Are there examples of rationalists getting censored for COVID-19 related communication?

post by ChristianKl · 2021-01-15T18:46:15.459Z · LW · GW · 4 comments

This is a question post.

Do we have examples of people rationalists community who posted about COVID-19 and who were banned on websites for taking a stance that goes against mainstream authorities?


answer by MichaelLowe · 2021-01-15T22:34:15.122Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Steve Kirsch is AFAIK not a rationalist, but he was banned from Medium for claiming the effectiveness of a specific drug in treating Covid-19 was 100% based on two trials. Personally I think his claim is overstated (confidence intervals and so on) but the main thrust of his argument is reasonable and definitely not even close to ban worthy.

comment by DPiepgrass · 2021-01-27T16:40:37.455Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Let's hope a rationalist wouldn't write a headline about a "100%" effective COVID treatment without qualification and then, when discussing the two studies, not mention the size of the trials, not discuss the methodology and not show any skepticism (granted, this may well be different from what he posted on Medium).

Also, personally, there's no way I would mention a news report that "of 47,780 people who were discharged from hospital in the first wave, 29.4 per cent were readmitted to hospital within 140 days, and 12.3 per cent of the total died" - and repeat the ambiguous message without at least complaining that it never says whether "the total" refers to 47,780, or 29.4% of 47,780.

Medium clearly overreacted by deleting six years of his writing, which seems like a scarily common tendency in big tech (it costs them nothing except maybe a little reputation here and there; I suppose they avoid reputational damage mainly by reinstating those who manage to generate a certain amount of public backlash after-the-fact.)


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comment by Sherrinford · 2021-01-16T15:54:31.921Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

What's the background to this question?

Replies from: ChristianKl
comment by ChristianKl · 2021-01-16T16:09:06.117Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The last year.