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If you had any doubt that big tech has been colluding with the federal government, the feds have confirmed their attack on the first amendment without any apologies.
US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has jumped into the fray of overplaying government power by publicly calling for all media outlets to edit out or refuse to publish what he calls “misinformation”; this term is a substitute for “information we don’t like or don’t agree with.” His behavior is an attack on the Constitution, an insult to our citizenry, and a demonstration that the federal government will use any tactics, legal or illegal, to achieve its agenda. He issued a 22-page document trying to justify his actions. It said, in part:
Misinformation tends to spread quickly on these platforms for several reasons. First, misinformation is often framed in a sensational and emotional manner that can connect viscerally, distort memory, align with cognitive biases, and heighten psychological responses such as anxiety. People can feel a sense of urgency to react to and share emotionally charged misinformation with others, enabling it to spread quickly and go “viral.” In recent years, the rapidly changing information environment has made it easier for misinformation to spread at unprecedented speed and scale.
Second, product features built into technology platforms have contributed to the spread of misinformation. For example, social media platforms incentivize people to share content to get likes, comments, and other positive signals of engagement. These features help connect and inform people but reward engagement rather than accuracy, allowing emotionally charged misinformation to spread more easily than emotionally neutral content. One study found that false news stories were 70 percent more likely to be shared on social media than true stories.
Third, algorithms that determine what users see online often prioritize content based on its popularity or similarity to previously seen content. As a result, a user exposed to misinformation once could see more and more of it over time, further reinforcing one’s misunderstanding. Some websites also combine different kinds of information, such as news, ads, and posts from users, into a single feed, which can leave consumers confused about the underlying source of any given piece of content.
The irony is that the experts have themselves distributed misinformation, changed their directives and recommendations, and ignored the science. And yet we are supposed to comply with their demands.
The announcement of the Surgeon General is no surprise; big tech and the media have been censoring information for a couple of years, under the guise that they are protecting the public. This is the first time, however, that the government is publicly calling for these organizations to join forces to deprive us of our rights.
In an appearance on Fox News, Ben Domenech called out the government on its behavior. I share his frustration and outrage.
Whether our protests make any difference—your guess is as good as mine.Published in