year.

    …. in Africa, with a population of 1.1 billion there would be 55 million deaths per year.

    There has been a case of Wuhan coronavirus in Tibet.

    There must be dozens and dozens of Wuhan virus cases in Africa, based on the number of Chinese living in Africa and traveling back and forth between Africa and poor regions of China (where the Chinese temporary workers come from) which of course have not been reported.

    There are estimated to be 2 million Chinese temporary workers in Africa.

    The Chinese official number is 200,000 which is a Chinese official lie to avoid African local resentment. The Chinese workers are housed in camps with high walls.

    In addition to large construction projects in Africa which the Chinese provided loans for and then use Chinese workers and Chinese construction equipment and materials to construct. (say the Nigerian coastal railway, $12 billion) there are 20,000 Chinese owned businesses in Africa.

    https://www.ft.com/content/9f5736d8-14e1-11e9-a581-4ff78404524e

    There has been a 600% increase in air travel between China and Africa in the last decade.

    There are 20,000 Chinese businesses in Africa.

    https://qz.com/africa/1680094/why-chinese-are-traveling-to-africa-and-why-africans-are-traveling-to-china/

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/wadeshepard/2019/10/03/what-china-is-really-up-to-in-africa/#cc0298059304

  20. It makes me sick
    Real, real quick
    Gonna die, die, die
    Ma ma ma my corona

    Sung to the useless (except for parodies) song “My Sharonna”

  21. Anyone can go right to the site thelancet.com and see the results of their 1/31 report.
    Data points …
    R0 of 2.68
    Doubling time of 6.4 days
    Infected cases in Wuhan as of 1/25 being 75,000
    Exponential growth in multiple cities in China with a 1 to 2 week lag time behind Wuhan.

    One of the more misleading aspects of this unfolding catastrophe is that the Chinese are clearly describing their infected cases as being the pneumonia victims ONLY … NOT the upper/lower respiratory infections which most likely now number in the hundreds of thousands on the mainland.

    As the asymptomatic incubation period runs up to 14 days with contagious viral shedding occurring on a scalar basis throughout, this is inevitability leading to a global pandemic which might start to be recognized in 3 to 4 weeks absent “substantial draconian limitations on population mobility”.
    That is a direct quote from Dr. Gabriel Leung, head of Hong Kong school of Medicine.
    He and his colleagues have been working practically without sleep for several days running.

    Serious, serious shit going down.

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