Censorship does not work
By Scott Tibbs, February 11, 2022
For the last two years, social media platforms have sought to stop "misinformation" about the COVID-19 pandemic. This has been a spectacular failure and both the platforms and our country would be better off if the tech companies and The Elite would stop suppressing opinions they do not like.
The most obvious reason why suppressing "misinformation" about the Communist Virus is a bad idea is that what we know, what we think we know and what we do not know has rapidly changed over the course of the last two years. In 2020, saying that SARS-COV-2 was released in a laboratory leak would have gotten you disciplined or banned, but the evidence for a leak (as opposed to jumping naturally through the "wet markets" in Wuhan) has gotten much stronger since then.
Furthermore, the same Centers for Disease Control that told us to stop buying masks because they are "ineffective" against the spread of COVID-19 now heartily endorses masks. Even the great Anthony Fauci (peace be upon him) publicly told people not to wear masks. We thought last summer that people who are fully vaccinated would not catch or spread COVID-19, but that was quickly proven to be false. (The available data still indicates that the vaccines are effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death.)
Even if the public health authorities had been 100% accurate from the beginning, censorship is the worst way to stop the spread of conspiracy theories. Censoring COVID-19 "misinformation" has failed and will continue to fail to stop the spread of conspiracy theories. This is the Internet, after all! Instead, censorship encourages people to spread conspiracy theories more because it makes Big Tech and the public health authorities look like they have something to hide. Censorship will also not convince a single person who believes in conspiracies to not believe in those conspiracies.
It is not true that "misinformation" causes people to die. Information, even when false, does not have that power. Adults are going to make their own decisions. Each individual person is responsible for his own health, and between therapeutics and the vaccines we now have the opportunity to greatly reduce our own risk of severe complications from COVID-19. There will always be people in a free society who say and do things we dislike, but freedom is far better than tyranny.
Censorship pushes people out of the big platforms, but it does not stop the flow of information. Instead, it separates us into echo chambers where we do not hear competing information, ideas, facts or opinions. This causes people to become more intransigent and often more extreme in their beliefs. This is bad for the unity of the country. Social Media is at its best when it acts as a platform with a hands-off approach to content moderation, rather than trying to be the arbiter of what opinions are acceptable.
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