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“Misinformation and Disinformation”

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President von der Leyen’s WEF Speech is Sheer Manipulation

By David Thunder.

In her recent address to the World Economic Forum, EU President Ursula von der Leyen, citing the WEF’s annual “global risk report,” pointed to “misinformation and disinformation” as the greatest risks facing the global business community at this time. These risks are “serious,” in her view, “because they limit our ability to tackle the big global challenges we are facing” – climate, demographics and technological changes, and “spiralling regional conflicts and intensified geopolitical competition.”

The answer to the risks of “misinformation” and “disinformation,” in President von der Leyen’s estimation, is for “businesses and governments” to “work together” to get a grip on the problem. Though von der Leyen does not use the word “censorship” in her address, the example she offers of businesses and governments “working together” is the European Digital Services Act, which imposes a legal requirement upon large online platforms like X/Twitter and Meta/Facebook to censor misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech.

Few would question the claim that artificial intelligence, bots, and various malicious actors can leverage social media and other digital “information highways” to confuse, disorient, and manipulate citizens. However, the President of the European Commission, like any smart politician, knows how to milk a crisis to expand her own power, and her January 16th speech at Davos was a tour de force in crisis manipulation.

She could have used her unique position of leadership to underline the true nature of the threat of disinformation, which is a threat coming from all directions – not just from malicious private actors, but from governments that run “information” campaigns designed to harness people’s primal instincts, most notably fear and solidarity, in support of their preferred policies. Ms von der Leyen could have used her platform to caution her audience about the dangers of handing the keys to the internet to a handful of poweful actors with an evident interest in silencing their critics.

But instead, acting in true political form, President von der Leyen presented an utterly self-serving, one-sided, and dishonest picture of the risks of “disinformation” and “misinformation,” reminiscent of the musings of a dictator. The general narrative she conveyed was that the purveyors of “misinformation” are throwing a spanner in the works of global cooperation, but that if businesses and governments just pull together, they can nip this avalanche of disinformation and misinformation in the bud. This narrative is wrong in so many ways:

  1. This naive view of “us the world’s heroic business and political elite” and “them the nasty disinformation-producers” distracts attention away from the rather inconvenient fact that disinformation and misinformation show up on all sides of the political spectrum. There is no “global team” that can safely be entrusted with the task of quashing “misinformation.” If there is one thing the past few years have taught us, it is that the people applying “misinformation” rules (e.g. the “fact-checkers”) are often the ones lying to or deceiving the public, whether on the origins of the coronavirus, the safety and efficacy of mRNA vaccines, or some other issue of public importance.
  2. Given the fact that “misinformation” and “disinformation” is spread all over the political spectrum and not concentrated in the hands of a few easily fingered malicious actors, in practice the very perception of what counts as “misinformation” and “disinformation” often depends on one’s political interests and biases, and is not a morally or politically neutral category.
  3. Dictators and tyrants are quick to accuse their critics of “misinformation” and “disinformation” and to blur the dividing line between reasonable dissent and malicious “disinformation”- clearly, they recognise that the term has value as a vehicle of propaganda. Repeatedly seeking to silence one’s critics under the pretext that they are threatening democracy with “disinformation” is proper to dictators, not governors bound by principles of democratic accountability. A democratic ruler accepts that their policies may be publicly challenged, even if this slows down their implementation. A tyrannical ruler, on the other hand, is impatient with criticism and would prefer to just shut up their critics.
  4. Finally, the appeal to solidarity and cooperation in the fight against disinformation is rather disingenous, to say the least, given that the example of public-private cooperation given by von der Leyen conspiciously involves coercive intrusion by EU bureaucrats in the moderation policies of online platforms. Nobody would suggest that online platforms are run by angels, or that their moderation policies are immune to criticism, but the whole narrative of “Let’s work together for the common good” falls to pieces when the main tool of “cooperation” is a piece of legislation (Digital Services Act) that enthrones a political elite and their employees as the coercive arbiters of truth and falsehood on the internet. This is a naked power grab by the European Commission and EU member-State governments, not “working together” with businesses to combat disinformation.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. In the past week it has been strongly discussed how the “medical journals” of supposedly good & reliable information are proving to be an echo chamber, that owes there viability to a number of drug companies with a good summation from rol’s link, in this thread & a short precis of a Utube link & their discussion.
    .
    ….. The peer reviewers do not see all the raw data, as the drug companies own all the data.
    Only the data that winnowed in, so that fits the study.
    Then the conclusions on that ‘peer review’ is taken as the scientific proof
    .
    “Experts” have to rely on a certain body of knowledge, and so the expert has to adhere to the unwritten rules of the legitimacy for “that evidential science”.
    So non vetted data is supposed to be also accepted as real evidence even when unseen.
    The truth of the science is sociological determined, NOT scientifically determined.

    Long story short, the peer reviews is a sham for those medical journals.
    The point to take that the major purchaser of those medical journals are in the reprinting of the articles for Big Pharma that then does the hand outs to Doctors, media, health officials, etc..
    All this is helped by mainstream media that keeps putting a lid on this. …..

    https://ysb.co.nz/have-your-say-1742/#comment-380985

    It seems to be a circling of the wagons in an echo land seeking much more further controls.
    Is this also where Luxon is supporting Ardern in the “Christchurch Call” to bring about one or the other further controls on social media, namely on twitter/X & other platforms.

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  2. The push back by the independent or is it compliance by Medical Journals.
    .
    Behavioural interventions to reduce vaccine hesitancy driven by misinformation on social media
    .
    ….Key messages
    ~ Substantial evidence shows the negative effects of vaccine misinformation on social media
    .
    ~ Evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to correct or mitigate misinformation is considerably more limited and rarely includes measures of true vaccine uptake
    .
    ~The evidence available does indicate ways forward to develop better methods, particularly those that would be less likely to backfire in the way that blanket social media bans have
    .
    ~ The need for such actions is urgent

    https://www.bmj.com/content/384/bmj-2023-076542
    .
    Note how they seem to softly frame this “vaccine hesitancy” & create a narrative to be of great concern.

    So this will be paid for when hand outs of this BMJ are copied then distributed as a “credible source” to many public official health authorities.

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  3. MSM, Hollywood, Radio, even the music industry are currently imploding, and soon to be dinosaur. They were heavily utilised to spread regime propaganda, and now they are gone. The old regime is shitting bricks and getting even more stupid. Disinformation retards will be tarred and feathered as they come out into the light.

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  4. The devious Mugabe supporter Tedros
    .
    … On 18 October 2017, Tedros announced that he had chosen President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to serve as a WHO Goodwill Ambassador to help tackle non-communicable diseases for Africa.[78]
    He said Zimbabwe was “a country that places universal health coverage and health promotion at the centre of its policies to provide health care to all.”
    …. yeah right ….
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tedros_Adhanom_Ghebreyesus
    .
    Now spiels on about misinformation.
    .
    …. Dr. Tedros continued, saying they “cannot allow this historic agreement [Global Pandemic Treaty] to be sabotaged by those who spread lies.” ….
    .
    ….. He then called on support from WHO member nations in countering the “lies.” ….
    .
    ….. The treaty will award the WHO with sweeping global powers if passed and will give the United Nations agency the authority to declare and manage the pandemic emergency policies of once-sovereign nations, as Slay News has previously reported.
    .
    Once a health emergency is declared by the World Health Organization, every signatory, including the United States, must submit to the authority of the WHO.
    .
    This includes caving to the WHO on treatments, lockdowns, vaccine mandates, and government surveillance. ….

    https://slaynews.com/news/who-lies-conspiracy-theories-derailing-globalist-agenda/
    .
    The twitter/X vid is just 2 mins 12 : Jan 29 2024 of just Tedros, who is circling his wagon, in line with what was said at Davos, WEF-UN, the EU, Democrats of USA, Medical Journals, etc..
    .
    Let alone New Zealand Public Health Authorities technocrats, bureaucrats, Hipkins, Ardern Bloomfield that seem to be in alignment to the NZ ministry of Health in suppressing all raw data on excess deaths & any information of Covid19 vaccine & how that flowed.

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  5. The echo chamber, amplified by mainstream media sold their souls for the “agenda” as shown by the BBC

    … “repeatedly reported rare deaths or illnesses among healthy adults as if they were the norm.” …
    … create the “misleading impression” that “we are all at risk” and “the virus does not discriminate.” ….

    …… “We reported on the pandemic in line with the BBC’s rigorous editorial standards—using a range of official and scientific sources.”
    What then, asked Craig, “does that say about BBC standards?” …..

    https://europeanconservative.com/articles/news/bbc-was-allowed-to-misrepresent-covid-to-justify-lockdown/

    It seems to me that much of the main stream media like the BBC are only too happy to do mis-dis-mal-information again & even more. 🤮
    The occasional bit of truth for supposed credibility to gain some trust, for the moment, …. yeah right ….. 🤮

    Bear in mind that RNZ and many of our main stream media are through agreements in total support & march on in this in lockstep.

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  6. They want us plebs to STFU

    https://unherd.com/thepost/ursula-von-der-leyen-misinformation-is-worlds-gravest-problem/
    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen today declared that “misinformation and disinformation” are greater threats to the global business community than war and climate change.

    “For the global business community, the top concern for the next two years is not conflict or climate,” she said in her speech at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos. “It is disinformation and misinformation, followed closely by polarisation within our societies.”

    To illustrate her point, von der Leyen mentioned the upcoming election-heavy year, calling it “the biggest electoral year in history”, and warned that bad actors may exploit the openness of democracies to influence elections with disinformation.

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