Just My Thoughts – Who Gets to Define ‘Misinformation?’

(Pensacola, Florida; Nov. 7, 2022,) – There’s been a lot of hue and cry, Sturm and Drang, hand-wringing, gnashing of teeth, and pulling of hair over Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter.

In fact, much of the reporting has been hysterical screeds against free speech because it means ‘misinformation’ will reign supreme.   Many journalists, pundits, politicians, and ordinary Americans are going crazy on Twitter about the fact Musk’s stated goal is to make Twitter a truly free place—with one caveat:  the traditional proscriptions against violence will be maintained.  While open calls to violence are something I think most reasonable people can agree must not be allowed, there’s a larger question here:

Just who in the name of John Q. Arbuckle gets to define what ‘misinformation’ is (or, if you prefer, ‘disinformation’)?

Misinformation is real.  It encompasses everything from people making honest mistakes, to people purposely putting out false information, to people deliberately censoring information (accurate or not) they don’t like because it threatens their grip on power.

So, again, who gets to be the arbiter of the definition of ‘misinformation’ here?  As we’ve seen over the past couple of years since COVID hit, much that the powers-that-be called ‘misinformation’ and censored turned out to be legitimate theories, questions, and alternate ideas.  We also have to face the political implications of letting some esoteric ‘expert’ on TV or in Washington decide what ‘misinformation’ must be banned—and not for the sake of society’s good, but for their own personal good.

The Hunter Biden laptop story is the case study here.  Twitter and most media outlets banned the Hunter Biden laptop story as ‘disinformation’ in order to protect then-candidate Biden during the 2020 election.  More than 50 former ‘national security experts’ signed a letter stating unequivocally the story was ‘Russian disinformation.’  Those with the power to shut everyone up exercised that power and shut everyone up, preventing discussion of this story in our public square.

Turns out the story is not Russian disinformation.  The FBI is actively investigating Hunter Biden for a number of crimes!  Those 50+ ‘experts’ were not only dead wrong; they were as complicit as the Big Tech social media companies who colluded with politicians in Washington to throw an election to the candidate of their choice.  Why do I say that?

Well, last year, The New York Post (which had the Hunter Biden laptop story banned in 2020) reported a shocking revelation once the story was finally allowed in the public square by our overlords: had the story been properly reported by the media, at least 4 out of 5 people would have voted for Trump instead of Biden (https://nypost.com/2022/08/26/2020-election-outcome-would-differ-with-hunter-biden-laptop-coverage-poll/).  This would have likely thrown victory to the then-incumbent instead of the man in the basement.  The powers-that-be didn’t investigate the story to find out its veracity; they covered it up because it threatened their preferred political candidate.

In other words, someone with power decided to protect a presidential candidate by lying to the American people.  They said the laptop story was false…yet it turns out it was true.  An entire presidential election literally swung on the fact that the powers-that-be restricted free speech.

We have a major midterm election coming up tomorrow (November 8th).  The political silly season is in full effect.  This is why free speech, as ugly as it is, is necessary.  Thousands, perhaps millions, of Americans made a heavy-duty choice in 2020 (their vote for president) based on a lie told them that the laptop story was ‘disinformation.’  If We The People allow this trend to continue, then whoever holds power at the moment can define ‘acceptable’ speech.

Do you want Republicans telling you what you’re allowed to think?  Do you want Democrats telling you what to think?  Do you want someone with political or corporate power deciding what information you’re ‘allowed’ to hear as you decide who the best candidates are in this coming election? 

Yes, bad ideas and real misinformation are out there.  Yes, calls to actual violence and other criminal activity must be halted and blocked.  Yes, anyone actually harassing someone should be dealt with according to the law (and, by the way, criticizing someone’s statements or position on an issue is not harassment!).  I’m not going to quibble about these; these are offenses that reasonable people can see actually do threaten a civil society.

However, the temptation by the powerful to label disliked opinions as ‘misinformation’ has one purpose: to protect their own political power.   The origins of COVID are another case study.  Many of us were silenced for saying COVID likely came from a laboratory leak.  Turns out that very theory is now hailed as legitimate and allowed by our masters (See The Politico:  https://www.politico.com/newsletters/future-pulse/2022/11/04/cross-examining-the-lab-leak-theorists-00065103).  The investigation into a fatal disease was suppressed as ‘disinformation’ so that certain people could maintain power at our expense.

I’ll say it again: the real danger of dissenting ideas and opinions is to the censors’ political power. 

After all, and most especially in the digital age, whoever controls information controls the world.

Think independently.  Allowing someone to arbitrarily control our public discourse based on their political and moral agenda will only result in the despotic hand of tyranny taking up residence on our shores.  Misinformation is real, and it runs the gamut from honest mistakes to outright lies.  However, allowing someone in power unfettered power to define and suppress ‘misinformation’ means handing that ‘someone’ full control of our lives.

The only way to effectively fight misinformation is not through suppression and censorship.  Those only erode your credibility.  No; fight misinformation by clearly and firmly articulating real information and counterpoints to what you believe is inaccurate and/or misleading.  If We The People abrogate our responsibilities by letting someone else arbitrarily define and suppress ‘misinformation,’ then super high inflation, open borders, fentanyl crisis, diesel fuel and baby formula shortages will become the least of our worries.

…Just my thoughts.

Check out my video where I discuss a recent study proving that censoring ‘misinformation’ actually erodes trust in those platforms doing the censoring: https://youtu.be/pzqZXpyd5xs

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