Censoring Scott Atlas should be the last straw for Big Tech censorship


If the coronavirus epidemic proves anything it is that most Americans and their leaders are more concerned with their safety than protecting their independence.

Six months into the Coronavirus era, most, though not all, of the US may be willing to continue the government with extraordinary powers to deal with threats to public safety. But the questions they should consider is whether the epidemic should be extended to big tech companies to censor about the epidemic and whether, if anything, they want international monopolies to shut down free speech Can prevent from.

The latest example of censorship is so extreme and arbitrary that companies like Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have concerns and they do not like to cross political differences dividing Americans to close the speech. Or at least it would be if the question of what could or could not be said about the epidemic was not linked to partisan politics and presidential elections.

Even if you are dr. Whether or not Scott agrees with Atlas, justifies the cost of lost lives and the nation of lockdowns that harm them, Google’s ability to remove from the public virtual class empowers it to mass monopoly Need to do. A national priority.

Remove all descents

YouTube, which is owned by Google, deleted a video of the interview with Atlas held in June, which was originally posted by the Hoover Institution where he serves as a senior partner. In it, Atlas, a prominent neuroradiologist and professor at Stanford University Medical Center, as well as a commentator on public health issues, said his epidemic caused more harm than good. Since then, his opinion has become of more interest due to his appointment as an advisor to the president and a member of the White House coronavirus virus force.

This fact alone should make it important that the public be able to voice their opinion about the epidemic. However, YouTube removed the interview from its video streaming service last weekend for allegedly violating the terms of service. While the video is no longer available, the Hoover Institution has published a transcript of the interview with Atlas.

The justification for this move is similar to that given for many other examples of YouTube censorship of videos about the COVID-19 crisis. The company has taken it upon itself as an obligation, as she sees it, to prevent the spread of conspiracy theories about the epidemic, as well as misinformation that may compromise public health.

Both Google and YouTube, to be remembered, have been severely criticized for standards that have effectively reduced the reach of conservative sources of news and opinion sources, including The Federalist.

The company, which has an effective monopoly on the Internet outside China, continues to ensure that its decisions are not influenced by politics. However, it is open about its desire to close dangerous conversations about the epidemic. Keeping calm on the specifics of their algorithm or who ultimately make these important decisions, efforts subject government officials to the same rules that try to direct viewers to reliable sources to find out who spreads false information or conspiracy Are the opposite of those.

Such actions can be deemed faulty when applied to videos that promote actions that would endanger the health of the viewer, deny the existence of the disease, or promote such conspiracy theories Including traditional memes involving racial bias or antisociality. Still, a video from a widely respected think tank in which Atlas discusses a data-driven analysis of the catastrophic impact of lockdowns does not fit into any of the easily identifiable categories that are flagable Can occur.

Question the undisputed

Atlas did not deny the seriousness of the disease or the need to act to prevent its spread – he merely questioned the efficacy of widespread rhythms. Atlas pointed to the creation as a result of acute economic crisis as well as other unintentional consequences that compromised public health such as reduced doctor visits or treatment for other potentially fatal conditions, as well as childhood development. Effects of school education. Abuse.

By any reasonable standard, he presents data regarding the costs of lockdown, along with the questions he discusses, are not only appropriate comments, but also an important topic of public debate. Their conclusion can be questioned. The same is true of his views on the wisdom of opening all schools and whether such actions would contribute to another wave of transition. But the idea that any discussion of these issues can be closed with one click makes Google’s question of regulating the unconstitutional censoring power of global technology monopolies all the more important.

As AVD Roy, President of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunities Noted, “Science is constantly questioning established dogs, and about having open debate between different people on the available evidence. To suppress that debate, as Youtube It is to oppose science. ”

The motivation of this policy is clear. Left-wing billionaires who own Google and other big tech companies, as well as their heavy-handed leftist employees, comment on any of those questioning the lockdown for the prevalent narrative about President Trump’s alleged inability to deal with the epidemic. View as a threat. . Questions about the lockdown or any advocacy that these policies have created to limit the economic and social plight are seen as helping Trump’s re-election in some way.

Reining in Big Tech Juggernaut

In recent months, more conservatives have taken up the way to counter the potential of tech giants who control the Internet and social media to act as biased censors of public discourse. Twitter expressed its willingness to allow its leftist “fact-checkers” team to downplay President Trump’s ability to communicate his views about various issues among the public, including the epidemic and election results. Integrity is involved, but not only resentment but demands that its immunity from prosecution be snatched away under a vague provision of federal law.

According to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be considered as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by any other information content provider.” It has regarded Twitter – as well as Facebook and YouTube – as an Internet bulletin board, which cannot be held legally responsible for the content of content posted on its sites.

But Twitter and now expanding censorship of YouTube content, remains a continuation of similar risks faced by other publishers that are no longer viable. A bill proposed by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Which seeks to remove his immunity under section 230, has received support from the right, although, at present, it is less likely to pass.

Another related and relevant question is whether the government will ultimately work to enforce antitrust laws against Google, an entity that now produces unacceptable and unprecedented power over public communications. The Attorney General of all 50 states agreed in principle with the Department of Justice that antitrust action is required to limit its power. Yet Attorney General William Burr, who sees the issue as a priority, is reportedly facing resistance from left-leaning career lawyers inside the DOJ and Democratic State AG, seeking legal action against tech giants. Similarly, the announcement is slow to stop. Before the election.

Dr. YouTube’s arbitrary censorship of Atlas requires a straw that breaks the camel’s back concerning its ability to shut down speech about COVID-19 issues. For too long, these companies have used their immense assets to influence Congress to continue to profit from the dangerous monopoly of the public information highway.

The epidemic has increased their wealth and influence, but it must also be the turning point that will give rise to long-lasting curses on their power, which have made them a far greater threat to democracy than any politician.