One might assume that an organization like White Coat Waste Project (WCW)—which unites Republicans and Democrats to stop the federal government from abusing puppies and kittens in wasteful, taxpayer-funded experiments—would be immune as a target of censorship and disinformation campaigns. Unfortunately, one would be wrong. For the past two years, government animal testing has been at the center of the free speech debate that’s reached a boiling point in the United States.
Big Tech and Big Media companies have weaponized “fact checks,” sensitive content warnings, and advertising bans to muzzle us and cast doubt on our findings—even when our investigations are demonstrably and self-evidently true. The common theme in all the censored content: daring to criticize Anthony Fauci, which constitutes a Silicon Valley thought-crime.
Several months ago, WCW released an exposé on the monkeys of Morgan Island, South Carolina, also known as “Monkey Island.” Thousands of primates roam the island, but this is no tropical paradise: the monkeys are property of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci’s division of the National Institutes of Health. Documents we obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show that every year, hundreds of victims are snatched from the island, then shipped to government animal labs and infected with Ebola, COVID, HIV, and then killed.
So gruesome are Fauci’s primate experiments (paid for with your tax dollars) that Twitter doesn’t want you to see them. Journalist and filmmaker Leighton Woodhouse recently discovered Twitter slapped a “content warning” on links to an article about the island, thereby reducing its reach and discoverability.
Not to be outdone, after we posted a short video on Facebook, its “trusted” (by whom?) partner PolitiFact jumped in the fray. In the comments of WCW’s post, it declared with blue-check authority that “Dr. Anthony Fauci was not involved in the research on monkeys described here, which was conducted in a different division of the National Institutes of Health from the one in which Fauci works, Associated Press fact-checkers found.”
The problem was this AP “fact check,” put forth by PolitiFact as exculpatory evidence exonerating Fauci, was about a totally different set of monkey experiments, at a different NIH division—and we never claimed that Fauci was involved with them. PolitiFact’s “fact check” was flat-out wrong, completely irrelevant, and intentionally misleading.
Fauci himself has admitted that NIAID owns the Morgan Island primates and experiments on them. A February 2022 letter to U.S. Representative Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) confirms, in heartbreaking detail, that NIAID performs huge numbers of “Category E” experiments on primates—experiments for which pain relief and anesthesia is deliberately withheld. Fauci himself signed this letter of confession, which also confirms the staggering cost of NIAID’s “monkey business”: $658 million spent on primate experiments alone in 2020 and 2021.
To its credit, PolitiFact eventually apologized and rescinded its fake Facebook fact check. By that point, however, the damage was done. Their erroneous comment deprioritized the video in Facebook’s algorithm, made it less visible, and clouded the truth for readers.
It gets even more surreal. When libertarian writer Hannah Cox posted an article about the Fauci fact check flop on LinkedIn, her post correcting the record was censored. She received a notice that it was “removed because it goes against our Professional Community Policies.”
These are far from the only times that Big Tech has interceded on behalf of Fauci.
In April 2020, WCW first exposed how Fauci’s white coats shipped tax dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for cruel experiments on bats, “humanized” mice, and other animals. Many experts believe this gain-of-function research caused the COVID pandemic. Big Media and Big Tech, however, jumped in to save their man at NIAID. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple branded our investigation a conspiracy theory, calling it “nonsense” and “coronavirus misinformation.” Facebook also banned discussion of the lab-leak hypothesis, stifling debate (and harming scientific inquiry) until Fauci admitted that he was “not convinced” the virus developed naturally. Shortly after Fauci’s remarks, Facebook suddenly allowed posts about the topic.
Or perhaps you’ve heard about what Fauci did to beagles. Throughout the summer and fall of 2021, WCW’s #BeagleGate investigation made international news, as we exposed experiments funded and run by NIAID—including poisoning and de-barking puppies, and infesting beagles with ticks and flies. Google immediately (and inexplicably) banned WCW’s ads before suspending our account. Twitter also rejected our ads. Then an avalanche of media outlets, including the Washington Post (again), PolitiFact (also again), and others desperately and incorrectly) tried to paint #BeagleGate as fake news. To protect Fauci, the Post ran a galling front-page story calling our findings “fake beagle research”—even though our documents came directly from NIAID itself.
When Big Tech and Big Media artificially limit WCW’s ability to call out our own government’s animal abuse, taxpayer-funded animal experiments will continue to escape public notice, allowing them to continue unchecked. Speech controllers tell us disinformation is deadly. They never say to whom, but we can hazard an answer: the disinformation peddled by Big Tech and Big Media is indeed deadly for animals in labs.
Proposals by leaders such as Elon Musk to enhance free speech on social media and challenge the authority of government white coats are sorely needed. To protect animals, taxpayers, scientific inquiry, and public health, we need more free speech, now more than ever.