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22 Dec, 2020 13:43

‘Memory holing history’: Vox slammed after deleting March tweet advising readers to ‘pass’ on facemasks

‘Memory holing history’: Vox slammed after deleting March tweet advising readers to ‘pass’ on facemasks

US news outlet Vox has been criticized after it deleted a tweet from March advising – ironically, in retrospect – against the use of face masks to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Vox announced on Monday that it had “deleted two tweets from March about mask-wearing” in an effort to “ensure current public health guidance is clear.”

One of the posts from March told Americans to “pass” on face masks because they were supposedly useless unless you already had the virus or worked in a hospital setting – a piece of advice which mirrored the official health guidance at the time.

“You do not need a mask to avoid coronavirus,” the outlet authoritatively declared. “Masks are only useful if you already have a respiratory infection and want to avoid spreading it to others.”

Social media users both ridiculed and criticized Vox’s decision to delete the post now that face masks are very much recommended, and even mandatory in many places.

French journalist Vincent Glad observed that the tweet “didn't age very well,” while others accused Vox of revisionism and attempting to escape responsibility for its bad advice.

“Erase the past to fit the present narrative. Got it,”commented Washington Times reporter Jessica Chasmar, while British comedian Simon Evans called it, “Another good example of memory holing,” though likely “with the best of intent.”

One Twitter user claimed that the issue wasn’t that Vox was ultimately wrong, according to the latest advice, but how confident it was with issuing the directive.

“The most annoying thing about these articles for me is the ultra-authoritative, near-mocking tone that they're often written in,” the user declared, adding that though everyone is “wrong sometimes,” Vox “stating beliefs with 100% confidence and never admitting fault or blame makes this misinformation much worse.”

It is not the first time that Vox has had to delete a badly-aged coronavirus-related tweet. In March, as the world started to come to grips with the severity of Covid-19, Vox removed a January post that read, “Is this going to be a deadly pandemic? No.”

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