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How do you stop fake news about Covid? Not by silencing scientists who ask difficult questions | Zoe Williams

Whatever Twitter was doing when it banned the Oxford epidemiologist Carl Heneghan, it wasn’t protecting the world from disinformation

Carl Heneghan is an epidemiologist first and foremost, professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford, probably many other things – good citizen, well-liked family member – and then, way down the list, a person on Twitter. In other words he doesn’t create social media storms for fun, nor does he have any track record of contrarianism. So how does such a person get banned, as Heneghan was briefly last week, from a social media platform that, famously, has trouble keeping abreast of racial slurs and death threats?

Heneghan published a study that suggested the number of people who had died from Covid may have been exaggerated. His final conclusion was that we still had no idea how many people have died because UK health statistics agencies use inconsistent definitions. This was enough to mark him out, albeit briefly, as a Covid denier, which in turn put him in the same camp as anti-vaxxers.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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