The size of the “anti-disinformation” industry and the resources available to it are staggering. From Andrew Lowenthal at racket.news:
Andrew Lowenthal spent more than two decades defending digital rights, and watched as peers and partner organizations switched to an opposite mission called “anti-disinformation.” An inside account
I knew things were bad in my world, but the truth turned out to be much worse than I could have imagined.
My name is Andrew Lowenthal. I am a progressive-minded Australian who for almost 18 years was the Executive Director of EngageMedia, an Asia-based NGO focused on human rights online, freedom of expression, and open technology. My resume also includes fellowships at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center and MIT’s Open Documentary Lab. For most of my career, I believed strongly in the work I was doing, which I believed was about protecting and expanding digital rights and freedoms.
[Read the accompanying #TwitterFile – The Informational Cartel]
In recent years, however, I watched in despair as a dramatic change swept through my field. As if all at once, organizations and colleagues with whom I’d worked for years began de-emphasizing freedom of speech and expression, and shifted focus to a new arena: fighting “disinformation.”
Long before the #TwitterFiles, and certainly before responding to a Racket call for freelancers to help “Knock Out the Mainstream Propaganda Machine,” I’d been raising concerns about the weaponization of “anti-disinformation” as a tool for censorship. For EngageMedia team members in Myanmar, Indonesia, India, or the Philippines, the new elite Western consensus of giving governments greater power to decide what could be said online was the opposite of the work we were doing.