The Facebook CEO said that time: "I do just want to make sure that I share some caution on this [vaccine], because we just don't know the long-term side effects of basically modifying people's DNA and RNA. [Also,] the ability to produce those antibodies and whether [the vaccine] causes other mutations or other risks downstream. So, there's work on both paths of vaccine development."
But months later, Zuckerberg appeared to be singing a different tune. The Facebook head hosted a public live stream with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in November 2020.
Zuckerberg said during the stream: "Just to clear up one point, my understanding is that these vaccines do not modify your DNA or RNA. So that's just an important point to clarify. If I'm getting anything wrong here, of course – correct me." Fauci seconded Zuckerberg's statement, adding: "First of all, DNA is inherent in your nuclear cell. Sticking in anything foreign will ultimately get cleared."
Facebook did not respond to a request for comment sent by The Epoch Times on the matter.
The social media platform had imposed strict guidelines on COVID-19 content that people can post. It has banned or restricted a number of users who flout these policies. A blog post penned by Facebook Vice President for Integrity Guy Rosen laid out the site's plan for dealing with misinformation about COVID-19.
In a Feb. 8 update to the post, Facebook said it would expand efforts to "remove false claims … about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines and vaccines in general during the pandemic." The update came after consultations with leading health agencies, including the World Health Organization. Some of the additional claims that Facebook would remove include those that posit COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured and that vaccines are ineffective and cause autism, the post said.
Prior to the blog post by Rosen, Facebook had already banned anti-vaccine content in advertisements. Posts claiming vaccinations are unsafe and will cause death and those going against health authorities' guidance on vaccination were prohibited on the platform. However, the social media platform did not prohibit ads discussing vaccine legislation.
Facebook banning anti-vaccine content on the site reveals its complicity with Big Pharma in pushing for harmful "cures." It had earlier censored posts and videos that presented alternative ways of addressing certain illnesses. (Related: The censorship war on health information escalates as Facebook deletes health group for advocating low-carb eating habits and good nutrition.)
Back in July 2020, NewsBusters reported that Facebook actively censored posts that promoted hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a treatment for COVID-19. The conservative news outlet cited a report by free speech advocacy group Reclaim The Net, which called the social media site's censorship "a case of digital imperialism."
Reclaim The Net also released a report confirming Zuckerberg's censorship of HCQ as a possible COVID-19 treatment. "We do not want to become the arbiters of truth. But on specific claims, if someone is going to go out and say that [HCQ] is proven to cure [COVID-19], we think that we should take that [claim] down," the Facebook CEO told House lawmakers during a hearing.
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) challenged Zuckerberg's statement, saying that doctors should be the one to decide if HCQ is the right medication for COVID-19. But the Facebook CEO insisted that the social media platform would have the final say on HCQ regardless of what actual medical professionals decide. Zuckerberg defended his anti-HCQ stance: "Stating that there is a proven cure for COVID when there is, in fact, none, might encourage someone to go take something that could have some adverse effect."
Zuckerberg's defense of his anti-HCQ stance followed a press conference that featured several doctors supporting the drug's use against COVID-19. The event's organizer Dr. Simone Gold said treatment options for the Wuhan coronavirus should be debated and spoken about rather than being censored and silenced. (Related: Facebook bans Alzheimer's, Dementia prevention education videos.)