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The UK’s “Chilling” Secret Unit That Monitored Lockdown Dissent

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A clandestine UK Government unit dubbed the Counter-Disinformation Unit (CDU) has been implicated in a troubling endeavor to curb and control online discussions about the controversial Covid-19 lockdown policies. The covert operation allegedly involved the collaboration of social media companies in a strategic bid to quell supposed domestic “threats.”

According to revelations from Freedom of Information requests and data protection requests from The Telegraph, posts critical of Covid-19 restrictions, including those questioning mass vaccination of children, were systematically removed.

Social media companies are now under scrutiny following allegations that their technologies were deployed to thwart the wide circulation or promotion of posts tagged as potentially problematic by the CDU or its Cabinet Office equivalent.

The files revealed the surreptitious monitoring of critics of the Government’s Covid plans. Artificial intelligence firms were reportedly enlisted by the government to search social media platforms, flagging any discussions opposing vaccine passports.

In a startling revelation, the BBC was implicated in clandestine government policy discussions regarding this alleged misinformation.

The CDU, hosted by the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS), operated a “trusted flagger” system with major social media companies. This mechanism expedited requests for content removal. The CDU, still operational, was formed in 2019, initially focusing on the European elections, later shifting its attention to the pandemic.

Critics, including MPs and freedom of speech campaigners, have labeled the revelations as “truly chilling” and a strategy tantamount to “censoring British citizens” — a tactic likened to those of the Chinese Communist Party.

“Any attempt by governments to shut down legitimate debate is hugely concerning, but to discover that DCMS actively sought to censor the views of those who were speaking up for children’s welfare is truly chilling,” said Miriam Cates, a Conservative MP to The Telegraph.

A government spokesman refuted the allegations, stating that the unit was designed to track narratives and trends using publicly available information to safeguard public health and national security. The spokesman insisted that the unit never monitored individuals and had a strict policy against referring journalists and MPs to social media platforms.

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