Streetwise Professor

May 1, 2022

The Ministry of Truth Will Outsource Censorship, Just as Happened With COVID

Filed under: CoronaCrisis,Politics — cpirrong @ 6:00 pm

The awful head of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkos, set off a firestorm last week when he revealed that the DHS was setting up a “Disinformation Governance Board,” tasked with fighting disinformation. It has also been announced that a real head case, and a hyper-partisan one to boot, Nina Jankowicz will head the Board.

Left unanswered was how this new entity will combat disinformation. Here is my surmise. It will identify certain stories as disinformation, giving official imprimatur to this designation: it will not take any direct action against anyone disseminating this information. Instead, social media companies will then censor or suppress these stories, claiming that they have been identified as disinformation by the government–and who can argue with that, right? They always have our best interest at heart, right? Mommy is just protecting us from bad things!

This is the way that social media shut down COVID stories it didn’t like. If something contradicted CDC or WHO, Facebook and Twitter would label it disinformation and take efforts to suppress it.

In essence, with COVID, social media companies became the enforcers of bans on speech the government didn’t like. In an effort to circumvent First Amendment issues, the government essentially outsourced censorship to private entities. The private entities were happy to go along, because they were on board with the agenda.

The model worked so well that the government is now looking to expand this privatized censorship model to embrace all speech.

This transparent end run around the First Amendment cannot be allowed to stand. The first time Twitter or Facebook or anyone uses the Ministry of Truth’s guidance to remove or throttle or prevent the posting of content, there should be a 1A lawsuit.

Hell, there should have been such suits already over social media COVID censorship.

The real possibility that an Elon Musk-owned Twitter will not play this game is precisely why there has been such a hysterical reaction to his purchase.

This is the biggest threat to our 1A rights in our lifetime, and possibly ever. It cannot stand. It must be fought, and the battle must be won.

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8 Comments »

  1. The United States and 60 other countries, including the U.K., Canada, Australia and EU member states, have signed a sweeping “Declaration for the Future of the Internet” which commits to bolstering “resilience to disinformation and misinformation”
    The Online Harms Bill is going through Parliament (or would be if Parliament was actually sitting today). The EU is preparing similar legislation.
    Given that the anti-lockdown people were right and all government agencies were wrong you’d think that “lessons will be learnt”. Social media companies will destroy themselves if people have to self censor in order to communicate. I wonder if they realise this.

    Comment by philip — May 2, 2022 @ 3:25 am

  2. When should we fight this?
    As soon as possible.
    Not a moment’s delay.
    Keenness is required.
    Expeditiously.
    Rapidly.
    Suddenly.

    Are we all going to have to resort to hiding messages in our messages?

    Comment by dearieme — May 2, 2022 @ 7:55 am

  3. No one in current power corrects past errors because the errors were in fact policy. Their policy remains unaltered. The awful fallout (mRNA deaths, supply disruptions, energy expensive and unreliable) are either intended (energy & supply) or acceptable collateral damage (mRNA deaths).

    Nothing of these dsruptions and corrosions will improve or dissipate so long as they remain in power. They’ll only get worse, as the DHS department of official truth shows beyond any doubt.

    Folks say ‘wake up!’ or ‘stand up!’ but offer no guidance. All protests are both determinedly peaceful and roundly ignored (or put down). The vise inexorably continues to close on personal freedom.

    Here in the US, evidence that the 2020 election was stolen is now overwhelming. The benefited party and their allies (moles?) stonewall investigations. The DOJ and FBI are unalterably corrupted and do not investigate the fraud.

    If conservatives manage to take Congress this Fall, a first order of business should be to shutter the DHS. Then purge the leadership of the FBI, followed by the wokesters in the military command.

    Americans are generally fed up. The current regime likely cannot muster more than 10% real support in the population. If conservatives do not manage to take Congress this Fall, the reason will certainly be another successfully stolen election.

    Among the Western democracies, only the US has an armed population. One wonders about their response, given continuance past 2022 of the current war waged against them.

    The Constitution begins, “We the People of…” not ‘The Government of…’

    And one may surmise that the Declaration is before the eyes of many: “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    Post 2022 will tell the tale.

    Comment by Pat Frank — May 2, 2022 @ 2:28 pm

  4. @Pat: Folks say ‘wake up!’ or ‘stand up!’ but offer no guidance FFS, here we go again. Do you have no imagination or capability for independent thought? “How shall we f*ck off, O Lord??”

    If conservatives do not manage to take Congress this Fall, the reason will certainly be another successfully stolen election. Of course, a foregone conclusion. Any chance you could wing me this weekend’s lottery numbers?

    Some people spend far, far too much time on social media….

    Comment by David Mercer — May 3, 2022 @ 3:12 am

  5. Hmm, outsourcing enforcement to private individuals to make an end run around the Constitution … where have I seen that before?

    Comment by tegla — May 3, 2022 @ 3:42 am

  6. @4 David, [They] offer no guidance is a fact, not a plea. Is the difference truly beyond your grasp?

    Lottery? Is 2000 Mules beyond your grasp as well?

    Comment by Pat Frank — May 3, 2022 @ 2:54 pm

  7. @Pat: Except the last time you asked Craig explicitly what you should do, remember? “How should we f*ck off, O Lord?”

    FWIW: Here’s my suggestion. Why not take yourself to the Google complex just down the road and self-immolate yourself in the middle of their food court? Just imagine the social media coverage this would elicit! You’ll finally achieve digital immortality!!

    If that’s a bit too dramatic or artistic for you, you could always pen yet another crappy paper to be ignored by the world at large.

    Comment by David Mercer — May 4, 2022 @ 3:31 am

  8. @7 David – what last time? Provide a link.

    Your suggestion #1 is luridly stupid. And japes on the back of a tragedy. Well done, even for you David.

    Your suggestion #2 shows the foolishness of not having done the research. That paper has more than 166,000 total views and more than 10,000 downloads. It’s had more attention than 99% of all papers published in Frontiers.

    As to crappy, you’re not fit to judge. After 2¹/₂ years it’s untouched by any challenge. And it conclusively demonstrates incompetence (or dishonesty) reigns at the IPCC. Which is probably why you dislike it.

    Comment by Pat Frank — May 4, 2022 @ 11:07 am

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