🇺🇳@COVID19Up: HealthFeedback.org has included a recent COVID19Up.org original article in a fact check. According to the fact check, context was missing from reporting on the WHO’s recommendation against vaccinating children.
While we cannot speak for the intent of the original poster of the Instagram post that set this fact check in motion or the other articles linked within the article, we can confidently say that HealthFeedback.org erroneously used our article.
The Instagram post in question states that the WHO “published revised advice on June 21, 2021, clarifying which populations should receive COVID-19 vaccines. The WHO’s website now states, ‘Children should not be vaccinated for the…”
This statement is false and statements like this one were actually what led to COVID19Up.org covering this story in the first place. A claim like the one above is significant and should be confirmed prior to sharing. As our article clearly states, “the WHO’s vaccine advice page was unchanged from the first archive on April 8, 2021 until the change on June 22.” We learned this by utilizing the Wayback Machine’s archive of the page.
In other words, the WHO did not revise their advice on June 21 to state children should not be vaccinated, they revised their advice on June 22 and removed the statement that children should not be vaccinated. The version on June 22 was the only revision found from April 8 until sometime on June 22.
Nowhere in our article was the safety of the vaccine addressed and nowhere did we claim that the WHO revised their advice to include a statement saying children should not be vaccinated. And yet HealthFeedback.org included our article in the list of three articles linked in the excerpt below:
The claim as formulated in the article’s headline suggested that the WHO published a blanket ban against vaccinating children against COVID-19. Some misconstrued the WHO statement as an indication of problems with safety (see examples here, here, and here).”
If anything, our article was actually a fact check on the articles and social media posts falsely claiming that the WHO edited their advice to include a warning that children not be vaccinated.
This incident is one of many in a long list of fact checkers getting things wrong.
In addition to their overall inability to be an authoritative source on literally everything (because who can realistically be that?), they often have conflicts of interest that are not disclosed clearly enough.
Fact checkers can wield significant consequences for media outlets and should be held accountable for any and all mistakes they make. Who fact checks the fact checkers? We do. You do.