Report: Facebook Buried Viewership Stats About Vaccine Death Story

Mark Zuckerberg deep in thought (Drew Angerer /Getty)
Drew Angerer /Getty

Facebook buried data showing that a story reported in establishment news outlets about the death of a healthy doctor who took Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine was the most-viewed on the platform in the first quarter of 2021, according to a report in the New York Times.

According to comments a Facebook spokesman made to the Times, the social network shelved the data so it could make “fixes” first — it is unclear what those “fixes” consist of.

In this image from video, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, March 25, 2021. (House Energy and Commerce Committee via AP)

In this image from video, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, March 25, 2021. (House Energy and Commerce Committee via AP)

Via the New York Times:

Facebook had prepared a similar report for the first three months of the year, but executives never shared it with the public because of concerns that it would look bad for the company, according to internal emails sent by executives and shared with The New York Times.

In that report, a copy of which was provided to The Times, the most-viewed link was a news article with a headline suggesting that the coronavirus vaccine was at fault for the death of a Florida doctor.

“We considered making the report public earlier,” said Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesman, “but since we knew the attention it would garner, exactly as we saw this week, there were fixes to the system we wanted to make.”

The vaccine story that topped Facebook’s charts in the first quarter was a report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel about a previously healthy doctor who died after taking Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.

Via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Two weeks after getting a first dose of a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, a 56-year-old doctor in South Florida died in January, possibly the nation’s first death linked to the vaccine.

Health officials from Florida and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating what role, if any, the vaccine played in the death of Dr. Gregory Michael, a Miami-Beach obstetrician who, his family says, was in otherwise good health.

Michael received his first dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 18 at Mount Sinai Medical Center, according to a Facebook post from his wife, Heidi Neckelmann.

The Sun Sentinel’s story was later updated to note the conclusion of the official medical examiner, who reported that there was not enough evidence to determine if the vaccine was or was not a contributing factor.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.

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