The Rockefeller Foundation recently announced they will be putting forth $13.5 million in new funding to strengthen their efforts with regards to countering, according to them, “health mis- and disinformation – confusing, inaccurate, and and harmful information.”
This effort will be and has been a global one, as it’s now being listed as one of the biggest threats that faces our planet.
Vivek Murthy, the US surgeon general, who has accused companies including Facebook of “poisoning information” about coronavirus vaccines, said they were not doing enough to check the online proliferation of false claims. He did so while announcing this 13.5 million dollar initiative.
According to the Rockefeller foundation with regards to this new initiative combating misinformation,
The funding will support the design and evaluation of interventions, tools, and methods to build trust in Covid-19 vaccination efforts and counter inaccurate information, and research to understand how inaccurate health information impacts online and offline behaviors, the true cost of mis- and disinformation on health and economic outcomes, and what strategies might be most effective to counter and manage inaccurate and harmful information from malicious sources. Funded projects will provide a foundation for modern information and communication networks that better serve people and are better prepared to encourage actions and behaviors essential to public health response efforts. Detailed information is slated to be released by the end of 2021.
Big tech companies have already been involved in heavily censoring information. For example, a recent article published in the British Medical Journal by journalist Laurie Clarke has highlighted the fact that Facebook has already removed at least 16 million pieces of content from its platform and added warnings to approximately 167 million others. YouTube has removed nearly 1 million videos related to, according to them, “dangerous or misleading Covid-19 medical information.”
Who is to say what is misinformation? Why are world renowned scientists all of a sudden being accused of spreading ‘misinformation?’
One also has to question: Is it the threat of misinformation that has the foundation and governments worried? Or is it credible information and evidence that call into question the information we are constantly receiving from “official” sources like the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), or Pfizer? Should people not have the right to access information openly and determine for themselves what is and what isn’t?
After all, it’s not like these organizations are easy to trust. Pfizer has been a “habitual offender,” constantly engaging in illegal and criminal activities. This particular paper points out that from 2002 to 2010, Pfizer was “assessed $3 billion in criminal convictions, civil penalties and jury awards” and has set records for both criminal fines and total penalties. Keep in mind we are now in 2021.
The CDC is no different. Multiple senior scientists have expressed their concerns with regards to the unethical behaviour at the CDC. Here’s a quote from the ‘CDC SPIDER‘, a group of anonymous scientists within the CDC sounding the alarm,
We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency. It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviors.
Furthermore, social media companies are notorious for complying with the government. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden explained in an interview with journalist Glenn Greenwald,
In secret, these companies had all agreed to work with the U.S. Government far beyond what the law required of them, and that’s what we’re seeing with this new censorship push is really a new direction in the same dynamic. These companies are not obligated by the law to do almost any of what they’re actually doing but they’re going above and beyond, to, in many cases, to increase the depth of their relationship (with the government) and the government’s willingness to avoid trying to regulate them in the context of their desired activities, which is ultimately to dominate the conversation and information space of global society in different ways…They’re trying to make you change your behaviour…
Why have so many high ranking Big Tech employees formerly held very high positions within the Department of Defense? For example, Amazon appointed Keith Alexander, director of the NSA under Barack Obama. Surely this new censorship initiative requires massive amounts of surveillance?
According to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden,
He was one of the senior architects of the mass surveillance program that courts have repeatedly now declared to be unlawful and unconstitutional….When you have this kind of incentive from a private industry to maintain the warmest possible relationship with the people in government, who not just buy from you but also have the possibility to end your business or change the way you do business…You now see this kind of soft corruption that happens in a constant way.
The censorship during this pandemic has truly been unprecedented. Never before have we seen so many doctors, scientists and professional opinions completely silenced and labelled as misinformation or “conspiracy theories.”
For example, in March 2021, Harvard epidemiologist and vaccine expert Dr. Martin Kulldorff was subjected to censorship by Twitter for sharing his opinion that not everybody needed to take the COVID vaccine.
In November, Facebook censored an article written by an Oxford Professor of evidence based medicine, explaining that the scientific evidence for the efficacy of mask wearing to stop the spread of COVID is very weak.
The latest example is Dr. Byram Bridle, a viral immunologist from the University of Guelph who recently released a detailed, in-depth report regarding safety concerns about COVID vaccines. He has been through a lot including censorship, to ridicule, personal attacks, as well as an attack from Facebook “fact checkers.”
Sure, there is a lot of misinformation out there, but what’s happening right now and the efforts by multiple governments and Big Tech do not reflect an effort to combat misinformation. Instead, it reflects an effort to completely shut down any information, evidence, science or discussion about something that opposes what we hear from official government sources.