Is it true the British Medical Journal mislead the public with an article alleging a whistle blower exposed flaws in the data integrity of the COVID-19 vaccine trials? If so why?
Fact Check: The British Medical Journal Did NOT Reveal Disqualifying And Ignored Reports Of Flaws In Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Trials Covid-19: Researcher blows the whistle on data integrity issues in Pfizer’s vaccine trial https://leadstories.com/hoax-alert/2021/11/fact-check-british-medical-journal-did-not-reveal-disqualifying-and-ignored-reports-of-flaws-in-pfizer-vaccine-trial.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuqDu9ZCP_c

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    Welcome Derek. Could you please reproduce the exact quote from the video that you want challenged. Readers shouldn't need to rely on off-site resources in order to understand what the claim to be challenged is. Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 22:38
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    I don't think it's as simple as a quote. I will edit the question to add more links. Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 22:45
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    @JiminyCricket. 's request for a quote was entirely appropriate because what you've posted is a link-only question. If the link ever goes bad, your question becomes worthless. But then instead of at least giving us a time mark in the youtube video, you edited the video out entirely and added a link to another site, still with no quotes. I find your question as it stands now very difficult to even understand. Please add the necessary information to your question to make it understandable without leaving this site.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 1:15
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    @CareyGregory I also find the thing confusing. I am not exactly sure how to clarify but I have added to the text the main points which don't seem to make a lot of sense to begin with. Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 4:37
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    It doesn't really matter that you find it confusing. What matters is you keep relying on just pointing us to some article somewhere. You need to explain what your question is specifically and do it using words, not links. You've added text declaring that the BMJ committed some sort of sin, but you haven't explained why you think so. Just a link. Please clarify why you think the BMJ misled the public in your own words.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 5:22

1 Answer 1


It is true that the BMJ did publish an article with whistleblower concerns and even published a response to the LeadStories article

I won't reproduce the article here, but I will provide some relevant quotes:

Beginning on 10 November, The BMJ’s readers began reporting a variety of problems when trying to share its investigation on Facebook. Some reported being unable to share it. Many others reported having their post flagged with a warning about “Missing context . . . Independent fact-checkers say this information could mislead people.” Facebook told posters that people who repeatedly shared “false information” might have their posts moved lower in its news feed. In one private Facebook group, of people who had long term neurological adverse events after vaccination, group administrators received a message from Facebook informing them that a post linking to The BMJ’s investigation was “partly false”

Readers were directed to a “fact check” performed by Lead Stories,5 one of the 10 companies contracted by Facebook in the US,6 whose tagline is “debunking fake news as it happens.” An analysis last year showed that Lead Stories was responsible for half of all Facebook fact checks...

...The Lead Stories article, though it failed to identify any errors in The BMJ’s investigation, nevertheless carried the title, “Fact Check: The British Medical Journal Did NOT Reveal Disqualifying and Ignored Reports of Flaws in Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Trials.”...

...Lead Stories did not mention that the investigation was externally peer reviewed, despite this being stated in the article, and had published its article under a URL that contained the phrase “hoax-alert.”...

...The BMJ based its story on dozens of original documents provided by the experienced clinical trial auditor turned whistleblower Jackson and was confident in the authenticity of her evidence....

...In a subsequent email, Alan Duke, editor in chief of Lead Stories, told The BMJ that the “Missing Context” label was created by Facebook specifically “to deal with content that could mislead without additional context but which was otherwise true or real.” He added that the article was widely being shared and commented on by antivaccine activists on Facebook. “We agree that sometimes Facebook’s messaging about the fact checking labels can sound overly aggressive and scary. If you have an issue with their messaging you should indeed take it up with them as we are unable to change any of it.”

So, it would seem that the issue was that Facebook flagged links to the article as "potential misinformation" and that this response was biased against articles that criticized Pfizer. From this it would seem that the problem was not so much the BMJ, but rather Facebook's content flagging service... which is in part run by Lead Stories (half of Facebook's fact checking is performed by them).

Lead Stories has a conflict of interest here - they both audit Facebook's content and publish articles on that content; and it just so happens (totally co-incidentally I am sure. \s) that one of those articles, on the BMJ and the whistleblowing incident, is perhaps misleading in itself.

To me it looks like the BMJ did not mislead at all, rather Lead Stories published misleading information regarding the BMJ article(s).

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