An absolutely remarkable revelation, this, which will, it can safely be said, get very little (actually, that’s too generous, try: Zero) attention elsewhere in the Irish media:
Many think social media companies only censored “vaccine misinformation.” But a recently-released email shows Facebook reassuring the White House that they were censoring “often-true content” that “does not contain actionable misinformation” but was “discouraging vaccines.” pic.twitter.com/u2McUIviaM
— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) January 11, 2023
In some ways, it’s a hard revelation to write about, being as it is on the one hand entirely shocking, and on the other hand, also entirely unsurprising.
Shocking, because, well: Here we have evidence – irrefutable evidence – of one of the world’s largest social media companies confirming to the White House that it was working to advance a policy goal of the US administration (mass vaccination) by actively suppressing information that was true, but unhelpful to the cause.
Because Facebook is a global company, and because the US Government was not alone in pursuing a policy of mass public vaccination, there is absolutely no reason to believe that Facebook was not implementing the same content moderation policy in places like Ireland, and the rest of Europe.
Shocking, too, because it exposes the dangers of the political obsession with “misinformation” and “fake news online” for what it is: Not an obsession with ensuring that the public receives accurate information, but an obsession with ensuring that the public receives information which reinforces the worldview and policy objectives of politicians. In this case, for example, we can clearly see that “misinformation” does not mean “false information” – it means “information which might lead a person to make a decision other than that the Government would prefer that they make”.
And yet, unsurprising, because it follows the general course of elite attitudes to social media, dating back to 2016.Facebook reveals: We censored true content about Covid Vaccines – Gript