🦠 The search for the origin of COVID-19 went viral

Without Twitter and internet detectives using it to share their findings, we probably would know a lot less about the possible origin of COVID-19.

🦠 The search for the origin of COVID-19 went viral

I just finished reading Matt Ridley's and Alina Chan's book Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19.

They both thought it weird that a possible lab leak was completely ruled out as a possible origin of the pandemic. So they started researching, eventually found each other and decided to write a book about it.

Ridley is the author of the Rational Optimist and many other books. Chan is a molecular biologist specializing in gene therapy and cell engineering at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

It is not a book that tries to prove that COVID-19 came from a lab leak, it just makes the case that it is possible that COVID-19 came from a lab leak. And that possibility should be looked into as much as a natural spread via an animal in the wild.

No successful search without Twitter

What struck me when I read the book was that without Twitter we probably still would think that "the animal theory" was the only theory. For the first year or so of the pandemic, everything else was considered a conspiracy theory. I myself thought so when I heard respected scientists debunk it now and again.

But they did so with very little, or no, evidence. That was uncovered by internet sleuths. Private individuals who used their skills in digging through old research papers, finding a secret bat cave (not Batmans though...) and much more vital information that made the lab leak a credible theory.

Earlier this year scientists started to change their minds, the U.S. government thought it was 50/50 between the two theories and suddenly the search for the origin of COVID-19 expanded.

Twitter, not Facebook

I write Twitter and not Facebook, because theories about a lab leak were banned on Facebook. That has changed now.

Regulating content on Facebook and other social media is very complex. Some things should be removed, but what if Twitter also would have banned the finding of the internet detectives?

We should be careful in regulating free speech on the internet.

Thanks to Matt, Alina and the internet detectives for their hard work laying the COVID puzzle.

Mathias Sundin
CEO of Warp News - fact-based optimistic news