Watch: Blame the editor in chief! (Has anyone seen him lately?)

About Lulu and Nana: Twin Girls Born Healthy After Gene Surgery As Single-Cell Embryos
By The He Lab

What if scientists do bad science and, as soon as they get first results, communicate them on their own initiative – targeting not less than the global public? Chinese scientist He Jiankui, who had edited several embryos’ genomes, reminds us that far-reaching social media platforms have no editorial teams at work that might prevent major calamities.

By uploading this video on YouTube He became an objectionable celebrity. He even succeeded in bypassing his own university, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and the whole scientific publication system which is in place to ensure that publications meet quality standards as well as ethical requirements. Luckily, the geneticist from the Southern University of Science and Technology of China in Shenzhen caused an outrage from many people and institutions.

What can we learn from that? Web platforms distribute messages to billions of people without taking into consideration that these might trigger unwanted consequences. Hes video ist just another example – we’ve already seen, among other things, the influencing of election campaigns via Facebook or the spreading of hate speech. The discussion about the malpractices of YouTube, Facebook and Co. has just begun.

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