Did you know that there are far-right people gathering, somewhere, maybe under your bed, perhaps in a shed right now and ‘spreading misinformation’ and hate? Honestly you cannot swing a cat these days before you hit someone who is spreading hate or misinformation or disinformation or indeed conspiracies. They seem to be everywhere. As such you must have people, self-appointed people, authorities who can counter all of this hate and do some fact-checking.
This is according to the Irish national broadcaster, RTÉ, who have run with a report from a group called, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.
Unsurprisingly it was also the lead in a slightly hysterical report from the Irish Times.
The name Institute for Strategic Dialogue sounds really fancy, really serious, what with using the words strategic and dialogue, which is much more complex and cleverer than just normal dialogue, conversation, talking, chit-chat or mere gossip.
They must know what they are doing. They have just released a report called on an Investigation into online mis- and disinformation ecosystems in Ireland.
Sure enough, RTÉ ran with it like it was gospel. RTÉ, “New research on the spread of online misinformation and disinformation in Ireland has revealed that the influence of the far-right is growing.
The study by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) also shows that tech companies are failing to enforce community guidelines to curb the spread of false, misleading and harmful content on social media platforms.”
In other words, the self-appointed ISD would like more online censorship of views they don’t like. Who do they not like? They don’t like Gript media that uppity start-up that gets quite a lot of traffic online, to name just one.
The ISD, “Gript has emerged as a prominent entity within the Irish mis- and disinformation ecosystem, with their posts consistently gaining some of the highest interactions within the topics analysed. The site was also the most shared media platform for seven out of the nine topics analysed. Please see the appendix for Gript’s response to the claims made in this report.” The report outlines the links that some of Gript’s people have to previous pro-life campaigns in Ireland, so obviously they are the bad guys. Can’t have people who campaign on important issues of justice and human dignity running a media outlet and spreading all that ‘disinformation.’
More from RTÉ, “The study found that activity within the mis- and disinformation ecosystem is growing across all platforms with the number of posts and engagement levels, as well as the number of active accounts, increasing year-on-year between 2020 and 2023.
According to the report, there are clear and obvious enforcement gaps on platforms that allows false, misleading or harmful content to survive. Researchers found that Twitter, now called X, was the platform where the most activity within this mis- and disinformation ecosystem occurred for eight out of the nine topics analysed.”
So there is now a “mis and disinformation ecosystem” and it’s growing. Why can’t they just call it, lies on the internet? And who says and who gets to label what is and is not mis and disinformation?
It seems the likes of the ISD and then taken up by the state broadcaster, who is never ever guilty of spreading misinformation unless you are dealing with a hospital in Gaza being bombed by Israel when in fact it was Hamas.
But I digress! The critical line is: there are clear and obvious enforcement gaps. In other words, the State broadcaster is pushing the line, pushed by the ISD that we need more online censorship of views they don’t like, which are usually most often conservative views.
There may include some low hanging fruit in the form of obvious extreme views to make their call for online censorship look more palatable, but these guys at the Institute for Strategic Studies, along with others such as the Centre for Countering Digital Hate are part of the dangerous pro-censorship and anti-free speech ecosystem, according to me, and I am an authority on these things. I engage in strategic dialogue all the time, I can tell you.
Before and during the war the Nazis used to prevent anyone listening to foreign radio broadcasts in Germany. This call for online censorship is part of the same play book, and it shouldn’t surprise us that state broadcasters lap it up. Who wants the competition in information?
So just who are the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. You can find them and their people here. https://www.isdglobal.org/about/
Their funders include the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and the Open Society Foundation. I’m sure you are just shocked by that.
Laura Perrins is an Irish barrister who lived and worked in the UK for many years, where she was the founder of the Conservative Woman website. She has also written for the Daily Mail, the Catholic Herald, and Chapter House. This article was originally published on her substack and is republished here with her permission.