We’re more than six months into the coronavirus saga, and at this point, anyone paying attention has witnessed countless unprecedented, in number and intent, instances of censorship taking place on social networks – particularly on the most influential, globally dominant ones like YouTube and Facebook.
People are having their own private conversations on the matter censored.
And yet, somehow, we’re still hearing from some quarters that none of this has been enough.
The suggestion seems to be that extremely eager, if not extreme censorship on the web needs to be not only “de facto” – but also “de jure” – i.e., made into law.
It makes more sense when you realize these “quarters” are those of some US Senate Democrats, who are now trying to transcribe the 6+ month-old practice already taking place in the real world into formal law – by creating “a COVID-19 Misinformation & Disinformation Task Force.”
“At a time when most Michiganders and Americans are receiving their information about the Coronavirus pandemic online, combating disinformation and misinformation is crucial to ensuring that everyone can follow appropriate health guidance and stay safe,” said Senator Peters. “This commonsense legislation will create a coordinated response to safeguard Americans against bad actors who seek to mislead the public about the most effective ways to protect ourselves from this highly contagious virus.”
According to the proposed bill, the Task Force would coordinate “the analysis of false information and develop tools to help Americans combat it.”
Why, you might ask? Google, Twitter, Facebook – they’re already the most powerful information/propaganda machines humanity has ever seen, and they’ve all already had half a year to remove, delete, flag, fact-check, deplatform, derank any content they chose was unacceptable because the World Health Organization (WHO) did not approve the message.
Plus, these platforms are currently beholden to nobody but their own sense of what serves their agenda best.
So why would Democrats Peters, Klobuchar and Reed even bother to introduce a whole new bill right now about “online Covid misinformation and disinformation?”
Perhaps merely to keep the narrative alive – especially if you measure time not by when coronavirus started to ruin people’s lives and their nations’ economies, not to mention free speech online, six or so months ago – but instead as a countdown to the November US presidential election.
In that context, it makes perfect sense for the three Democrat senators to try to introduce this kind of bill at this point in time, since the way the coronavirus saga has been handled by the current US administration from its start until today has generated pointed criticism against it, carefully woven into the fabric of political and media narratives.