The COVID Censorship Consensus

Source: Frontpage Mag.

What to make of the redoubtable Daniel Greenfield’s observation?

“In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made,” Facebook conceded, after the theory of a Chinese lab leak gained fresh currency.

The social media monopoly isn’t admitting that it was wrong. What it’s actually saying is that it’s up to high level authorities to decide what is true and what people can be allowed to say.

The Big Tech giant’s warning contains a series of admissions about how it sees the role of its platforms and the people who use them. Facebook, Instagram, and its younger cousins are not places where a new consensus can emerge by discussing serious issues. It’s where the proles are expected to listen to whatever they are told what to think and to do by their betters.

Facebook’s latest censorship announcement models a system with a narrow sphere of authoritative opinion to be respected and a wide sphere of public opinion to be censored. It is possible for someone in the sphere of authoritative opinion to be ejected and for someone from the wide sphere of public opinion to be elevated, but otherwise they remain separate.

The controllers claim that they want to fight disinformation, but what they really want is a monopoly on disinformation.

The field is being prepared for a new propaganda offensive.

31 thoughts on “The COVID Censorship Consensus

  1. The greatest threat to our democratic republican form of government is the calamitous spread of “alternative facts.” That could not be more clear than it was on January 6th when a mob of ignormuses inflamed by LIES peddled by a con man tried to overthrow the government. Social media organizations are doing their patriotic duty by trying to curb this poisonous spread. It is not an easy task and sometimes mistakes will be made but it needs doing.

    Facebook is not admitting it was wrong. It was not wrong. There is still no evidence that this virus is anything but natural. No new evidence is forthcoming. But since so many idiots create and spread conspiracy theory nonsense and use it to stir up racial hatred it has become useful to revisit the virus’s origin. In the light of this effort, commissioned by President Biden, Facebook has changed its stance on this particular subject. As quoted in the piece . . . “[Facebook intends to] keep pace with the evolving nature of the pandemic and regularly update our policies as new facts and trends emerge.” That seems sound to me. It is their company to run as they see fit. There is no right to spread lies on someone else’s platform.

    It is not in the least bit clear what “propaganda offensive” you are expecting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “The greatest threat to our democratic republican form of government is the calamitous spread of ‘alternative facts.'”

      I doubt it, but the proposition must warm the hearts of true fascists. I disapprove of Facebook’s speech policies for this very reason.

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      1. “. . . the proposition must warm the hearts of true fascists. ”

        What a truly dopey and profoundly ahistorical remark!

        Fascists depending on spreading “alternative facts.” That has been a hallmark of every fascist regime in history. And it is one of the salient characteristics that marks Trumpism as a fascist threat to our democratic republican system of government.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Uh, nonsensical and, as noted, dopey.

            Look in the mirror if you want to see the fascist threat. You and every other mark gulled by Trumpism are what fascism feeds on.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I’m the one who is standing up for the principle of free and open discussion.

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          3. No matter how dangerous?

            The original post is a non-story that you had to add because FPM made you do it. 😉

            Media across the landscape has come out about this with legitimate concessions that they jumped the gun on downplaying the lab leak theory. FB taking the proper actions at the time and correcting them now is what more legitimate sources do.

            As far as “conservative media” goes, they never correct mistakes, they just ignore them.
            Or say there was no mistake and continue on with their alternative facts.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Free and open discussion?

            Uh, No, you are standing up for spreading lies. Keep in mind this is not government censorship we are talking about. It is private, for-profit enterprise and the idea that they should be forced to distribute material they believe to be false and dangerous is the fascist idea here.

            Liked by 2 people

          5. RE: “No, you are standing up for spreading lies.”

            I agree with Daniel Greenfield’s conclusion that Facebook really wants a “monopoly on disinformation.” You and Mr. Green haven’t addressed the point, except by lashing out at straw men.

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          6. FB wants a monopoly on disinformation?

            If someone relies on FB for information about anything other than family and friends they are truly shortchanging themselves.

            Yes, I go to FB occasionally to keep up with graduations, marriages, births, achievements in my extended and far flung family. Anything else is pretty much useless or idle entertainment.

            There are so many sources available across the spectrum of ideas, politics, science, etc. that relying on any one without at least a bit of cross referencing is kind of lazy thinking.

            And that may be the problem.

            Liked by 2 people

          7. FB can’t have that monopoly until Q and its adherents are no longer around.

            As far as them “wanting” that; it is the usual nonsensical fearmongering so common since 2015. It started before that, but came to the forefront when someone slid down a gold plated escalator.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. The fact that you or Mr. Greenfield do not like Facebook’s policy of excluding lies and known liars does not mean that they want a “monopoly on disinformation.” It is a silly and empty charge which does not follow logically from any established fact and for which there is no evidence.

            You still have not identified the “propaganda offensive” you are expecting. Empty words? Or is the word out that you MUST begin now to scream “fake news” as Donald Trump’s crimes and dirty secrets can no longer be covered up?

            Liked by 1 person

          9. What happens when, after elections have been decided, the ‘lies and known liars.’ turn out to have been true?

            Who is to be the judge of the truth we are permitted to speak?

            It seems that you are OK with censorship when it supports your agenda, but will you still be OK when Koch and Exxon buy Facebook.

            Liked by 1 person

          10. If bias in media offends you so much – even a bias towards the truth – then I am sure that you will agree that we need to bring back the Fairness Doctrine. Or not. Just cleaning up Fox News would be devastating to the propaganda efforts that keep “conservatives” in play politically.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. “ What it’s actually saying is that it’s up to high level authorities to decide what is true and what people can be allowed to say.”

    The truth is you can say whatever you want. You might not be able to force a private platform to carry your message, but there are plenty of choices.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, but we certainly need not give private platforms exemptions from libel laws when they filter content to fit an agenda.

      So long as Facebook was excluding pornographic content or calls for violence, such protections were warranted, but when it chooses to rule on scientific controversy or philosophical values, it ceases to be a platform and becomes a content provider and subject to libel.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your obvious problem is that the truth does not fit YOUR agenda. So any media that wants to focus on the truth becomes an “enemy of the people” in your Dear Leader’s fascist lingo.

        And, BTW, what got Trump banned WAS his incitement of violence – incitements which produced the intended and inevitable result – violence.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. RE: “Your obvious problem is that the truth does not fit YOUR agenda.”

          According to Facebook, the Wuhan lab-leak hypothesis was “untruth” until just the other day. Then suddenly, for no apparent reason, the hypothesis became acceptable for discussion.

          Maybe the speech policy changed because Stumble Joe reinstated a Trump administration probe into Covid-19’s origins, but that only means that “Truth” was never a factor in Facebook’s censorship.

          Your claim that truth justifies censorship is bogus.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. The basis of Facebook’s content policy is clear. It tries to stop material that can reasonably be expected to lead to physical harm. With the President in 2020 actively stirring up hatred against “Chy-na,” material claiming that a highly improbable hypotheses is a fact could be expected to lead to harm. And it did with a statistically significant increase in attacks on Asian-Americans on Trump’s watch.

            Stating a highly improbable hypothesis to be a fact is a LIE. It is not the Truth.

            Liked by 1 person

          1. “. . .media that decides that its biases are the truth are the enemy of the people.

            Okay, if so, Fox News is an “enemy of the people.” As tempting as it is to agree with you on that, such rhetoric – even when referring to such heinous people – is dangerous to good order.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. RE: “The truth is you can say whatever you want.”

      Not really. Freedom of speech can’t exist as long as people like you rationalize censorship.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ad hominem is becoming chic now.

        Censorship by the government is different from private companies. Someday the current right wing position will be looked as as WTF were they thinking.

        You criticize left media, but right wing media does the same. Selective and real bias.

        But bias has been part of American media from day one.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. RE: “But bias has been part of American media from day one.”

          That’s a good example of rationalization.

          My point is that free speech requires cultural support. Rationalizations that make censorship acceptable degrade the cultural support that must exist to sustain open discussion and productive debate.

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  3. This is a prime reason I don’t use social media platforms. I dont approve of anyone telling me what I am supposed to believe or suppressing information they disagree with. Outside of that, Facebook is just too time consuming to play “look at me”.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. As are Fox News (commentators – See firing of Juan Williams), OANN – purveyor of more crap that any other “news source” and NEWSMAX.

        You seem to have an issue only with those sources you disagree with and not the ones that back your preconceived notions of truth and fairness.

        Prime example. CNN is under an ethics inquiry (probably rightly so) for the Cuomo brothers collaboration on the Guv’s sex scandal. Yet there was NOTHING about ethics at Fox News when Hannity was advising 45 on ANYTHING. Do you see the double standard here? Probably not. But to those who live in a real world where facts matter and alternative facts are dangerous, it is quite clear.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. RE: “As are Fox News (commentators – See firing of Juan Williams), OANN – purveyor of more crap that any other ‘news source’ and NEWSMAX.”

          I recommend skepticism of all media outlets. Facebook, however, is the focus of the story this post is based on.

          Like

          1. Funny but you NEVER agree that right wing media sources, including the one’s you frequently post, are part of the issue. Start questioning some of your own sources and then maybe I’ll believe you.

            Like

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