Tag Archives: Social media censorship

EU, U.K. Join U.S. in Launching Online ‘Disinformation’ Policies, Prompting Concerns About ‘One-World Governance’ of Social Media, by Michael Nevradikis, M.D.

More global advances in Properspeak, Properwrite, and Properact, leading, inevitably, to Properthought. From Michael Nevradikis, M.D., at childrenshealthdefense.org:

The EU’s Digital Services Act and the U.K.’s proposed Online Safety Bill are among the latest government policies designed to hold social media companies responsible for hate speech and “disinformation” posted by users, a move experts suggested could bring us closer to global government.

The European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) and the U.K.’s proposed Online Safety Bill are among the latest government policies designed to hold social media companies responsible for hate speech and “disinformation” posted by users.

Experts interviewed by The Defender expressed concerns about the potential slippery slope of regulations — in the U.S. and overseas — which, under the guise of “combating disinformation,” stifle the spread of information deemed inconvenient for governments and other powerful actors.

As reported by The Defender, in the U.S., these proposals include a government “disinformation board” and a bill pending before Congress, the Digital Services Oversight and Safety Act.

The EU’s new regulations, experts said, may have far-reaching impacts beyond Europe.

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How a War on ‘Misinformation’ Led To a Coronavirus Tragedy, by Brett Swanson

Stifling debate often stifles the truth, and it certainly has during the Covid-19 travesty. From Brett Swanson at realclearmarkets.com:

How a War on 'Misinformation' Led To a Coronavirus Tragedy

“Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts.” – Richard Feynman

Spectacular falsehoods, deep truths, and Canadian truckers are finally piercing the long-impervious Covid storyline.

When a justice of the Supreme Court on January 7 asserted that 100,000 children were hospitalized with Covid-19 “in serious condition, and many on ventilators,” it reflected the ill-informed panic that’s driven policy the last two years. In fact, CDC data showed just around 3,200 children were hospitalized while Covid-positive, few were in serious condition, and almost none were on ventilators.

The episode was just the latest false droplet in a flood of erroneous Covid-speak. We’ve known since near the beginning that young people are not at serious risklockdowns don’t halt the spread and do far more harm than good; and an array of cheap, safe, long-approved generic drugs often stop the virus dead in its tracks when taken early. Yet each of these central facts was suppressed by a sprawling array of old and new media, digital platforms, captured medical journals, non-profit scolds, and public health spokespeople claiming omniscience.

It turns out Canadian truckers listening to Joe Rogan know more than many “experts.” Had the truckers been in charge the last two years, the world would probably be healthier, and freer.

The Covid saga began with orchestrated misdirection. On January 31, 2020, some of the world’s top virologists told Dr. Anthony Fauci they believed the SARS-CoV-2 virus was probably “engineered” and they “can’t think of a plausible natural scenario.” Within weeks, however, these same scientists insisted in the Lancet and Nature Medicine that the virus was natural and to question its origin was spreading “misinformation” and “prejudice.” Last week we learned Fauci’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) granted these scientists $50 million in 2020 and 2021 alone.

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Resiliency: Surviving in the age of censorship, propaganda and cancel culture, by Dr. Robert W. Malone

The Lilliputians keep trying to tie him down, but Dr. Robert Malone keeps rolling along. From Malone at rwmalonemd.substack.com:

Like water off a duck’s back

So, not that what happens to me is so special – but last night Linkedin decided I was not a fit human to be on their platform. In another blink of an eye of big tech, Linkin flushed my 30,000 connections and de-platformed me. No explanations, no warnings were given. I can say that I rarely post anything on Link-in that is controversial anymore, since they de-platformed me, re-instated me and then apologized for it last summer. This was not a surprise – just more of the same censorship that is happening everywhere.

All I can do at this point is laugh about it. This is about resiliency: like water off a duck’s back.

In two weeks since Twitter de-platformed me, my GETTR account has gone over 212,000 followers. Other social media venues are doing well also. My Substack is over 100,000 people. My Gab account is 88,000 strong. My fan run telegram account also has 189,000 subscribers. I am recording 8-10 podcasts and TV interviews a day. If I could clone me, I could do five times that number. I will not let my voice be silenced, because the cause is too great.

I can only hope with the linkedin censorship: my voice, your voice – all of us will unite and find a common path forward to stop the propaganda madness being driven by the oligarchs who control big tech, big media and big pharma.

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Silicon Valley Should Not Restrict Public Discourse About Covid Measures Which Affect Everyone, by Caitlin Johnstone

Twitter’s ban on Dr. Robert Malone (see story below) is just the latest illustration of two things: big Tech has become an arm of the government, and the incredibly arrogant tech oligarchs have determined that their propaganda will be the only thing allowed on their platforms. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

Twitter has banned the account of controversial virologist Dr Robert Malone, who reportedly had half a million followers at the time of his removal. Malone is credited even by mainstream critics as having played a significant role in the development of the mRNA technology being used for Covid-19 vaccines today, but has recently come under fire for comments about the safety of those vaccines’ use on children which the Authorized Fact Checkers have labeled “dangerously and flagrantly incorrect.

Everyone should oppose the removal of Malone and commentators who share his views, regardless of whether they agree with them or vehemently despise them. The reason for this is very simple: only a fool would support government-tied monopolistic billionaire corporations regulating public discourse about Covid responses which affect us all. This is true regardless of what you personally happen to believe about mRNA vaccines.

Arguments that Malone and his ilk are peddling “misinformation” have no bearing on the question of whether they should be removed from the platforms everyone uses to debate ideas and discuss information. It is entirely legitimate to make arguments that their claims are inaccurate, but it is not at all legitimate to claim that platforms which large sectors of humanity have come to rely on for public discourse should interfere with or obstruct those conversations.

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Will Twitter Become an Ocean of Suck? By Matt Taibbi

Or a bay of banal, an island of idiocy, a sea of superficial, or a gulf of gratuitous glib? SLL will never know because SLL eschews social media. From Matt Taibbi at taibbi.substack.com:

The resignation of Jack Dorsey is the latest plot point in the story of the Internet’s transformation, from democratizing tool to instrument of elite control

 

Jack Dorsey, the extend-o-bearded CEO who co-founded Twitter and whose fame grew with that of his increasingly powerful platform during the Trump years, resigned today. His departure is the latest plot point in a long-developing Internet tragicomedy, which has seen what was supposed to be a historically democratizing technological tool transformed into a dystopian force for censorship and control. The departure of Dorsey, the rare CEO who not only has a conscience but appears to consult it more than once every few years, is bad news for those who already had complaints about the company, which during his tenure came to occupy a central role in what’s left of American intellectual culture.

Twitter avatar for @jackjack⚡️ @jack

not sure anyone has heard but, I resigned from Twitter

Image

Twitter under Dorsey suffered from working too well. Specifically, society responded to Donald Trump’s Tweet-driven 2016 presidential campaign as if it revealed a defect in the platform that needed fixing when actually Trump’s election was proof that Twitter was working much as intended. Our political establishment just wasn’t looking for that sort of functionality.

The original concept of Twitter was egalitarian, flattening, and iconoclastic: “To give everyone the power to create and share ideas, instantly, without barriers.” That mantra fit with then-CEO Dick Costolo’s 2010 claim that “We’re the free speech wing of the free speech party.”

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Pierre Omidyar’s Financing of the Facebook “Whistleblower” Campaign Reveals a Great Deal, by Glenn Greenwald

Real whistleblowers don’t generally get invited to testify before Britain’s Parliament. They’re generally on the run or in jail. From Glenn Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:

The internet is the last remaining instrument for dissent and free discourse to thrive outside state and oligarchical control. This campaign aims to put an end to that.

Pierre Omidyar, Founder of eBay, and Publisher of the Intercept looks on during the final session of the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York, on Thursday, September 23, 2010. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Corbis via Getty Images)

It is completely unsurprising to learn, as Politico reported last Wednesday, that the major financial supporter of Facebook “whistleblower” Frances Haugen’s sprawling P.R. and legal network coordinating her public campaign is the billionaire founder of EBay, Pierre Omidyar. The Haugen Show continues today as a consortium of carefully cultivated news outlets (including those who have been most devoted to agitating for online censorship: the New York Times’ “tech” unit and NBC News’s “disinformation” team) began publishing the trove of archives she took from Facebook under the self-important title “The Facebook Papers,” while the star herself has traveled to London to testify today to British lawmakers considering a bill to criminally punish tech companies that allow “foul content” or “extremism” — whatever that means — to be published.

On Sunday, Haugen told The New York Times that her own personal Bitcoin wealth means she is relying on “help from nonprofit groups backed by Mr. Omidyar only for travel and similar expenses.” But the paper also confirmed that the firm masterminding Haugen’s public campaign roll-out and complex media strategy, a group “founded by the former Barack Obama aide Bill Burton,” is “being paid by donors, including the nonprofit groups backed by Mr. Omidyar.” He is also a major donor to a shady new group calling itself “Whistleblower Aid” — bizarrely led by anti-Trump lawyer and social media #Resistance star Mark Zaid, who has been one of the most vocal critics of actual whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, both of whose imprisonment he has long demanded — that is now featuring Haugen as its star client.

Omidyar’s net worth is currently estimated to be $22 billion, making him the planet’s 26th richest human being. Like so many billionaires who pledge to give away large parts of their wealth to charity, and who in fact do so, Omidyar’s net worth somehow rapidly grows every year: in 2013, just eight years ago, it was “only” $8 billion: it has almost tripled since then.

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Learning To Fear Free Speech: How Politicians Are Moving To Protect Us From Our Unhealthy Reading Choices, by Jonathan Turley

Inevitable no matter the starting point for censorship, it always ends at the same destination: suppression of truth and any opinions that don’t conform to official propaganda. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:

Below is my column in the Hill on the increasing calls for censorship and speech regulation on the Internet.  The most recent push on Capitol Hill surrounds the testimony of former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen who alleges that Facebook has been knowingly harming children through promotion and access to certain sites. For some, the testimony follows a type of Trojan Horse pattern where anti-free speech measures are packaged as public safety measures.  Before embracing the proposals of these senators, the public needs to think long and hard over what is being lost in these “reforms.”

Here is the column:

“Caution: Free Speech May Be Hazardous to Your Health.” Such a rewording of the original 1965 warning on tobacco products could soon appear on social media platforms, if a Senate hearing this week is any indicator. Listening to former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen, senators decried how Facebook is literally killing people by not censoring content, and Haugen proposed a regulatory board to protect the public.

But before we embrace a new “ministry of information” model to protect us from dangerous viewpoints, we may want to consider what we would lose in this Faustian free-speech bargain.

Warnings over the “addiction” and “unhealthy” content of the internet have been building into a movement for years. In July, President Biden slammed Big Tech companies for “killing people” by failing to engage in even greater censorship of free speech on issues related to the pandemic. On Tuesday, many senators were enthralled by Haugen’s testimony because they, too, have long called for greater regulation or censorship. It all began reasonably enough over concerns about violent speech, and then expanded to exploitative speech. However, it continued to expand even further as the regulation of speech became an insatiable appetite for silencing opposing views.

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Enlightened Algos: Democrats Demand Increased Corporate Controls To Protect Citizens From Their Own Dangerous Curiosities, by Jonathan Turley

We simply must not ask questions or seek answers, especially from our rulers. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:

Below is my column in USA Today on the recent call by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) for Amazon to steer readers to “true” books on climate change. It is the latest example of Democrat’s embracing a type of  corporate governance model to carry out tasks barred to the government under the Constitution. Companies are now being asked to protect us from our own dangerous interests and inquiries. An array of enlightened algorithms will now watch over citizens to help them make good choices and read “true” things.

Here is the column:

Two centuries ago, rulers sought to convince subjects that they should embrace the notion of “enlightened despotism,” living without rights under the beneficent watch of overlords. Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II summed up the idea with the maxim “everything for the people, nothing by the people.”

Today, we seem to be living in an age of enlightened corporate despotism, where social media and technology companies watch over what we read and what we discuss to protect us from ourselves.

That corporate governance model was on display this month when Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called on Amazon CEO Andy Jassy to use algorithms to steer readers away from books that spew “misinformation.”

Enlightened algorithms are already responsible for large-scale censorship across social media platforms that reach global audiences. They “stand the wall” as sentinels against dangerous ideas.

Warren argued that people were not listening to the enlightened views of herself and leading experts. Instead, they were reading views of vaccine skeptics by searching Amazon and finding books, including “falsehoods about COVID-19 vaccines and cures, including those written by the most prominent spreaders of misinformation.”

Warren blamed Amazon for failing to limit searches or choices: “This pattern and practice of misbehavior suggests that Amazon is either unwilling or unable to modify its business practices to prevent the spread of falsehoods or the sale of inappropriate products.”

In her letter, Warren gave the company 14 days to change its algorithms to throttle and obstruct efforts to read opposing views.

What was most striking about this incident is that Warren was eager for others to see her efforts to promote a form of censorship.

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Meet The Censored: Ivermectin Critic David Fuller, by Matt Taibbi

Censorship never runs one direction. I generally comes back to bite the people who initially cheered it. From Matt Taibbi at taibbi.substack.com:

They fixed the problem, twice. That’s the good news. The first time filmmaker, former BBC and Channel 4 journalist, and Rebel Wisdom co-founder David Fuller put together a video criticizing ivermectin advocates was on August 4th. Called “Ivermectin For and Against,” it was taken down by YouTube, on the grounds that it constituted medical misinformation.

Fuller appealed the decision for a variety of reasons – more on those later – and won. He continued investigating the subject, and taking on the claims of ivermectin advocates, hoping to conclude with a video called “Vaccines and DarkHorse: A Final Word.” This last piece included footage of well-known ivermectin advocates Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying, whose DarkHorse podcast was previously featured on this site after YouTube banned some of their material.

Of course, Fuller was including the DarkHorse clip – not one of the banned ones, incidentally – to criticize it, not endorse it. But the Google/YouTube algorithm appeared confused, and Fuller’s work was not only taken down, he was also given a strike under YouTube’s “Three Strikes and You’re Out” program. He appealed again, but this time lost, leaving only one option: the media.

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Influential COVID policy skeptic sues Big Tech, feds for censoring his social media posts, by Greg Piper

If a company censors someone at the behest of the government, can the person sue the company on First Amendment grounds? From Greg Piper at justthenews.com:

“Within days” of removals, Biden administration admitted it was pressuring companies to remove “misinformation,” suit says.

An influential COVID policy skeptic followed through on his threat to sue Facebook for suspending his account this summer based on a graphic he posted: “Masking Children is Impractical and Not Backed by Research or Real World Data.”

Identified in a recent MIT paper as one of a handful of “anchors” for the anti-mask network on Twitter, Justin Hart also named Twitter, President Biden, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as defendants in the lawsuit.

“When the federal government admits to conspiring with social media companies to censor messages with which it disagrees, as it has in this case, both the government and the private companies are guilty of unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination,” it says.

Five days after Facebook suspended Hart’s account, which he also used for business, Twitter suspended his account for commenting on a CDC report that 70% of infected people were wearing masks, according to the suit. “We know that masks don’t protect you … but at some point you have to wonder if they are PART of the problem,” he wrote.

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