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Facebook Takes Down RegWatch

Regulator Watch has been disabled by faceless Facebook administrators; some suspect a coordinated campaign to remove balanced comment

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Regulator Watch has been providing outstanding coverage of vape issues for years. It was set up by the exceptionally professional Brent Stafford, who describes himself as a “political commentator, opinion columnist, and television producer. Regulator Watch’s Facebook account has been disabled.

Writing on his Facebook account, Brent Stafford said: “What a great wedding gift from Facebook. They have once again disabled our RegWatch ad accounts this time over misleading content... the most recent ads we ran were to promote the ‘WholeTruth’ episode on Dr Hammond's study.

“Public health researchers can disseminate corrupt research far and wide to mainstream media and government: but when RegWatch produces content that disseminates the truth (even when that truth is a "correction" from the researchers themselves) we get harassed, threatened and restricted by the platform."

“All of our accounts are restricted, and my personal Facebook profile is again on the razor's edge of being deleted. This is very saddening. Neither RegWatch nor myself are bad actors on this platform,” Stafford continued.

Canada passed a very positive Tobacco & Vaping products Act in 2018. The future for tobacco harm reduction looked good. Late in 2018, America began its war on a claimed “teen epidemic”.

The episode Brent Stafford refers to University of Waterloo Professor David Hammond’s claim that Canadian teen vaping rates had rocketed. He began drip feeding his findings in December 2018 and presented them to the Canadian government in 2019 before anyone had access to the raw data.

As we reported in July [link], the research team reissued the numbers as a correction – but the damage has already been done.

The full timelines of events and deconstruction of Hammond’s activities are detailed in the video below. Despite Facebook’s action, Regulator Watch episodes can still be viewed on the Regulator Watch website and Regulator Watch YouTube channel.

RegWatch Hammond Special

Could Hammond be behind complaints to Facebook? Is this a coordinated attack on facts and evidence from shady billionaire-funded organisations? Will YouTube be next? Time will tell.


  • Brent Stafford on Facebook (for now) – [link]
  • Regulator Watch website – [link]
  • Regulator Watch on Youtube – [link]
  • Brent Stafford on Twitter – [link]
  • Our coverage of the paper’s publication – [link]
  • Prevalence of vaping and smoking among adolescents in Canada, England, and the United States: repeat national cross sectional surveys” by David Hammond et al. – [link]
  • 2020 Update statement – [link]
Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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