Rowsell warned that Facebook censorship has consequences. “This will inevitably negatively impact my earnings but also my social life and that of my wife who uses that platform to stay in touch with her family in Sweden,” he said.
He offered a grim estimation of why he was censored:
“I think this has social implications since I am only posting about historical subjects and not the controversial topics of immigration and vaccines that normally get people banned. I may be the first person banned not for what [I] have said, but for what they suspect me to think. Obviously this isn’t as big a deal as when they banned the President, but can be seen as a next step in their steady decline into totalitarian censorship.”
Videos on his page also range from explorations into niche English rural folklore to speaking with Vedic guru Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya or even traveling to Bali to learn about Balinese Hinduism. He described himself as a YouTuber with “over 10 million views” and said he previously worked for a subsidiary of the World Health organization in Sweden. His academic writings include headlines such as “Gender Roles and Symbolic Meaning in Njáls Saga” and “Representation of Hakon sigurdsson in Viking Age literature,” indicating a clear scholarly background.
In his address on the administration’s concerns about online health “misinformation” surrounding the pandemic, Biden’s Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said the misinformation concerns were focused on “equity.”
The White House has come under fire for its plans for a direct approach regarding online censorship, especially when it emerged that it was flagging posts on Facebook.
“Misinformation is a threat to our health, and the speed, scale and sophistication with which it is spreading is unprecedented,” Murthy said in the Thursday morning address. “I will not hesitate to say that and to call for greater accountability and action to address health misinformation.”
“A word about equity though,” he continued. “We recognize that equity must be at the center of our work to confront health misinformation. Here’s why: Because unequal access to the health care system, education and technology, means that some people have less access to accurate health information than others. And when those people instead encounter health misinformation, it can worsen their health outcomes, which exacerbates health inequity in what becomes a vicious cycle.”
The Biden White House leans on Facebook to censor your speech online if what you say goes against what the Biden White House wants you to say.
This is not a conspiracy theory. It’s a fact. Let’s see how well Facebook handles the very sensitive topic of policing even non-political speech in a nation that’s built on the principle that speech must be free, and where people have wide varieties of interests that may fall outside Silicon Valley’s collective experiences.
Facebook flagged the word hoe in a gardening group.
Oh. No. They censored “hoe.”
Wait ’til they figure out what people do with certain emojis…
A group called WNY Gardeners has been repeatedly flagged by the social network for “violating community standards,” when its more than 7,500 members discussed the long-handled bladed implement, which is spelled with an “e,” unlike the offensive term.
When one member commented “Push pull hoe!” on a post about preferred weeding tools, Facebook sent a notification that read, “We reviewed this comment and found it goes against our standards for harassment and bullying,” a moderator said.
This is funny and would be a lot funnier if the Biden White House hadn’t deputized Facebook to chase you and me around on its platform if we post something the regime doesn’t like. But it has.
Recommendations unveiled by the UK’s Law Commission are seeking to establish a new offense by criminalizing communications that could cause “likely psychological harms.”
Another offense that is recommended in the document concerns “knowingly false communications.” This is a serious threat to freedom of expression, and a chance for the authorities to get the last word on what is perceived as true and false.
The recommendation defines “harm” as something that causes “serious distress,” while “psychological harm” is also being mentioned. As for defining “serious distress” – the Commission refers to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
The proposed reforms are aimed at protecting victims of online abuse, but there are fears that the vague language and prioritizing subjective perception of speech over objective content could have dangerous consequences.
And the fact that identity and characteristics of the recipient of a communication is also given center stage leaves the door wide open for censorship based on identity politics.
The White House is not only stepping up its campaign to bring pressure to bear on online content and providers and sources that the Biden administration considers to be misinformation, but is also broadening the scope of the narrative and potential targets of censorship.
After recently announcing plans to “hold platforms accountable” for spreading misinformation – a point White House comms director Kate Bedingfield is telling the media President Biden spoke about “aggressively” – it’s now the turn of conservative news outlets to get a warning.
“There are conservative news outlets who are creating irresponsible content,” Bedingfield said.
New Jersey State Senator Declan O’Scanlon was silenced on Twitter and was only reinstated when he agreed to delete his tweet.
The tweet, posted on June 25, read “Given that we have crushed Covid with combination of natural immunity and voluntary uptake there is no reason anyone should be compelled to take the vaccine. Restrictions/mandates/vaccine passports all uncalled for.”
Twitter’s response to O’Scanlon’s Twitter post was to lock him out of his account without giving a specific reason as to why.
On Twitter, Republicans blasted the lawmaker’s detention. The state GOP called the action a “continuous and rising limitation of freedom of expression.”
On O’Scanlon’s timeline, the tweet has been deleted, with a warning that says, “This Tweet is no longer available because it violates the Twitter Rules.”
On July 15, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki disclosed the fact that the White House was flagging COVID-19 misinformation posts for Facebook. She continued to dig herself into a hole on Friday, discussing how the administration is in contact with the social media companies and arguing that they needed to work across platforms to ensure the companies coordinated to ban users. She claimed that 12 individuals were responsible for 65% of the vaccine misinformation on Facebook.
At some point on Friday, Twitter locked the account of journalist Alex Berenson, the author of the series Unreported Truths About COVID-19 and Lockdowns. When Psaki referred to the dozen users, it seemed logical to think that Berenson and others who have objected to the preferred narrative, like evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein, would be on the list. Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham have also given a platform to dissenting doctors. After following COVID-19 news very carefully for the last 18 months, I can say that all of these seem like logical targets for the administration.
As it turns out, none of them are on the list. The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) produced a report called “The Disinformation Dozen,” based on its analysis of anti-vaccine Facebook posts. The CCDH is the same group that pushed for Google to demonetize The Federalist and ZeroHedge and for Twitter to ban British firebrand Katie Hopkins. According to Influence Watch, it is a UK-based NGO made up of people tied to the Labour Party. From the CCDH report’s executive summary:
Analysis of a sample of anti-vaccine content that was shared or posted on Facebook and Twitter a total of 812,000 times between 1 February and 16 March 2021 shows that 65 percent of anti-vaccine content is attributable to the Disinformation Dozen.
Of the names on the list, one is easily recognizable, only because he is notoriously anti-vaccine and the son of a political dynasty:
- Joseph Mercola
- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
- Ty and Charlene Bollinger
- Sherri Tenpenny
- Rizza Islam
- Rashid Buttar
- Erin Elizabeth
- Sayer Ji
- Kelly Brogan
- Christiane Northrup
- Ben Tapper
- Kevin Jenkins
According to the report, social media users shared many of the posts and articles written by these 12 individuals in anti-vaccine groups that existed before COVID-19. The CCDH called for the social media companies to work together to deplatform all 12 of these individuals and organizations that oppose vaccines:
- Children’s Health Defense (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.)
- Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) (Del Bigtree)
- National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) (Barbara Loe Fisher, Joseph Mercola)
- Organic Consumers Association (OCA) (Joseph Mercola)
- Millions Against Medical Mandates
Once you know the source of the users flagged by the White House, it blows up their message that this is a political issue driven by conservatives or confined to red states. The identified individuals are from all kinds of backgrounds. Some have been producing alternative health content and products for years. Almost all were opposed to vaccines before COVID-19, and some of them were so bold as to object to face masks. At least three base their opinion on past sins of the government in medical experimentation and speak specifically to those fears in the black community.