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Monday, October 11, 2021

OPINION:

The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a political window of opportunity for policymakers and private corporations to trample on our individual liberties in the name of the “greater good.” The term “misinformation” has become synonymous with any content that questions, disagrees, or exposes the national narrative. 

The quest to combat misinformation began with falsehoods surrounding the 2020 presidential election. There is evidence that Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA) meddled with the 2016 election by utilizing social media to spread propaganda and misinformation favoring then-candidate Donald J. Trump. Despite debates surrounding how much impact Russia’s social media campaign actually had on the results of the election, big tech social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter used this evidence to justify their own meddling in the 2020 election. 


On Oct. 14, 2020, three weeks before the election, the New York Post published a story exposing former Vice President Joe Biden’s ties to a top executive at an energy firm in Ukraine. The article, produced mainly from Hunter Biden’s personal laptop, also included embarrassing personal details about Hunter’s illegal drug habits and his sexual promiscuity, accompanied by revealing photographs from the artist himself.  

Both Facebook and Twitter responded to the news by limiting the article’s circulation on their platforms. Facebook used its algorithms to assure that the story would not appear in their user’s newsfeeds. At the same time, Twitter blocked users from even posting pictures or links to reports referring to the article, citing a policy that prohibits content containing private information that was illegally obtained through hacking. Twitter also forced the New York Post to delete the tweet containing the story by threatening to suspend their account. 

Months after President Biden secured his victory, mainstream media admitted that the information published by the New York Post was accurate. In April 2015, the then-Vice President made an unscheduled stop at a restaurant where his son was hosting top executives from Burisma: A fact hinted at in the emails. 

How is it that both Facebook and Twitter, who have tasked themselves with being the world’s fact-checkers, were so wrong about the Hunter Biden story? The answer to that is simple once you realize that their goal is not to protect our democracy but to promote the national agenda. 

Following the election’s aftermath, the government and mainstream media needed us to refocus our attention and energy on the ongoing pandemic. President Biden warned us of a “dark winter,” and mainstream media perpetuated fear propaganda promoting the vaccine. 

For the vaccine to receive emergency use authorization (EAU) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there could be “no adequate, approved, and available” alternative treatments. In March 2020, then-President Trump began promoting hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug also used to treat auto-immune diseases, as an effective treatment for COVID-19.  

The mainstream media worked around the clock to discredit Mr. Trump’s claims, suggesting that hydroxychloroquine is ineffective in preventing healthy people from contracting COVID-19 and that the president was engaging in a misinformation campaign.

The former president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., was suspended from Twitter after sharing a video of medical doctors discussing the effectiveness of the FDA-approved prescription drug. At the time, Twitter cited a policy prohibiting the spread of “misleading and potentially harmful information.”

To nobody’s surprise, the mainstream media admitted months after the election that hydroxychloroquine increased the survival rates of patients experiencing severe symptoms from COVID-19 by three times. 

To continue marketing the vaccine as the one and only savior from the pandemic, the media treated Ivermectin similarly to how they treated hydroxychloroquine. This time, however, they didn’t have a president to blame. 

Comedian and popular podcaster Joe Rogan was attacked by Twitter’s left and mainstream media after he said he used Ivermectin to treat his COVID-19. Howard Stern, who has lately acted as a voice box for the left’s agenda, discredited Rogan by repeating claims that the podcaster was taking “horse dewormer,” despite Ivermectin being approved for human use by the FDA. 

Currently, government-funded studies suggest that Ivermectin, when appropriate doses are administered, has an antiviral effect against COVID-19. The research will continue to see if the results from preliminary testing in animals will translate to humans. 

The next issue on the coalition’s agenda is climate change, which was brought to the public’s attention after CNN’s technical director Charlie Chester was exposed by Project Veritas admitting that the outlet engages in fear propaganda tactics and mass hysteria to achieve their goals and climate change is the next item on their list.

YouTube, the popular video-sharing platform, has already made a move to demonetize climate-change-denying content. According to Google, which owns and operates the platform, advertisers don’t want their ads to appear next to videos claiming climate change is a conspiracy or hoax. Demonetizing videos for their political content, however, is a blatant violation of free speech principles.  

What’s next? They silenced the people to protect the very democracy they’re guilty of interfering with. They censored medical doctors who recommended medication that turned out to be life-saving. Now, they won’t let anyone deny their narrative regarding climate change in hopes of saving the world. Without the ability to speak, how are we to stand up against them the next time they’re wrong? 

• Chadwick Dolgos, founder of The Washington Wick, is a local journalist from Pittsburgh. Follow Chadwick on Twitter @thechadwickpaul 


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