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They do what I call straw-checking, where you assert Proposition A, and then you see a news story appear that says, "fact checkers say that A-prime is not true." You're like, "well, but nobody ever said A prime, we said A." Well, but A-prime sounds like A, and we've checked that A-prime isn't true. Well, that's the strawman. A-prime is what they wanted to check to indicate that A wasn't true. But A was true.

So for example, the lab leak is the perfect example of this. The claim was that this may have come from a laboratory, this virus may have come from a laboratory in Wuhan. The debunked claim was "no individual authored this virus". That's not the same as saying it didn't come from a lab. You could use natural selection to let evolution design the virus for you by, let's say, selecting for which viral particles in a bat Coronavirus are closest to being able to infect humans by using pulmonary tissue or something like that. That replacing of a question A with A-prime and then debunking A-prime is far worse than misinformation. So I think we have to recognize that we do have obligations to try to figure out what's true, but I don't want to use corporate fact-checking, which is often straw-checking, as a gold standard. We should come up with our own system for what we think we should put out in the air.

Eric Weinstein on What Bitcoin Did, released Feb 23, 2022

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