For whatever reason, we have a political and technocratic class that is impotent and incompetent. No one has a vision to build things. They only know how to tear things down. Censorship is a convenient tool to deflect criticism from their policy failures. The culture wars exist only because it’s easier to govern when people are divided by nonsense.
Journalists like Shellenberger give me hope for the future. Although the regime media has terminal cancer, there is a new group of tenacious truth tellers pushing back hard – and their following is growing. Like Shellenberger, I have no issue with content moderation, as long as it is completely transparent and consistent. We should expect no less.
Love seeing Shellenberger published in Unherd.
He has done great work and along with other real journalists like Matt Taibbi and Lee Fang they have exposed something many of us were once naïve enough to think would not happen in the supposedly freedom loving West. Needless to say, I think we are a bit more jaded and cynical now.
Agreed, our political and technocratic class have us in a very tight place. This is a very destructive time and I fear for the future. Censorship is an authoritarian tool. Anyone pushing it is outing themselves.
Here he is in a national blog whining about not having free speech?
Tell that to the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration. They got plenty of attention in the alternative media as well.
I feel the article missed the main point. Censorship should generally be verboten, whether or not there is in fact more hatred online is irrelevant.
and MSM has become mostly fake. Thankful for a few truth tellers with a mouth piece such as Shellenberger, Tiabbi, Glenn Greenwald. We need them and more like them.
Hate to align with the tin foil hate wearing conspiracy loons but I fear these hat wearers may yet have a point.
15 minute cities, revisionist practices on history, hate crime, thought crime, tech to track you, facial recognition sneaked in, control from government on protesters finances (Canada), defund the police (US), indoctrination not education (everywhere), the undermining of anything traditional including the family – it get’s scary.
When you start joining dots between these as a cohesive purposeful movement we need to have somewhere to expose the “we’re doing this for YOUR own good” style of government and that is shrinking fast with the help of the “useful idiots”. Any criticism however mild and you’re a brown shirt also administered by said “useful idiots”.
Dialogue and pluralism is healthy, single party states are bad. Do I have to list them…?
The picture on top of the article of these exponents with big cheesy smiles patting each other on the back sends shivers down my spine.
The key is—connecting the dots. It is a learned skill which more folks need to acquire.
“Like Shellenberger, I have no issue with content moderation, as long as it is completely transparent and consistent.”
But does Unherd itself live up to this standard? I have been alarmed by the subtle, covert content moderation that occurs right here on Unherd. Comments disappear, sometimes to reappear, sometimes not. The reasons why are hard to fathom – they are usually unpopular comments, but they are not trolls, etc. If Unherd is not a place for the unheard perspective, what is?
This has happened to me: The moment I hit “Post Comment” it shows the finished version, as always, but with that notice “…held for further consideration”, (or some such, can’t quite remember). It happens so fast that it must be a moderation program. Some word or combination of words causes it too jettison my poor wee comment into inter-stellar space. Sometimes it eventually posts properly, sometimes not.
Or I suppose it could be that the computers at UnHerd just don’t like me.
There’s less real hatred, but the elite technocracy keeps expanding tthe definition of hatred to make it appear otherwise.
Meanwhile… Unherd removes content that may include lengthy discussions of issues vital to our current culture. It doesn’t matter to me how many downticks a comment receives; if others have responded and the conversation has been conducted with civility, it should stand.
Isolated rants that include vitriol are perhaps, a different matter; they tend to produce little or no comment and are easily distinguished from genuine debate.
So genuine debate becomes Unherd, as in Unread. Unherd becomes part of the problem.
Editors: read this, and reflect, along with the article you’ve just published with great hypocrisy.
What’s the deal with this? The comments get a little contentious and suddenly they’re flushed down some rabbit hole, disappear for a few hours, and magically reappear. Not cool. Unheard can use a little transparency itself.
I think it’s automated. Unherd use WordPress as a platform, which has a variety of systems in place for automating moderation. For example, certain keywords would put a post in pre-moderation for somebody to come along and determine if it actually is worthy of deletion.
The downvote system is almost certainly similar but is only triggered after a threshold is met. If I could be bothered, I’d like to see if there is a specific number of downvotes before this occurs. I really wish they turned this off, but I also wish people weren’t so trigger happy with down voting just because they disagreed with something.
I have on two occasions had posts just disappear with no indication of moderation and with no downvotes. One was a challenge to a factual claim by the columnist (another commenter made the same challenge and received the same fate). The other one may well just have been a technical glitch or human error.
I think Unherd need to clarify their moderation policies, perhaps in an actual editorial. At least people wouldn’t be left speculating any more.
I agree that they should clarify this Andrew. It is very annoying when it happens. I have always suspected that it happens when people click the flag on the right of the comment rather than downvotes. But it would be nice to see this fixed.
I’d be willing to bet they are not allowed to disclose the ‘triggers’ that cause posts to disappear. That’s the ‘secret sauce’ of these blunt tools if you will – and like all organizations they have to balance the risk of offending people with inappropriate censorship versus allowing content to get posted by bad actors that gets then into serious hot water. A small outfit like unherd can’t develop its own system, so the only defence they have is to use an ‘industry standard’ system. Of course in a perfect world, all our favourite eminently reasonable unherd columnists would spend every waking hour sifting through thousands of comments and making carefully reasoned decisions about what’s appropriate censorship. Apparently they think what they say to us is a better use of their time than what we say to them. And so they should.
I also think it has nothing to do with downvotes.
I think it’s more than that. I’ve tested this before and have come to the conclusion that if anyone clicks the red flag icon on a post, then every subsequent post made by the alleged “offender” gets withheld for approval. I’ve had simple posts such as “agreed” get withheld for approval.
Possibly. I may be wrong, but every time I notice a post with more than a few downvotes, it seems to disappear for a while. Of course the downvotes may correlate with false flagging, but some automated systems do withhold on the basis of down votes.
I wasn’t aware that a removed post caused subsequent posts to be withheld. My pre-moderated ones always seem to be because I’ve used a “sensitive” word.
This is something that hadn’t occurred to me, but I think you are correct. I’ve had the same experience of having every comment get quarantined for half a day once I post something too unpopular–or at times, to my discredit, too rude.
It’s happened on this debate already.
I tend to see most of my posts taken down at some stage as I’m generally out of step with majority opinion on the site. I find it slightly absurd that Unherd, dedicated to ‘challenging the herd’, reacts seemingly on the basis of red ticks. My experience is that the other users of the site are able to constructively challenge my views, or at least the sensible ones, without needing the help of censors.
“My experience is that the other users of the site are able to constructively challenge my views…”
Aw, thanks John 🙂
Absolutely agree, and though some of the debates can become what might be termed “vehement” there’s nothing wrong with that as such, providing it doesn’t cross a line.
Anyone who “flags” a non-abusive post is wasting their subscription, since they’re not able to withstand the views of those who might otherwise remain ‘Unherd’. Absolute cowards – and they know it.
If that is the problem, I’d like to think something was done about it. False flagging (interesting double but literal meaning) is pathetic and a waste of absolutely everyone’s time.
It’s quite easy to pick apart most of your arguments.
I’d be delighted if you try it some time, Jim.
Give it time John. I’m sure I will.
A long thread under a very provocative post by this “John Murray” just disappeared. If it doesn’t come back, I’d suspect he deleted it himself to make it look like Unherd censored it. Interesting game to play!
But John… you literally represent the Herd. You’re not here to challenge the mainstream narrative, only to reiterate it. You can’t complain. You have lots and lots of sites where everyone will applaud your comments. We are the Un-heard trying to Un-Herd the likes of you. Peace be with you!
Not complaining, Amy, but if you want an echo chamber you need to complain to the guys who took my subscription money. In a democracy healthy debate is an alternative to shooting each other, surely?
But you’re not “debating”, you’re pontificating and pushing propaganda. Even so, I’d never, ever call to have you censored.
He’s debating with you right there !
Interesting – and encouraging – how the one thing we can all agree on is our dislike of censorship.
The good news is… in real life, people are having more open conversations about what they were subjected to over the past 3-4 years and becoming cognisant of the REAL spreaders of “disinformation” – the corporation-controlled governments. The Internet is one big advertising board for big pharma and big tech, and their state puppets. This revelation is also helping many people “wake up” to the fact that they’ve been conned by these self-appointed overlords most of their lives. So we are living in interesting times. The bad news is… the Internet’s days are numbered. All roads (“covid”, gender identity politics, CBDCs, “net zero”, dangers of “AI”, impending “alien” invasion) lead to DIGITAL ID. Like all Eugenicists, these monsters want us chipped and tagged, and to control every single aspect of our lives. They won’t succeed. But they will bring down their digital domain in the pursuit of it. Invest in all things non-digital now. Teach your kids real-world skills and get them off screens. When it passes the tipping point, the downfall of the EDC (Evil Digital Construct) will happen fast and the fallout will be chaotic. But the future will be more human.
Once governments, NGOs and supranational bodies place narrative (ideology) above objective truth then we should all be worried.
A half truth is a whole lie.
Thank you. There are few voices criticising the fake hate industry, which is growing in power as hate diminishes.
“Why should freedom of speech and freedom of press be allowed? Why should a government which is doing what it believes to be right allow itself to be criticized? It would not allow opposition by lethal weapons. Ideas are much more fatal things than guns. Why should any man be allowed to buy a printing press and disseminate pernicious opinions calculated to embarrass the government?“
“Truth is the most precious thing. That’s why we should ration it”
“The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses”
“It is, of course, much easier to shout, abuse, and howl than to attempt to relate, to explain”
These quotes are over a century old yet any one of them, or something uncannily similar, is being used today by “I know it’ll work this time” re-imagined socialist elites as the article clearly points out. But it’s all for our own good don’t ya know. We would have asked you first but it was an emergency and we just didn’t have the time.
Any of us that lean to social liberal ideals, which can include liberals and centrist conservatives, know that the current trend to censorship is a time-tested tactic of Know Better revolutionaries in a hurry. There have even been books written about it. Gasp! Most of us also know that these revolutions are usually lead by a determined minority that rises to to the top on a wave of support from a larger mixed collective of opportunistic carpetbaggers, apathetic dullards and well-intentioned wishful thinkers that view a bit of heavy-handed excess as a fair trade for a nugget or two of gold justice. They end up doubly disappointed. First when their self-delusion that the excess can be controlled (“You’re being silly, they’ll never go that far”) is crushed and then finding out the gold wasn’t real in the first place.
The only question now is how much damage this disaster train causes before it inevitably de-rails.
It’s like he’s describing the Guardian.
I’m pretty sure Vladdy was a subscriber. He took advantage of a Friends and Family discount. Just enter REDBOLSHIE and get 50% off of a one year subscription. Word has it he was good with the content but couldn’t abide the bourgeoise capitalist nature of delivery fees.
…or the New York Times, The Washington Post, New Yorker, New York Magazine, etc etc
Thanks for that Lenin quote. Astonishing really.
Of course, he’d never have got into power under those rules.
Why should criticism be allowed ? Quite simply because those in power are never perfect and will never learn and improve without the feedback. Otherwise you get the “compound interest” effect of communist states making everything 1-2% worse every year while the capitalist ones made everything 1-2% better. And turn Europe’s breadbasket into a country that suffers famine and imports food.
I have just One thing to say about all this:
”’Awaiting for Approval”’
The potential impact of social media has been compared to that of the invention of printing. The latter triggered to a flood of intemperate pamphlets and books which led to polarisation, paranoia and a hundred years of witch-hunts and religious wars (as well as the Reformation, the spread of literacy and an acceleration of Science). Maybe we should look at the framework which eventually helped channel constructively the effects of printing:
1/ No censorship before an article is published BUT legal responsibility for anything published.
2/ A publisher is legally liable as well as the writer. Neither can be anonymous.
3/ Complaints resolved in public courts on the basis of clear laws and not quietly by bureaucrats on the basis of ill defined fashion or hidden agendas.
4/ Strong preference for free speech. Immense suspicion of any attempt by government to censor.
5/ Clear distinction between private and public speech.
The long term result was the mostly honest reporting and commentary of the newspapers – and mostly free yet sensible public debate – of the twentieth century. (Obviously this is an idealised simplification of three hundred years of history but it may provide a starting point for addressing our current challenges),
Maybe we should adapt, update and apply these principles instead of passively accepting the growth of a censorship complex as described in the article. A good start would be to reform “Section 230” which is the US rule which stripped the tech platforms of the legal liabilities of a publisher. This unbalanced the checks and balances of the regime which moderated printing and, as importantly, is so commercially advantageous that it has given the US government immense leverage over the tech giants by threatening to remove it.
Some greater discipline is surely needed. But I’m not sure that involving the courts that much is the way forward – slow, costly, already overloaded, some very unreliable verdicts around at the moment.
I’d also be reluctant to see the liveliness of debate curtailed. You can have the sort of free and easy discussion that you might do at a dinner table or in a pub here today. And I think we have to accept that people can make mistakes – most content is written quickly and without serious reflection (and certainly no legal advice).
Ideally, a particular forum would have a clear ethos and guidelines and there would be some peer pressure effect.
Perhaps some form of registration is needed for professional commentators (like journalists).
I don’t think “publishers” (social media sites) can be responsible for the specific content that individuals post. I do think they can be responsible for the general conduct and policy of the site – so a site that has no standards or repeatedly fails to enforce its published standards can be sanctioned.
Like you I think some sort of “greater discipline” or framework is probably required and is inevitable. There may be a choice between
a) the emergent model with anonymous bureaucrats pressuring tech companies into a hidden censorship utilising unknown and fluid criteria.
b) a more legal approach based more on retrospective penalties for breaches of defined public rules and less on than pre publication censorship.
I am very hesitant about the details but I suspect the latter has less risk of evolving into an Orwellian imposition of an orthodoxy. Anyway, there needs to be an open discussion of what rules should apply in the public square. I dislike the way we are just drifting towards an authoritarian policing of public speech.
A better model is that proposed by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas: the tech platforms are communication conduits like the telephone companies. The phone companies are not held liable for the speech of their users. Makes a lot of sense to me.
I suggest that we rubes take the attitude that when the rulers start cracking down on speech it is a signal that something is rotten in the State of Denmark.
In other words, step away from tall buildings, because you never know what may come crashing down.
To those with unshakeable belief in the value of Medicine to Health might want to look at the following:
The Questionable Contribution of Medical Measures to the Decline of Mortality in the United States in the Twentieth CenturyJohn B. McKinlay and Sonja M. McKinlay
They won’t look at it, Ruth. Their belief is, literally, unshakeable. If what we’ve just been through didn’t shake them, nothing will. But never stop trying!
Agree with everything in this piece except this: “There are, of course, plenty of examples of misinformation and hatred online, and Twitter and Facebook are right to reduce their spread.”
No, because here we’re accepting the fundamental premise of the censors that there is some level of harsh language that SHOULD be suppressed. The appropriate position is that ALL language should be acceptable by default. Free adults are responsible for policing what they read on their own authority. Anything else just leads us down the road to prior restraint, with you-know-who putting themselves in positions of authority to do the restraining.
Fantastically well written and absolutely spot! Wow a journalist who is actually critically questioning what is going on! Rare breed! Well done
I recently reviewed ‘Puppeteers’ by Jason Chavitz on AMAZON. The good news is that AMAZON has allowed the book to be sold. The bad news is that in my review I refer to Obama and Eric Holder as ‘skunks’ for how they handled funds derived from federal fines….the comment was flagged as ‘hate speech’ and was not allowed to be posted. I thought calling them ‘skunks’ was kind, as I would have certainly used much stronger language had I not thought I would be censored, but I was censored anyway,….I am guessing my experience is not unusual.
Remarkable. An Article about Free speech and Censorship and yet across 15 paragraphs no mention of the CCP or Putin’s FBS, nor the totalitarians in Iran and elsewhere.
That’s not a reason to give a free pass to malign influences in the West, but when one talks of a World War on Free Speech and then miss out completely the most anti-free speech actors you lose some credibility.
Fair point. The thing about those regimes though, is their censorship is engaged in avoiding the kind of cultural effects the West seeks to visit upon itself. That’s quite a conundrum: which is stronger, censorship imposed from above or self-censorship?
It’s obvious that corrupt and totalitarian regimes silence free speech. That’s why it is so frightening when free speech is being silenced…
That’s kinda the point. We don’t want to become authoritarian regimes like the ones you mentioned. I don’t care what Putin thinks about free speech.
I think the clue is in the title, and the first paragraph…
“The war on free speech is hardly a novel phenomenon, instead mutating over the centuries. What is new, however, is its global aspirations: today, the conflict takes the form of a world war.“
The author explicitly acknowledges a long history of censorship by individual regimes over the centuries but, quite rightly, is here voicing his alarm at the totalitarian-like coordinated efforts of almost every government in the world to censor certain topics on a global scale. This, we have never seen before.
We already know about those nations you mention. The point is we don’t want it in The West.
There is no such thing as “hate speech”…there may be speech which any given individual may hate but there is on “free speech”…enough of this bs power grabbing
I’m reminded of the old quip: there is no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestia. True believers on the left and right demand intellectual hegemony, particularly on the left with the “seminarians”, aka professors, running the universities.
I grew up in N Ireland. There never was any free speech for the likes of us. None of this bothers me in the slightest. Can’t lose what you never had.
Yet it does seem like you are an outspoken and opinionated man. Not much use in being “bothered”, but I’d think you would take some issue with the “new censorship”.
What worries me is that misinformation has real world consequences. 63% of Republican voters believe that the 2020 Presidential election was stolen, although only 50% of those think they’ve seen any evidence. Why do they think that? Because powerful people and institutions have told them so. The result led to the attack on the Capital and a lack of trust in free and fair elections, a cornerstone of democracy. Now those powerful people and institutions claim the rioters were the heroes and the cops defending the building the villains.
When my Dad was young, polio was a thing, but the vaccine came along and now it’s not. Cholera, TB, smallpox, using leeches were all things, but advances in medical science means that in developed countries we don’t have to worry about them any more. But anti vaccine theories, any science theories are rife.
We’ve come through COVID where hard decisions had to be made, some partly right, some partly wrong but conspiracy theorists are already having a feeding frenzy.
It’s naive expecting a return to a world where there is objective truth, rather than alternative facts, but this article was profoundly depressing in its advocacy for a post truth world.
When my parents were young, scarlet fever was not unusual. It is very rare now. Not because of vaccines or medicine, but because living conditions have improved. The main improvements in public health are down to improvements in living standards. It would be good if WHO was investing in clean water, good housing, reduction in pollution and better working conditions rather than ‘pandemic planning’.
Much of the pharmaceutical industry’s products have had the opposite effect, reducing people’s health. As for Covid19, I am struggling to see any ‘right’ decisions taken. The NPIs were incredibly harmful, and the so called Covid19 vaccines were and are literally lethal.
The problem with ‘misinformation’ is who decides. Was the gunpowder plot a ‘conspiracy theory’. Questioning the ‘truth’ of the Zinoviev letter (1924) would have definitely been labelled as misinformation. As for the Iraq dossier ….
It wasn’t washing one’s hands or improving the water supply that eradicated smallpox it was vaccination!
Ditto Polio, which was quite common in the UK in the mid 20th century but is only now endemic in Pakistan and Afghanistan – I wonder why?
Nope. Sadly this is all vaccine industry propaganda.
So vaccination doesn’t work then? Edward Jenner was a quack? How come I’ve never met anyone who has polio? Is it because we are washing our hands more?
Have a look at ‘Turtle’s all the way down’ to see an alternative narrative. BTW improved sanitation ISN”T the same as hand washing – you’re getting confused by your history.That was Semmelweiss and childbirth. And yes, the Covid19 vaccine is lethal. It killed my sister. Look at VAERS, excess deaths. MHRA and many. many more papers/research and you will see plenty of evidence for its harm. Of course not everyone is killed by it. Not all smokers die of lung cancer, not all women who took thalidomide had disabled children.It doesn’t stop tobacco and thalidomide from being dangerous. Indeed, I don’t know anyone who was killed by Covid19 – so clearly not dangerous then.
BTW there are many papers which show the improvement in health due to improved living conditions pre vaccinations. Do the research.eg Look at Stewart’s work (he was Head of public Health in Scotland) for a start.
I’m very sorry to hear about your sister and certainly share your concerns re COVID. I am also well aware of improvements in public health re cholera and other diseases.
Where I take issue with your position is the idea that because there may be issues with covid vaccines vaccination itself is problematic.
Smallpox has been wiped off the face of the earth because of a concerted global effort to vaccinate people and stop them catching it – improvements in sanitation are entirely secondary. What a wonderful human achievement! We should be dancing in the streets celebrating the fact we aren’t dying of smallpox anymore!
Vaccination doesn’t “work”. Edward Jenner is probably a fabricated story. You’ve never met anyone with polio because you live with modern sanitation – the infrastructure of toilets and plumbing, and soap and disinfectant. Polio spreads through feces getting onto the hands that are used to eat with, without washing off the bacteria. Although a quick search on Wikipedia will tell you that cases of “vaccine-acquired polio” also now exceeds “naturally occurring polio” even in the poorest countries in Africa. So… we literally GIVE children polio with the “vaccine.” Great, huh?!
Truth can only be evidence based. Are there sufficient facts, sufficient data. The idea that Covid vaccines ‘were and are lethal’ is not remotely backed up by any evidence. If they were ‘lethal’, millions would have died, including me, my family, my friends and everyone where I live. This is the kind of misinformation and conspiracy theory that has real world consequences.
Advances in medical science are proven, because there is an abundance of evidence that supports it.
Critical Theory is a conspiracy theory, one that you believe in, apparently.
It’s not something I have the slightest interest in, one way or the other. I certainly don’t believe in it, whatever it is.
Last week you told me Critical Theory isn’t a conspiracy theory, this week you have no idea what it is? Hmmm
Answer the following questions:
Can a women have a peni5 and are borders racist?
If you believe these statements are true, then you believe in “Theory” and accept a post truth world.
Sorry, I did no such thing. As I say I have no interest in critical theory, and I didn’t last week or, in fact, ever. Your obsession with women with genitalia is a little worrying and how can borders be racist. I support a sensible immigration policy that works for the country. Satisfy you?
From “The Post” 6th of June – “One in Three Believe In The Great Replacement Theory”
“Andrew, I know very little about ‘Critical Theory’ and care even less but I do know that it’s not a conspiracy theory. So should you”.
How can anyone have a honest debate with you.
If you went to University did studied a degree in a social science, there’s a high probaility you would done a module in Critical Theory.
I just laugh at the idiocy of it all but top deflecting. How about the KKK comment, care to defend that?
So the module studied at University was a conspiracy theory, is that what you’re saying? As I say, I know little and care less so if you’re saying they are teaching conspiracy theories at our universities then OK.
Yes, they are teaching nonsense so according to you anything that can’t be verfied by objective truth (evidence), which “Theory” via Post-modernism explicitly rejects. It is a conspiracy theory (It calls itself theory after all).
But what if the evidence itself is censored?
They were telling five year olds to get vaccinated. My neighbour was very happy when they developed the vaccine for children. Why would that be?
I don’t know your neighbour. Do I think vaccines work, though, and have done for disease prevention for years, without conspiracy theories? Yes.
Of course I do. I’m fully vaccinated. I got the Covid jab too – because I’m 58 years old with some chronic disease history in the family. But they were advising children to get vaccinated, even though they had virtually zero risk of bad outcomes, and vaccines didn’t prevent the spread of the disease. My 21-year-old healthy son was fired from his job for refusing the vaccine, even though he was not at risk from Covid and vaccines did not prevent spread of the infection.
The majority of people didn’t die because the shots they got were duds. Thousands died as they got contaminated shots (production processes for drugs cannot be scaled that quickly).
My point on misinformation exactly. This kind of pernicious nonsense is dangerous. And, of course, totally unsupported by real verifiable evidence.
It’s not pernicious nonsense and it’s totally supported by real verifiable evidence – the type that’s censored so the likes of you continue believing the lies.
Would like to know why after mass Covid vaccinations the excess deaths went up in some countries like Germany? Germany started out as one of the countries with the least excess deaths in Europe. Then they had mass vaccinations in 2021, and now it seems they have more excess deaths than many other countries, who did badly at the beginning of the pandemic, but improved later. Will we ever know, if excess deaths occurred because of the vaccine side effects and/or lockdowns, which severely affected people with other diseases. So far I haven’t come across a straight answer. Were vaccinations the reason that supposedly less people died later in the U.K.( and US?) or didn’t it make any difference. You will find answers by reputable scientists on both sides. The problem is that the pro-vaccine physicians and scientists were allowed to have a platform and the sceptical ones were massively censored.
Not that it matters but humans are genetically quite robust and evolution has allowed many to avoid illness. Nearly half of volunteers intentionally exposed in the Challenge trials never became ill, at all. We have never been equally vulnerable to the pathogen and likely to the vaccine ill effects as well. In the past any harms to those who may be less robust would have ended the effort. Not sure why those cautions were abandoned for the masses.
Thanks for your objective truth, Ruth! So glad so many people have woken up to these facts now!
“This article was profoundly depressing in its advocacy for a post truth world”.
Where does it say any of that, more projection on your part.
I’m more concerned that leaders of the opposition believe that a woman can have a peni5.
I’m sure you are. I’m more concerned about hospital waiting lists, teacher shortages and people in one of the richest countries on earth having to use food banks but each to his own.
You are probably the most dishonest debater on here (and not the smartest either).
You complain about a post-truth world and when I mention something that flies in the face of reality, you strawman.
I genuinely have no idea what you are saying. Do you want me to have a debate about transgender people? I believe they exist, because they clearly do, and I think they have rights. But I have concerns when their ‘rights’ impinge on others. So, for example, I think there must be women only spaces, not available to anyone merely identifying as a woman. I also think commenting on my intelligence is hardly the epitome of a confident debater.
No. You carry on about conspiracy theories but are oblivious to the pernicious nonsense of Critical Theory.
For someone who called me the Major from Fawlty Towers and likened my comments on mass immigration as someone from the KKK shows that you quickly resort to insult. That’s when you’re not strawmanning or engaging in other fallacious arguments.
Sorry, I should have realised you wouldn’t get irony. My bad.
My point exactly!
John, there would have to be irony in the comment for it to be ironic and since you have no idea of what a fallacy is…
Maybe we shouldn’t have wasted billions in pointless tests, drugs and furlough payments. See… the economy can’t be shut down to save lives, the economy supports lives.
Please tell me this is a parody?
There is a reason the majority of people in the developed world got vaccinated. That’s because the evidence supported it. There is a reason the majority of people supported lockdown. In the UK, because the evidence was that it was the best available method to buy time until the vaccines became available.
Haha! I gave you the benefit of the doubt before I saw you spout the script…
“There is a reason the majority of people in the developed world got vaccinated. That’s because the evidence supported it. There is a reason the majority of people supported lockdown. In the UK, because the evidence was that it was the best available method to buy time until the vaccines became available.“
This is a script. It’s lies. Most people know this now. You can post it all you like, you are no match for reality…
Was it Alice in Wonderland? The quote “why I believe in six impossible things before breakfast”? Anyway, I’m leaving the rabbit hole now. Cheers.
Right author, wrong book. It’s in Through the Looking Glass. For what it matters, the White Queen’s remark was an oblique reference to mathematicians temporarily believing incorrect conjectures until a counter-example or a proof of a contradictory result has been found.
The reason most people got vaccinated—including me—is because we believed “Them.” Well, after seeing information that made it past the censors, we don’t believe “Them” anymore. Thank God for the alternative media.
It also could be, that the population was so scared by government/media propaganda , that they welcomed Lockdowns and Vaccinations. Nobody knows yet, what consequences we will face with vaccine side effects in the future. But we already know the horrible consequences of the Lockdowns: severe economical problems (recent report by Johns Hopkins), and mental and educational effects on our children and young adults for many years to come.
The reason so many people got the jab is they were forced to or scared witless. People that didn’t were literally fired from their job. Others were got the jab because they were repeatedly told lies about its efficacy. Vaccines were great for older people and those with comorbidities. That’s it.
Two weeks to stop the spread was a reasonable response. The rest of it was pure panic. That’s why the WHO advised against this very thing in 2019. The disruption to the economy and society was far more damaging than the actual disease.
There is an inquiry underway in the UK so we’ll see if your theory holds up. It’s worth noting, though, that here there were 3 lockdowns in total because once they ended the rate of transmission shot up again and hospitals were once again in danger of being overwhelmed.
I’m not sure what theory you’re referring to.
We know people were fired for not getting the jab.
We know lockdowns created massive disruptions to the supply chain, that along with paying people to stay home, led to massive inflation, that shutting down schools created educational and social disruptions for children. We know the WHO advised against lockdowns in 2019.
We know Covid was a not life threatening for anyone under the age of 65 without comorbidities.
We know vaccines did not stop transmission of the disease.
We know health care providers did nothing when someone was diagnosed with Covid. They sent them home and said good luck. They didn’t even give people easily accessible devices to measure oxygen levels in their blood. Instead of waiting until they were very sick, people could have sought treatment earlier.
What am I missing here?
What worries me is that misinformation has real world consequences. A worrying majority of people believe we are free of certain disease because of miracle drugs called “vaccines”. Why do they think that? Because powerful people and institutions have told them so. The result has led to the destruction of countless immune systems, sudden deaths, life-altering injuries and families torn apart. All for profit. Now those powerful people and institutions claim that we are at risk of new outbreaks of disease, and attempt to silence the voices of anyone who is “anti vaccine” and calls for a full investigation into the lies behind the whole industry. Polio, cholera and TB were eliminated by improvements in sanitation, clean water supply and good nutrition. Advances in modern infrastructure means that in developed countries we don’t have to worry about them any more. However, just as these diseases were almost eradicated, the pharma companies sold everyone snake oil (“vaccines”) and claimed their miracle wonder drugs were the saviour of the human race.
By all means maintain your personal belief in the snake oil, but don’t you DARE declare that those who are exposing the lies and propaganda holding up the vaccine industrial complex don’t have the right to speak. Interestingly Joe Rogan (not a fan) offered a “scientist” $100K to come on his show and debate RFK JR (not a fan) about vaccine harms. Funnily enough the guy has yet to accept the challenge. Why? Because he has ZERO evidence for the safety and efficacy of ANY vaccine. I won’t get started about that biotech device they claimed was a “covid vaccine” because that’s just turtles all the way down. Every single thing the establishment, academia and the MSM published about “covid” was a lie. It poses NO risk to the majority of people, it is NOT life-threatening (unless the treatment given is one of the deadly ones) and the approval of any drug without long term safety data is unethical and abhorrent. There’s some objective truths for you.
My problem is that there is no evidence for any of this. So it’s not remotely objective truth, it’s the very definition of a conspiracy theory.
The evidence is all around you. If only you’d engage with it. If only you WANTED to engage with it. But you don’t. You sound very much like an employee of “Logically AI” – someone paid to spout a script and push propaganda and gaslight rational, intelligent people. But on the off chance you’re a real punter here… just consider the possibility that YOU are the believer in baseless conspiracy theories (that big pharma wants to help you, your government cares about you and the BBC never lies). Or don’t. Saying “It’s not true!” “There’s no evidence!” and “You’re a dangerous conspiracy theorist!” repeatedly is only going to keep you stuck in a rut.
You’re throwing pearls before swine, Amy.
I actually suspect he is what is known as a “troll”, Julian. Possibly works for Caroline Lucas. I recognise the syntax from “her” letters to me!
The problem is that my cousin died of something you tell me is a hoax, one of our neighbours has long covid and I have friends and relatives who work in the NHS and saw all the effects first hand. Like so many other people who live in the real world.
Your cousin likely died of Remdesivir or an infection contracted by being placed on a ventilator. No one “died of covid”, they died of interventions. “Long covid” is either toxic poisoning from prolonged mask wearing or vaccine harm. Most people working in the NHS have been subjected to brainwashing for years. But gradually, more and more are coming to terms with the truth. I am very sorry for your loss, regardless.
You take my lived experience and tell me I’m wrong, any evidence I’ve seen or believe is a lie unless it reflects your views. Your truth is the only truth. Sorry, but I’m not buying it. Not because I’m a troll, brainwashed, stupid or whatever else you want to call me but, and I keep coming back to this, everything I’ve seen, read, heard, experienced, tells me you are wrong.
Never look for another explanation for your “lived experience”… once you are an adherent to an official narrative, never question it. You are a religious zealot.
Goodness. I’ve been following this back-and-forth from a couple of days ago to waste ten minutes that I need to waste, but now I have to ask for your actual references to back up the simple and straightforward claim you make – ‘no one “died of Covid”..’. Go on, back that up with any reasonable evidential trail. And by reasonable, I mean to exclude any hot air about brainwashing.
This if true.
Polio was absolutely eliminated by vaccines. You think it was a coincidence these things happened at the same time? Same with MMR.
Oh, I say that stuff all the time–and worse, if you can imagine. I’m not a powerful institution, and I don’t know that even I believe everything I say. It’s just that I’m a right wing terrorist, you know?
Unfortunately, so far the real world consequences of my misinformation campaign have been limited to winding up hysterical, sanctimonious Puritans, while titillating bored young women and amusing “based” acquaintances.
I did commit countless acts of fornication, without the so-called “vaccine” against that Chinese virus. So maybe I was “murdering people”?
Apparently the powerful people on the other side have informed you as well, so you imagine to understand truth. Few believe the election wasn’t remarkably odd. Many irregular events happened that have never been investigated nor explained. In our partisan world perhaps trying to get a bipartisan investigation may be impossible.
The J6 event was also quite odd when a rowdy bunch came unglued after flash bangs and rubber bullets were deployed. Prior to that there was no violence only noise. Sadly there were agitators who then inspired a crowd to become a mob and mobs are unstable as known by every public safety person. Which is why munitions must be deployed with great care, into the edges never the middle. Crowd dynamics can cause great damage as footie fans are more than aware.
Sadly the more we discover about vaccines of all kinds, we are becoming more suspicious. The effort to reduce “hesitancy” has ended up with even more with many more questions being asked along with worse answers. We may have been sold a bill-of-goods about them.
Good that we may be re-examining many things once thought true. Keep an open mind.