Yesterday one of my posts on FB was taken down. This was concerning not because it was unexpected but because it was expected. The post contained references to scientific studies published in mainstream journals during the last three months of 2021.
A few days before, I had a video taken down from YouTube. At 9:53pm on New Year’s Eve, I received an email from a person claiming to work in a senior role in the NZ Health System saying that I had likely come to the attention of the SIS, Police and GCSB because there are some concerning phrases and people showing on your comments that will be triggering their interests. This person appeared to be the same person who had been trolling the comments section of the video the previous day. Someone who only joined YouTube on the 30th December. In any case by the next morning the video was taken down. YouTube claimed it contradicted the advice of our Ministry of Health. The video does almost exclusively contain official government statistics, but it must now be a serious offence in NZ to embarrass the government by quoting their own statistics.
The departure of our government and mainstream media outlets from discussion of the sure ground of published research is more than concerning. It shows a determination to proceed irrespective of outcomes. The last three months have changed the research landscape considerably. The links to the studies in the FB post I referenced are listed at the foot of this release. I invite you to look them over and you can review my deleted post and video at HatchardReport.com.
I am not alone among scientists in my concern. I am in good company. The editor of the prestigious and respected British Medical Journal wrote an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg on the 2nd November.
I have decided to follow suit. Although humorous, this letter raises deep concerns. Ignoring science in a field that shouts the need for scientific authority can only be at everyone’s peril. Otherwise government and media pronouncements could be floating on nothing but preconceptions and prejudice. Moreover it devalues New Zealand.
Dear Mark Zuckerberg
What is the Metaverse? That which lies beyond the universe? Yesterday I received a message from beyond. Your voice reached out across space and time and told me:
“Whilst we support free expression of ideas, your post goes against our community standards as it contains false information that may cause physical harm.”
This was strange and mysterious indeed because the offending post only contained references and discussion of scientific studies in learned journals (links appended below) which were published during the last three months of 2021 and covered a subject of great interest to everyone in the world.
582 years ago Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. 412 years ago Galileo published a book called The Starry Messenger which confirmed the arrival of the Age of Science. An age in which theory and experiment would be constrained by rational and logical thought to agree with one another. On February 6th 1675 Isaac Newton wrote to his fellow scientist and friend Robert Hooke “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”. Our whole modern civilization is founded on the premise of continuing scientific investigation and communication.
Google tells me that on February 4th 2004 you founded FaceBook in a Harvard student dorm room. You are described as a net good for humanity, democratising communication and mobilisation. Your friends at Google now answer 3.5 billion of our questions every day and own YouTube, which has five billion views a day. FaceBook has 2.7 billion users and 74% of US adults watch over 3000 YouTube clips a year. Yet 72% of US adults struggle to read at least a ‘part’ of one book each year. In just 20 short years, 582 years of printed books passed away almost unnoticed.
Buoyed by your huge audience Mark Zuckerberg, you have rebranded your multiple platforms as the Metaverse, the source of everything (with a little help from your friends at Google and YouTube). Please forgive me for asking Mark, but why did you remove my post about science? After your message that I may have caused physical harm by referring to scientific papers, there was a sentence that I could challenge your ruling and a little button to press called ‘CONTINUE’. Like Alice in Wonderland choosing the red pill, I pressed the button hoping to go deeper into this rabbit hole, but low and behold the screen slowly faded and my post disappeared into the Metaverse.
So I am asking you Mark, how do you decide what is science and what is harmful? Do you have revelations about truth that help you make these difficult decisions? Did you wake up one day and discover that you had the benefit of all knowledge? Did you realise in your magnificence that you could simply waft a few phrases from a place inaccessible to mere scientists and change reality? When did you realise that the whole paraphernalia of peer review was a waste of time? Have your anonymous computerised fact checkers crossed the last frontier of science into the truth that everyone must have?
Show me the way, great lord of the metaverse, and can you tell me which of the studies (below) I referenced have offended your community standards? And I humbly implore you to tell me how scientific reading material can cause physical harm?