Andrew Zimmern's Political Tweets Cause Chaos Amongst Fans

A number of people online grew upset when Andrew Zimmern voiced his agreement with President Joe Biden's indictment of Facebook. On Friday, as The Guardian shares, Biden told reporters that by allowing misinformation concerning the vaccines for the coronavirus to proliferate on its platform, Facebook has effectively caused the continued deaths of Americans. "Look," he declared, "the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they're killing people."

Zimmern took to Twitter to state, "The President is correct." Early the next day he responded to a person who shared how easy it is to fake an authoritative picture on social media platforms: "OMG this would be funny if it wasn't so true... and scary how many listen to these made up memes, and other sources masquerading as news services and that includes Fox. They are not a credible news source."

While he received a good amount of positive engagement, a few complaints simmered. No one bothered to defend Facebook. They have a corporate spokesperson to accuse the President of missing vaccine goals. No, the complaints claimed that Zimmern endorsed censorship. "Yes," one wrote, "some right/left will cheer censorship if their 'team' is the ones doing it." "Personally," snarked a second who considered Zimmern a corporate mouthpiece, "I like to stick to facts and it doesn't seem like MSM does ... but go ahead censor anyone who spits facts." 

Pandora's box opened

Andrew Zimmern did decide to address one argument against his support of blaming Facebook for COVID-related deaths. "There is NO proof of that," a person wrote concerning the charge against which Zimmern attempted in vain to reason: "Facebook had promised to crack down on dangerous and life threatening misinformation and they have not. A simple search or reading that article will show that." And he may be right. One could argue that the various kerfuffles surrounding the vaccine exist in part because of the hands-off policy used by Facebook and the editorial line of stations like Fox.  

To further substantiate his side, Zimmern shared an article published by ABC News detailing how states that have a vaccinated population of fewer than 50% have reported infection rates three times higher than more vaccinated states.

However, we cannot expect Facebook to handle the situation, as they have shown themselves incapable or unwilling to do so for years by this point. The other concern is that if we give all the power to Facebook to combat misinformation, they can decide what counts as misinformation or content that goes against their community guidelines. In May, The Guardian covered how Facebook was accused of targeting and censoring the voices of Palestinian activists. It could be that the only likely way that any democratic control over misinformation could happen is if the company was broken up and given to municipalities to engage with. That, however, would present its own issues, and anyway, we're betting it won't happen.

At least Zimmern tries.