Musk alleges BBC of suppressing vaccine side effects

Elon Musk has spoken about having 'major side effects' after getting his second booster jab. (Photo: AP)

Elon Musk has accused the BBC of concealing the adverse effects of Covid vaccinations and disseminating false information regarding masks.

After a BBC journalist questioned him about hate speech and fake news on Twitter during a contentious interview, the billionaire accused the broadcaster of applying double standards.

Musk asked, "Does the BBC take any responsibility for misinformation regarding masking and the adverse effects of vaccinations and for not reporting on these topics?"

What about the British government's pressure on the BBC to alter its editorial policy?

The entrepreneur did not elaborate on the allegations he made during an unannounced interview with a BBC reporter at Twitter's offices in San Francisco.

Some early BBC reports on masks, in which experts questioned their efficacy, now include disclaimers regarding the original reporting.

One such article, published in March 2020, states it was "based on the available information at the time."

The Guardian reported last month that Downing Street requested BBC editors to discourage journalists from using the term "lockdowns" early in the pandemic. At the time, the BBC asserted its decisions were editorially independent.

The BBC declined to comment on the claims made by Musk.

Based on scientific studies, the broadcaster has previously reported multiple stories about serious but extremely uncommon side effects of coronavirus vaccines.

Musk has stated that he felt like he was "dying for several days" after receiving his second booster shot, which caused him to experience "major side effects."

Musk accused the journalist of lying during the BBC interview when he claimed increased hate speech on Twitter since its $44 billion ($70 billion) acquisition last year.

Musk responded, "I say, gentleman, you don't know what you're talking about, as you cannot provide a single instance of hateful content, not even a single tweet.

"You asserted that malicious content is prevalent. That is untrue; you have lied."

James Clayton, a journalist for the BBC, defended his line of inquiry by citing an organization that has warned of an increase in hateful remarks on the site.

Since Musk completed his takeover, groups such as the Anti-Defamation League and the Center for Countering Digital Hate have claimed an increase in derogatory remarks against black Americans. In contrast, others have cited evidence of a rise in anti-LGBT abuse.

Since assuming platform control, Musk has reinstated hundreds of accounts previously banned for violating Twitter's rules against hate speech and misinformation.

Musk insisted that the prevalence of hate speech has decreased, stating, "People will say all sorts of nonsense."

Despite the conflict, the South African-born entrepreneur stated he would comply with BBC's request and eliminate a Twitter label identifying the organization as "government-funded media."

Musk said he would modify the disclaimer to read "publicly funded." He added, "We want it to be as accurate and truthful as feasible, so we're revising the label.

I know the BBC was not pleased with being labelled state-affiliated media.

The 51-year-old alleged that the BBC was prejudiced but added that it was "among the least biased" media organizations.

Musk stated that Twitter ownership has been "extremely painful" during the 20-minute interview.

Musk stated that the company was being managed "like a non-profit" and "spending money like it was going out of style" when he assumed control in October last year.

Musk disclosed that Twitter now employs only 1500 people, down from 8,000 when he assumed social media platform control.

Publish : 2023-04-13 11:44:00

Give Your Comments