MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘censorship’

The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act: From Propaganda to Censorship to Tyranny

Posted by M. C. on May 19, 2022

by Laurie Calhoun 

The outcry on social media about “Mary Poppins” (whose performances have gone viral) is unlikely to subside anytime soon, which is why I surmise that the selection of Jankowicz may have been intended by the DGB masterminds as a red herring, to distract attention from the profound problems with the very idea of a Disinformation Governance Board.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/the-smith-mundt-moderniziation-act-from-propaganda-to-censorship-to-tyranny/

jankowicz stephen king greenwald 02

Spectacle and theater have come to dominate the political arena today, even more so than ever before. Politicians are now celebrity oligarchs, who use tax revenues to promote their pet projects, and to enhance their personal investment portfolios, while pretending in scrupulously orchestrated performances to care about the populace from whom all of the money they squander is siphoned. Congresspersons who issue dire warnings about global warming jet across the world for photo ops with President Zelensky in Ukraine. The provision by the federal government of Peloton bicycle memberships to the house of representatives and their staff, all on the taxpayers’ dime, will begin on May 18, 2022. Meanwhile, more than 550K Americans are currently homeless. The absurdity of all of this has reached the point where we now seem to inhabit something akin to a sequel to the Hunger Games.

Consider the person recently selected by the Biden administration to head up its new Disinformation Governance Board (DGB), the self-styled “Mary Poppins of Disinformation,” Nina Jankowicz, whose melodramatic mode of “correcting” what she takes to be falsehoods is disturbing to behold, to put it mildly. The DGB is being championed needless to say by spokespersons for President Biden, including former press secretary Jen Psaki, who not only defended Jankowicz as “an expert on online disinformation” and “a person with extensive qualifications” but also expressed perplexity that anyone should take issue with the mounting of the DGB: “I’m not sure who opposes that effort.” This type of gaslighting should be recognized for what it is by now, for it has gone on throughout the Biden presidency, with officials responding with unbridled snark to anyone who raises perfectly valid questions about what they are doing. How dare you?!

“Our patience is wearing thin,” President Biden himself soberly warned the populace in denouncing the reluctance of some of his compatriots to volunteer as pro-bono subjects in a Pfizer experimental medication trial. We were furthermore “informed” in December 2021 by the White House that, for our disobedience, we could look forward to “a winter of severe illness and death.” Given the volume of such nonstop, and frankly surreal, psyops perpetrated on the populace since 2020, and before that as well—albeit usually more subtly—perhaps no one should have been surprised when a figure who could have been plucked directly from either Hunger Games or Brazil arrived on the scene to lead the charge against disinformation and “help” us to determine what we ought and ought not to believe. As if to further test the credulity and compliance of the populace (both of which were largely confirmed throughout the Coronapocalypse), the Biden administration selected to head up its dubious new board a person who has served as the functional equivalent of a Democratic Party operative for years.

Revulsion is a natural reaction to Jankowicz’s appointment, but this particular piece of political theater strikes me as too “on the nose.” The outcry on social media about “Mary Poppins” (whose performances have gone viral) is unlikely to subside anytime soon, which is why I surmise that the selection of Jankowicz may have been intended by the DGB masterminds as a red herring, to distract attention from the profound problems with the very idea of a Disinformation Governance Board. Perhaps the histrionic Jankowicz will be furloughed in response to a barrage of criticism from lawmakers on the right, to be replaced by a more staid and sober character, someone skilled at persuading television viewers that he speaks the truth. In that event, the U.S. populace and their ostensible representatives will have been duped.

Unfortunately, the victims of government-produced propaganda throughout the Coronapocalypse, which judging by its effects amounted to the psychological equivalent of a blunt-force head injury, have become more receptive than ever before to the latest propaganda lines and scams. “I got vaccinated” profile picture frames have been replaced with a beautiful Ukrainian flag, and some people are even donning t-shirts and displaying blue-and-yellow banners in their front yards alongside their “In this house we believe” rainbow placards. While lamenting inflation, caused directly by the profligate printing of currency by the government to fund COVID-19 “rescue” packages, those who support the latest print run of $40 billion for Ukraine appear to have been convinced by the government-vetted pundits on television (who else?) that although Putin is incorrigibly evil and beyond the reach of reason, he would never, ever, even when repeatedly threatened with regime change and his personal demise, resort to the use of nuclear weapons, thus causing World War III and the end of human civilization.

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Western Civilization Is Being Organized Around Winning US Infowars

Posted by M. C. on May 3, 2022

Caitlin Johnstone

The US-centralized empire’s use of propaganda, censorship and Silicon Valley algorithm manipulation is the single most urgent issue of our time, because it’s what prevents attention from being drawn to all other issues. And all signs indicate it’s set to get much, much worse.

I feel the need to reiterate once again that the censorship we’re seeing about Ukraine is of a whole new kind than anything we’ve seen before. There’s no pretense that it’s done to save lives or protect democracy this time around, it’s just “We need to control the thoughts that people think about this war.”

Once it was accepted that disinformation and misinformation must be curtailed from above, government and tech institutions took that as license to decide what’s true and false on our behalf. We know this because now they’re just openly propagandizing and censoring us about a war.

Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ @caitozWhen Russia does it it’s lies and disinformation. When Ukraine does it it’s folklore. May 1st 2022245 Retweets922 Likes

You didn’t know that you were granting government and tech institutions authority to decide what’s true and false on your behalf when you agreed that it’s fine for them to work together to censor and sanctify Official Narratives about Covid, but it turns out that’s what was happening.

It looks pretty obvious in retrospect now though, doesn’t it? You can’t regulate “disinformation” and “misinformation” without first determining what it is, and you can’t determine what it is without assigning someone the authority to make those distinctions. There are no benefecent, impartial and omniscient entities who can be trusted to become objective arbiters of absolute reality on our behalf. There are only flawed human beings who act in their own interest, which is why we’re now being censored and propagandized about a war.

In literally the very next instant after being given the authority to decide what’s true and false on our behalf regarding Covid, those same government, media and tech institutions launched into World War II levels of propaganda and censorship over a war we’re not even officially in. It was like they all said “Oh good, we get to do that now, finally.” The consensus that it was fine to launch into a shocking information lockdown about Ukraine was already formed and prepped for roll-out the day Russia invaded. It was taken as a given that they had that authority.

Over the last two years you’d get called an “anti-vaxxer” and worse if you said you didn’t think government-tied monopolistic megacorporations should be restricting speech about Covid measures that affect everyone, but it turns out those who issued these warnings were 100 percent correct.

It is clear now, as we see what we are becoming, that granting these powerful institutions authority to sort out fact from fiction on our behalf is far more dangerous than misinformation about a virus ever was. Now here we are, with the empire setting up “disinformation” boards while it escalates aggressions with Russia by the day and prepares to do the same with China in the not-too distant future. Our whole civilization is being organized around winning US propaganda wars. 

Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ @caitozPayPal is just openly conducting politically motivated financial censorship of indie media now. First @MintPressNews and @calebmaupin, now Consortium News. Silicon Valley is the censorship arm of the US empire. Consortium News @ConsortiumnewsPayPal Cancels CN Account; May Seize Balance https://t.co/qmQ7rmoX4uMay 1st 2022259 Retweets593 Likes

Censorship is bad because free speech is how society orients itself toward truth, course-corrects when it’s going astray, and holds power to account. This is true whether censorship is by the government or by tech oligarchs. Only morons act like this is some weird right wing thing.

People say, “Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom of reach!”

And the answer to this is always, yes it does you idiot. If people who support status quo power have access to all the largest voice amplification platforms while critics of status quo power don’t, this kills the very purpose of free speech protections. Free speech protections are enshrined exactly because unrestricted speech puts a check on power. If critics of status quo power structures are being banned from the platforms where people get their voices heard, this function has been nullified.

You can’t say your society has free speech if critics of status quo orthodoxies aren’t free to speak where they will be heard, for exactly the same reason you can’t say people have free speech in Saudi Arabia as long as nobody hears their criticisms of the government. 

Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ @caitozThis is getting so unbelievable cringey. I have a feeling I’d be sick of this guy even if I fully bought into the empire’s Ukraine narratives. April 30th 20221,092 Retweets7,188 Likes

Because free speech is designed to put a check on status quo power, it is exactly the voices who criticize the status quo that must be protected. Some of these voices will be unpalatable, but the alternative is permitting a Ministry of Truth to decide what dissent is permissible, an authority that’s certain to be abused. 

Speech isn’t free if it isn’t free in all the areas where people congregate to speak. If only mainstream supporters of the status quo have free access to all platforms, then free speech isn’t happening, and power has a lot more ability to do what it likes unchecked by the public. Saying it’s fine because people are still free to go to Gab or Truth Social to voice their criticisms of establishment Ukraine narratives or whatever is the same as saying it’s fine because people can still speak their criticisms of the government into a hole in the ground. Free speech is not happening.

Consent for this was given when we allowed these powers to assume complete narrative authority over what constitutes “misinformation”. It’s never too late to revoke consent, though. It just means the fight to pry our voices out of the hands of our rulers is going to be a tough slog.

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Has Elon Musk stumbled into some scandalous truths about Twitter?

Posted by M. C. on April 16, 2022

Twitter shut down the president of the United States, which, if it’s controlled by the government, while the elites take the profits, it means the government itself shut Trump down.  What would be the implications of that, and how the heck could this scandal be corrected?  It would show the extent of the rot of the Deep State that an entity so closely connected to the federal government could carry out that kind of coup.  And that presents a constitutional crisis.  This kind of third-world behavior would have to be exposed by Musk — and Congress would need to stop it.

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2022/04/has_elon_musk_stumbled_into_a_scandalous_truth_about_twitter_with_the_strange_reaction_to_his_twitter_buyout_offer.html

By Monica Showalter

Sure enough, Elon Musk pulled the trigger, handed Twitter a fat offer of a buyout, and it’s been nothing but bonkersville ever since.

According to CBS News:

Elon Musk is offering to buy Twitter for $43 billion, saying the social media company “needs to be transformed as a private company.”

The billionaire and founder of electric car maker Tesla, who earlier this month disclosed he owns a 9.2% stake in Twitter, proposed in a regulatory filing on Thursday to buy all of the company’s outstanding common stock for $54.20 per share. 

“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” he said in the filing. “However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form.”

The market acted as one might expect of a company that has seen stagnant growth over recent months:

Twitter shares rose 3.6% to $47.49 in early trading. Shares in the social media platform, which was valued at $37 billion prior to Musk’s offer, had declined by roughly a third over the prior year.

It prompted huffing and puffing from the likes of the Washington Post, owned by mega-billionaire Jeff Bezos, about Musk being a threat to democracy or something.

The blue checks, meanwhile, completely beclowned themselves:

David Leavitt, the third blue check on that list, recall, is the one who tried to shake down a Target employee for an $89.99 toothbrush for a penny, called the police, and then used Twitter to doxx her when he didn’t get what he wanted.

Here’s the obvious problem on the surface:

Glenn Greenwald

@ggreenwald

Yesterday was a flagship day in corporate media. It was the day they were forced to explicitly state what has long been clear: they not only favor censorship but desperately crave and depend on it. Even if Musk doesn’t buy Twitter, never forget what yesterday revealed.

Here’s the weird stuff:

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns roughly 5% of Twitter, tweeted that the bid significantly undervalues the company and that he will reject it.

Musk shot back in a tweet: “How much of Twitter does the Kingdom own, directly & indirectly? What are the Kingdom’s views on journalistic freedom of speech?”

Saudi Arabia’s richest man has a stake in Twitter? 

See the rest here

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TGIF: Licensing the Fringe

Posted by M. C. on February 19, 2022

In other words, the promise to cleanse the internet of officially pooh-poohed claims, assertions, and opinions would invigorate all manner of conspiracy theorists with perhaps not-so-good political intentions. This happens already. It happened during the 2020 election and with Trump’s unsupported post-election declaration that he had been robbed of the presidency.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/tgif-licensing-the-fringe/

by Sheldon Richman

Big Tech’s incredible promise to rid its platforms of “misinformation and disinformation” is not only a chimera that will harm the most gullible, but it is also an unwitting grant of power and credibility to some of the dodgiest elements online.

That claim might sound familiar. We opponents of drug prohibition and other anti-vice laws often point out that when the government outlaws a product or service that people want, it does not disappear. It simply moves into the shadows where it will be handled by less-than-honorable people because law-abiding types will be averse to supplying the black market. Consumers suffer as quality control diminishes, and recourse to the courts for bad-dealing is off-limits. Think of the 1920s alcohol prohibition in America, with its boost to organized crime. Black markets are like a government monopoly grant to the unsavory.

The same sort of thing will happen as Big Tech, pushed by politicians, restricts and excludes people who are accused of trafficking in bad information, actual and alleged, about health and other highly contentious and hotly debated matters. The suppressed information will not vanish. It will be left to others, some of whom will be less scrupulous about misleading listeners. Those others will have a powerful lever handed to them by the private “censors.” They will be able to tell their followers: “If Big Tech and the government want to suppress information about, say, Covid, what else will they suppress — indeed, what have they already suppressed?”

Also, attempts to stifle the open exploration of even dubious ideas inevitably emit the stench of fear. That’s self-defeating. “What are the censors and the ruling elite afraid of?” it will be asked. “If the claims being hushed up could be refuted, they would have been. But instead, they are being driven from public scrutiny. That speaks volumes.”

Is that the message the private “censors” want to send the public?

In other words, the promise to cleanse the internet of officially pooh-poohed claims, assertions, and opinions would invigorate all manner of conspiracy theorists with perhaps not-so-good political intentions. This happens already. It happened during the 2020 election and with Trump’s unsupported post-election declaration that he had been robbed of the presidency.

I wouldn’t call an indirect boost to the credibility of the fringiest voices benign.

It’s a civil libertarian cliche that the way to defeat “bad speech” is with good speech. Nuggets like that become cliches precisely because they are true; they have stood the test of time. Let’s also remember that some good speech will invariably be suppressed in the efforts to suppress the “bad.”

This self-defeating nature of Big-Tech/Big Government “censorship” can also be seen in our rampant cancel/de-platforming culture. When heterodox speakers are driven from college campuses or other venues, the same boost is given to those quarters that are awarded a de facto monopoly in “forbidden ideas,” whether those ideas are about race, the immutability of biological sex and its consequences for gender, or whatever. Again, conspiracy theorists, who may be too casual about the truth and falsehood of ideas, are given a boost they could not have earned in the open marketplace of ideas.

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The Pressure Campaign on Spotify to Remove Joe Rogan Reveals the Religion of Liberals: Censorship

Posted by M. C. on January 30, 2022

All factions, at certain points, succumb to the impulse to censor. But for the Democratic Party’s liberal adherents, silencing their adversaries has become their primary project.

https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-pressure-campaign-on-spotify

Glenn Greenwald

American liberals are obsessed with finding ways to silence and censor their adversaries. Every week, if not every day, they have new targets they want de-platformed, banned, silenced, and otherwise prevented from speaking or being heard (by “liberals,” I mean the term of self-description used by the dominant wing of the Democratic Party).

For years, their preferred censorship tactic was to expand and distort the concept of “hate speech” to mean “views that make us uncomfortable,” and then demand that such “hateful” views be prohibited on that basis. For that reason, it is now common to hear Democrats assert, falsely, that the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech does not protect “hate speech.” Their political culture has long inculcated them to believe that they can comfortably silence whatever views they arbitrarily place into this category without being guilty of censorship.

Constitutional illiteracy to the side, the “hate speech” framework for justifying censorship is now insufficient because liberals are eager to silence a much broader range of voices than those they can credibly accuse of being hateful. That is why the newest, and now most popular, censorship framework is to claim that their targets are guilty of spreading “misinformation” or “disinformation.” These terms, by design, have no clear or concise meaning. Like the term “terrorism,” it is their elasticity that makes them so useful.

When liberals’ favorite media outlets, from CNN and NBC to The New York Times and The Atlantic, spend four years disseminating one fabricated Russia story after the next — from the Kremlin hacking into Vermont’s heating system and Putin’s sexual blackmail over Trump to bounties on the heads of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, the Biden email archive being “Russian disinformation,” and a magical mystery weapon that injures American brains with cricket noises — none of that is “disinformation” that requires banishment. Nor are false claims that COVID’s origin has proven to be zoonotic rather than a lab leak, the vastly overstated claim that vaccines prevent transmission of COVID, or that Julian Assange stole classified documents and caused people to die. Corporate outlets beloved by liberals are free to spout serious falsehoods without being deemed guilty of disinformation, and, because of that, do so routinely.

This “disinformation” term is reserved for those who question liberal pieties, not for those devoted to affirming them. That is the real functional definition of “disinformation” and of its little cousin, “misinformation.” It is not possible to disagree with liberals or see the world differently than they see it. The only two choices are unthinking submission to their dogma or acting as an agent of “disinformation.” Dissent does not exist to them; any deviation from their worldview is inherently dangerous — to the point that it cannot be heard.

The data proving a deeply radical authoritarian strain in Trump-era Democratic Party politics is ample and have been extensively reported here. Democrats overwhelmingly trust and love the FBI and CIA. Polls show they overwhelmingly favor censorship of the internet not only by Big Tech oligarchs but also by the state. Leading Democratic Party politicians have repeatedly subpoenaed social media executives and explicitly threatened them with legal and regulatory reprisals if they do not censor more aggressively — a likely violation of the First Amendment given decades of case law ruling that state officials are barred from coercing private actors to censor for them, in ways the Constitution prohibits them from doing directly.

Democratic officials have used the pretexts of COVID, “the insurrection,” and Russia to justify their censorship demands.

See the rest here

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The War Over Your Mind | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on January 21, 2022

The political class of parasites that feed on your labor and successes have spent the last few generations selling out the future for their own gains and comforts. Your children and grandchildren are expected to be sacrificed on the altar of their desires.

Parents are no longer expected to sacrifice themselves for the well-being of the children’s future, rather, children are to be tortured and psychologically abused by society so that the boomer generation may have everlasting life.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/the-war-over-your-mind/

by Tommy Salmons

Attention is the new currency.

This isn’t an original thought. For decades there has been competition for your mind and attention on a multitude of fronts. With the popularity of social media and the twenty-four-hour news cycle the efforts have only accelerated.

The speed at which information travels today is exhausting. Information overload is a real thing, and everyone is feeling it.

The other day, a young man approached me and said, “Man, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I used to have so much energy, but ever since COVID I feel so tired all the time.”

At twenty-five years old, he should be hitting his prime, but instead he’s burdened by the weight of the ever-changing narratives, lies, and gaslighting coming at him from every direction.

Even as I sit here, I know the message I wish to convey, but my mind is a jumbled mess of information that is peripherally relevant to the burdens of the modern age.

How does one discern what to pay attention to and what to ignore?

Censorship

Over the last few years (after Trump’s surprising victory) the decision as to what information and news the masses ingest is being monitored by the elites and corporate press. The rise of alternative media, especially large podcasts, has fueled their panic, and pushed their attempts to control the narrative into overdrive.

The big tech companies took it upon themselves to determine what was allowable discourse. They ran mass censorship campaigns against anyone that said anything that challenged the power and prestige of the elites. What was once common speech among friends and colleagues is now hate speech. Comedians, politicians, and independent media personalities were depersoned and ostracized from the public square, social media platforms.

“It’s a private company, bro,” became the battle cry of the blue-check class and their useful idiots. But none dare take on the actuality that these “private companies” are funded and utilized by governments and intelligence communities around the world to track and trace dissidents.

This dystopianism didn’t stop with Julian Assange, Alex Jones, and Donald Trump. As more people have come to depend on Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter for news and information we’ve seen respected doctors and researchers deplatformed and search results throttled to curb “dangerous” voices and “disinformation” that challenges the approved directives of the elites. Even the Financial Times is publishing stories promoting psyops as crucial in the fight against disinformation. After Joe Biden asked publicly for tech companies to censor opposing voices DirecTV quickly announced they were dropping OAN, a right-wing populist news agency, from their list of networks.

In their attempts to control the information the elites are creating more division among the citizens. Soon there will be parallel societies in operation in these United States.

Alongside Right

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12 Reasons Why Progressives Should Rethink Their Leaders’ Failing Revolution – LewRockwell LewRockwell.com

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2021

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/12/no_author/12-reasons-why-progressives-should-rethink-their-leaders-failing-revolution/

By Mahatma Orwell

Dear Progressive Friends,

Is our survival at stake? Why? As leaders tell the story, existential threats loom everywhere. Viruses. Climate change. Race-gender bias. Their list keeps growing.

Our leaders – politicians, technocrats, academics, media, activists – insist that we must fear for our health and security instead of our freedom. We should obey instead of asking questions. We should shun dissenters instead of seeking unity.

So we’ve accepted fear and division. Now leaders want us to help them transform our political, economic, and social lives in a “Great Reset” or cultural revolution. Then they will “Build Back Better” a global technocracy they run without our help.

We all want to support good causes. But transforming our lives in areas that are not broken may not be the best cause. Thoughtful progressives should consider a dozen likely major mistakes by leaders, and rethink the revolution:

  1. Overconfident Leaders. The worst existential threat of all may be leader error. History shows that bold social reformers overreach and hurt people. They cause crises such as poverty, famine, and war, and have to scrap their plans and start over. Millions died in the 1900s because of leader error. Today’s leaders need more caution and self-restraint, and less certainty and ruthlessness.
  2. Censorship. Leaders and their big tech allies err in censoring disagreement with official narratives like “settled science” and “community standards.” Like us, they make mistakes, and need critical feedback to learn and correct errors. A sure sign of a failing vision is that it imposes right-think by force. Leaders’ erratic experts have lost credibility as their stories keep changing. This pushes us to research facts ourselves, and build more accurate and honest expertise for all.
  3. False Progress. Leaders err in defining “progress” as group struggle toward perfect equality. This 250-year-old cult of Rousseau, Hegel, and Marx promises utopia, but crushes individuality, human nature, and natural incentives, and idolizes an all-powerful state. It’s not progress to suppress natural differences because activists don’t get the value of diverse views, interests, and skills. Real progress starts with each person’s unique value and free will to act by choice.
  4. Ignoring Millennia of Experience.

See the rest here

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What’s the Opposite of Freedom of Speech and Worse than Censorship? – LewRockwell LewRockwell.com

Posted by M. C. on October 24, 2021

I won’t keep you hanging, it’s ForcedSpeak. That’s when a so-called “Authority” — nearly always a government entity — tries to force you to make a disclaimer or other statement against your beliefs and will.

Sort of Orwell’s NewSpeak but YOU have to do it.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/10/l-reichard-white/whats-the-opposite-of-freedom-of-speech-and-worse-than-censorship/

By L. Reichard White

What’s the opposite of freedom of speech and worse than censorship?

I won’t keep you hanging, it’s ForcedSpeak. That’s when a so-called “Authority” — nearly always a government entity — tries to force you to make a disclaimer or other statement against your beliefs and will.

Sort of Orwell’s NewSpeak but YOU have to do it.

Sounds like a knock-off from an old anti-NAZI or anti-communist Korean-War-era Hollywood propaganda flick doesn’t it? Maybe The Manchurian Candidate.

But it’s not Germany, China, Korea – – – or fiction. It’s Canada.

It’s Pastor Artur Pawlowski who grew up behind the Iron Curtain. He designated his church in Canada as sanctuary from the seriously destructive COVID nonsense narrative and it’s negative and often murderous results.

So, in the true spirit of current Cancel Culture tradition — you know, when you can’t answer someone with facts and logic, you disappear them — Canadian “authorities” arrested Pastor Pawlowski and closed his church.

But that was just the beginning. I think it’s better if Rev. Pawlowski briefly explains a few things, including ForcedSpeak, himself – – –

How long till ForcedSpeak shows up here?

HERE For updates, additions, comments, and corrections.

AND, “Like,” “Tweet,” and otherwise, pass this along!

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YouTube hammered for ‘pervasive and institutionalized’ censorship after booting anti-vaxxers off platform — RT World News

Posted by M. C. on September 30, 2021

Under its year-old ‘Covid-19 medical misinformation policy’, YouTube already censors a broad range of topics specifically relating to the coronavirus. These include videos “encouraging home remedies,” content claiming “that masks do not play a role in preventing the contraction or transmission of Covid-19,” and content “that recommends use of Ivermectin or Hydroxychloroquine for the prevention of Covid-19.”

https://www.rt.com/news/536183-youtube-anti-vax-accounts-censorship/

Tech giant YouTube has been fiercely criticized and accused of running a “pervasive” censorship regime, after tightening up its ban on anti-vaccine content and booting prominent vaccine skeptics off its platform.

YouTube unveiled new rules on Wednesday banning all “harmful vaccine content” from its platform, not just content about Covid-19 shots. The new rules prohibit content alleging that vaccines “cause chronic side effects,” that they “do not reduce transmission or contraction of disease,” and that they contain unlisted ingredients like fetal cells. 

A number of prominent vaccine skeptics were immediately booted from YouTube. Among them were alternative medicine advocates Dr. Joseph Mercola and Erin Elizabeth, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a lawyer and longtime critic of vaccines and their alleged side effects in children.

All three were members of the so-called “disinformation dozen,” a list of 12 accounts believed by pro-censorship activists to be the source of nearly three quarters of all online anti-vaccine content. The list, compiled by the Center for Countering Digital Hate and published this summer, was referenced by President Joe Biden in a speech calling on social media companies to crack down harder on this so-called “disinformation.”

“They’re killing people!” Biden said of these figures at the time, shortly before several platforms – including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – began to remove some of their accounts.

See the rest here

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Heckler’s Veto: 66% Of College Students Say Stopping Speech Is Free Speech | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on September 25, 2021

Another 23 percent believe violence can be used to cancel a speech.

Notably, when George Washington University student and self-professed Antifa member Jason Charter was charged as the alleged “ringleader” of efforts to take down statues in Washington, D.C., Charter declared the “movement is winning.” He is right and this poll shows the success.

Your government school taxes at work.

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/hecklers-veto-66-college-students-say-stopping-speech-free-speech

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler Durden

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

We have previously discussed the worrisome signs of a rising generation of censors in the country as leaders and writers embrace censorship and blacklisting. The latest chilling poll was released by 2021 College Free Speech Rankings after questioning a huge body of 37,000 students at 159 top-ranked U.S. colleges and universities. It found that sixty-six percent of college students think shouting down a speaker to stop them from speaking is a legitimate form of free speech.  Another 23 percent believe violence can be used to cancel a speech. That is roughly one out of four supporting violence.

Faculty and editors are now actively supporting modern versions of book-burning with blacklists and bans for those with opposing political views. Others are supporting actual book burning. Columbia Journalism School Dean Steve Coll has denounced the “weaponization” of free speech, which appears to be the use of free speech by those on the right. So the dean of one of the premier journalism schools now supports censorship.Free speech advocates are facing a generational shift that is now being reflected in our law schools, where free speech principles were once a touchstone of the rule of law. As millions of students are taught that free speech is a threat and that “China is right” about censorship, these figures are shaping a new society in their own intolerant images.The most chilling aspect of this story is how many on left applaud such censorship.prior poll shows roughly half of the public supporting not just corporate censorship but government censorship of anything deemed “misinformation.” Perhaps the same citizens and academics will embrace the Chinese model on social scoring and praise actions that the reported move by Chase bank.We discussed this issue recently with regard to a lawsuit against SUNY. It is also discussed in my forthcoming law review article, Jonathan Turley, Harm and Hegemony: The Decline of Free Speech in the United States, 45 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy (2021).This has been an issue of contention with some academics who believe that free speech includes the right to silence others.  Berkeley has been the focus of much concern over the use of a heckler’s veto on our campuses as violent protesters have succeeded in silencing speakers, even including a few speakers like an ACLU official.  Both students and some faculty have maintained the position that they have a right to silence those with whom they disagree and even student newspapers have declared opposing speech to be outside of the protections of free speech.  At another University of California campus, professors actually rallied around a professor who physically assaulted pro-life advocates and tore down their display.  In the meantime, academics and deans have said that there is no free speech protection for offensive or “disingenuous” speech.  CUNY Law Dean Mary Lu Bilek showed how far this trend has gone. When conservative law professor Josh Blackman was stopped from speaking about “the importance of free speech,”  Bilek insisted that disrupting the speech on free speech was free speech. (Bilek later cancelled herself and resigned after she made a single analogy to acting like a “slaveholder” as a self-criticism for failing to achieve equity and reparations for black faculty and students).We previously discussed the case of Fresno State University Public Health Professor Dr. Gregory Thatcher recruited students to destroy pro-life messages written on the sidewalks and wrongly told the pro-life students that they had no free speech rights in the matter.  A district court has now ordered Thatcher to pay $17,000 and undergo First Amendment training.  However, Thatcher remained defiant and the university appeared complicit in his actions by the lack of disciplinary action.The pro-life students had written messages on the sidewalk like “You CAN be pregnant & successful” and “Unborn lives matter” to “Women need love, NOT abortion.”  Thatcher got students from his 8 a.m. class to help remove the anti-abortion messages and that their chalk was taken away to write pro-choice slogans on the sidewalk. The students seem entirely unconcerned that they are censoring speech and engaging in a grossly intolerant act.  Instead, they refer to their teacher as telling them that they should do so.  Thatcher then walked up.    Thatcher invoked the controversial restriction of free speech to “zones” and says that there is no free speech right for this type of writing outside of that zone.  When the students explain that they have permission, he then proceed to rub out their messages and declared “you have permission to put it down — I have permission to get rid of it.”

Thatcher is arguing that same Orwellian “Stopping free speech is free speech” position.

A few years ago, I debated NYU Professor Jeremy Waldron who is a leading voice for speech codes. Waldron insisted that shutting down speakers through heckling is a form of free speech.

I disagree. It is the antithesis of free speech and the failure of schools to protect the exercise of free speech is the antithesis of higher education.

The added increase in embracing violence is particularly chilling. A quarter of those polled supported violence to prevent others from speaking. This is the core of the philosophy of the Antifa movement. It is at its base a movement at war with free speech, defining the right itself as a tool of oppression. That purpose is evident in what is called the “bible” of the Antifa movement: Rutgers Professor Mark Bray’s Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook. Bray emphasizes the struggle of the movement against free speech:

“At the heart of the anti-fascist outlook is a rejection of the classical liberal phrase that says, ‘I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’” Indeed, Bray admits that “most Americans in Antifa have been anarchists or antiauthoritarian communists…  From that standpoint, ‘free speech’ as such is merely a bourgeois fantasy unworthy of consideration.”

It is an illusion designed to promote what Antifa is resisting “white supremacy, hetero-patriarchy, ultra-nationalism, authoritarianism, and genocide.” Thus, all of these opposing figures are deemed fascistic and thus unworthy of being heard.

Antifa has a long and well-documented history of such violence. Bray quotes one Antifa member as summing up their approach to free speech as a “nonargument . . . you have the right to speak but you also have the right to be shut up.”

Notably, when George Washington University student and self-professed Antifa member Jason Charter was charged as the alleged “ringleader” of efforts to take down statues in Washington, D.C., Charter declared the “movement is winning.” He is right and this poll shows the success.

Be seeing you

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