The government’s Big Brother-style crusade to control what gets posted online continues apace.
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy on March 3 demanded that Big Tech companies provide the government with data surrounding COVID-19 “misinformation” on their platforms.
The New York Times reported that Murthy asked the companies to reveal “exactly how many users saw or may have been exposed to instances of COVID-19 misinformation,” on top of providing the demographic data of those users.
The request follows on the heels of an advisory released last July, in which Murthy said misinformation “can cause confusion, sow distrust, and undermine public health efforts, including our ongoing work to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The term “misinformation” has become a bit of a catch-all in the COVID-19 era. It certainly can apply to actual untruths, such as that the COVID-19 vaccine contains microchips. But far more frequently, the term is weaponized against ideas the powers-that-be don’t like.
Take, for example, the ever-evolving tale of the Chinese lab-leak hypothesis regarding COVID-19.
Ground zero for the initial outbreak of COVID-19 was quickly determined to be Wuhan, China. The city is home to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a lab known for conducting gain-of-function research into coronaviruses. When people started suggesting the two were linked, the response from health authorities and corporate media was instantaneous.
The hypothesis was lambasted as a racist conspiracy theory, and anyone who tried to disseminate it was quickly labeled a fringe kook or censored entirely on social media. Back in February 2020, Facebook banned an article from the New York Post claiming COVID-19 could have leaked from a lab.
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Fast-forward a year to 2021 and suddenly the lab leak was no longer misinformation worthy of exile from the internet. The same outlets and experts who had gone to great lengths to smear anyone who dared go against their medical decrees were suddenly singing a very different tune.
Facebook itself was forced to recant, and announced it would stop removing posts that asserted COVID-19 leaked from a lab.
That brings us back to the issue of Murthy demanding data on “misinformation” from these Big Tech platforms. As the lab-leak saga demonstrated, the definition of what qualifies as misinformation is incredibly nebulous and can change with the political winds.
Murthy’s fishing expedition to find “misinformation” is for one purpose only; namely, control of our lives and of what we think.
As the pandemic dragged on, the government and Big Tech used the label of “misinformation” to ban ideas and outlets they dislike. They found that strategy to be incredibly effective and want to continue using it into the future.
The strategy is no longer limited to COVID-19, either. The popular streaming site Twitch announced March 3 that it plans to ban users who spread “misinformation” on other topics, including election fraud, and chillingly undefined “misinformation that may impact public safety.”
Once censorship becomes a common strategy against perceived “misinformation,” free speech is effectively dead. Don’t like what your political opposition is saying? Label it “misinformation,” ban it, and call it a day.
Many censorious tyrants have cloaked their actions in the name of “public safety” as Murthy has. And as those definitions of “public safety” rest on foundations as solid as shifting sands, it’s inevitable that the term “misinformation” will be abused further in the future.
For the sake of free speech, it’s essential that Murthy and the “misinformation” mob be countered at every turn. Americans should be empowered to discover the truth on their own, and not have their experiences curated by a biased bureaucracy or unelected tech czars.
The truth is out there. We don’t need Murthy to tell us what it is.
Article cross-posted from Daily Signal.
Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
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