The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday has to do with the freedom to speak freely and the right to publish information in America. Big Tech companies have been censoring content on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media sites. President Donald Trump was banned from several social media sites. The latest victim of Big Tech is Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).
Senator Paul published a video on YouTube – which is owned by Google – in which he discussed face masks and COVID-19. YouTube banned Paul from its platform for a week and gave the following reason for doing so in a public statement: “We removed content from Senator Paul’s channel for including claims that masks are ineffective in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID-19, in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies.”
YouTube’s decision was bad for at least two reasons, according to Jarrett Stepman. His first reason is that “YouTube’s policy cites the World Health Organization and ‘local authorities’ as its source of what’s correct about COVID-19.” Does the WHO even know what is good? It has flipped and flopped on its decisions since January 2020.
Stepman’s second reason as to why YouTube’s decision was bad is a quote of Paul’s actual statement about masks. Paul, who is a physician, did not say in the video that “masks are ineffective against the coronavirus.” He said that “some masks are effective, while others are not.” He said that “N95 masks can prevent you from contracting COVID-19, but simple cloth masks don’t provide this protection.” Paul’s opinion is the opposite of the “guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” – which has also flipped and flopped on its opinions. Stepman gave the following quote from Paul in his video:
Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work; they don’t prevent infection. Saying cloth masks work when they don’t actually risk lives, as someone may choose to care for a loved one with COVID while only wearing a cloth mask. This is not only bad advice but also potentially deadly information.
Paul then listed results from studies showing that cloth masks do not stop the virus from penetrating the mask. Big Tech does not seem to care about “science” when it has an agenda to follow. Other people have been censored besides President Trump and Senator Paul. Stepman listed two videos from The Heritage Foundation. One video featured “Dr. Michelle Cretella, an experienced pediatrician, who warned about giving puberty blockers to young children.” Another censored video was of “a Heritage event discussing the sexualization of children in culture and education.” Stepman stated that “Such censorship represents only the tip of the iceberg.”
Stepman emphasized that the biggest problem is that Big Tech is “working in lockstep not only with other huge tech companies but with governments.” Big Tech has become an arm of the Biden administration. White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated in July that the Biden administration would be “flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.”
According to Psaki, the government is not censoring “information” – just “disinformation.” The question is, who gets to decide what information is disinformation? Are decisions based on health or science, or are they part of a political agenda? Remember, Facebook was once censoring any posts stating that “the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 may have been man-made and originated in a lab.” However, Facebook changed its policy “after it became hard to deny that a substantial amount of evidence exists for the lab-leak theory.”
When Big Tech can ban a sitting President of the United States and a U.S. Senator, there is little question about them being able to ban regular Americans. Freedom of speech is definitely in danger from Big Tech and from an administration that make Big Tech an arm of the government.