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Big Brother is Watching You: The Chilling Effect of Big Tech Censorship

To understand how censorship chills free expression, just picture yourself in the following scenario: you don’t have a woke, pro-Pharma ideology and you think you should follow the evidence, wherever it leads you. The evidence leads you to an opinion that is not especially friendly to the woke, pro-Pharma agenda – whether on transgender issues, vaccine harms and benefits, “inclusive” pronouns, or the efficacy of medical treatments that do not fill the pockets of Big Pharma shareholders

You have carefully considered the evidence and weighed the arguments on both sides. You want to share your arguments and conclusions, as well as the evidence you relied on. But the conclusions you have reached are misaligned with the interests and opinions of Big Pharma and/or woke leftism, which currently dominate Big Tech. Furthermore, you can be sure that a team of woke, pro-Pharma censors (or algorithms) are breathing down your neck, just itching to shut down their critics.

You value the social and professional network you have built up over the years on this or that social media platform – say, Linkedin or Twitter – a network you cannot easily find elsewhere. You want to contribute to public debate and share relevant evidence with your peers, but you know that if you do so with integrity and transparency, you will likely accumulate strikes against your account and end up getting kicked off the platform, losing access to a valuable social and professional network.

What do you do?

1. You continue to comment freely, knowing your days are numbered on that platform.

2. You shut your mouth and keep your head down – better to survive than disappear “heroically” into social media oblivion?

3. You find some creative way to make your point. For example, you might refer to vaccines as “maxxines” or you might discuss “repurposed drugs” in general as a codeword for Ivermectin. Or you might quote an expert in a Youtube video but make clear that you are not necessarily endorsing his position. Here is an excellent example, in which the harms of certain unnamed “pharmocological interventions” are discussed by Dr John Campbell and his cardiologist guest, Dr Aseem Malhotra:



I know a lot of people would probably go with 2 (shut up) or 3 (get creative). Either of these adaptive responses is understandable, and arguably necessary in a highly censored environment.

But success at by-passing the censor’s alarm system is typically purchased at the cost of an open, forthright conversation accessible to the general public. The use of a coded language is, after all, a form of self-censorship, that makes one’s discourse less accessible to the general public which is not initiated into your censor-proof language. Thus, the chilling effect on free and open discourse is undeniable.

Furthermore, even if you are extremely creative at developing a censorship-resistant language, and manage, somehow, to make it accessible to a general audience, this strategy only gets you so far, since there are reports, studies, and articles that do fall foul of the censor’s rules, and thus cannot be shared or even cited without either being publicly flagged as “misinformation” or being taken down.

Without a free and open discourse about moral, scientific, and political questions, the healthy back-and-forth of arguments and counter-arguments vital to a free and vibrant society is replaced by a lazy consensus. People quickly become complacent and unquestioning about politically correct opinions, which are artificially shielded from public criticism.

Once we immunise the gatekeepers of political correctness against serious criticism, sadly, we open the door to a social and political system built on half-truths and propaganda, in which public decisions are guided by the power of the censor, rather than the light of truth.

P.S. Click here to watch my free pre-recorded webinar on the power of civil society. If you enjoy this complimentary webinar, you can use a form on the same page to register to receive more information about my upcoming Freedom Workshop, which will kick off in just a few weeks.


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