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Letter: If you’re not concerned, you’re not paying attention

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The Register’s reprinting of a column by Douglas Schoen (“Rein in Big Tech’s power over news publishing”, April 29, 2022) is ironic in its timing. Only two days earlier, the Biden Administration announced the formation of the Disinformation Governance Board, to be managed by the Department of Homeland Security. I think the purpose of said board will be, inter alia, to root out any postings in social media such as Facebook and Twitter that – in the governments sole discretion – constitutes “disinformation” or misinformation. The implications of this dystopian announcement far overshadow the concerns Schoen was addressing.

In 1633, the Roman Inquisition determined that Galileo’s published thesis that the earth revolves around the sun, rather than the other way around, constituted “disinformation,” and silenced him by confining him to house arrest for the remaining years of his life. More recently, in October of 2020 one of the oldest newspapers in America, the New York Post, published a news report about the discovery of a laptop owned by the son of now-President Joe Biden, on which resided significantly damning information about Biden’s son trafficking in his father’s political clout in various international business dealings, both in China, Ukraine and elsewhere. The backlash from the social platforms was quick and crippling, shutting down the online accounts of the Post on Facebook and Twitter, on the grounds that the Post’s reporting constituted disinformation.

Both the New York Times and the Washington Post jumped on that bandwagon, and many regional newspapers, such as the Register, reprinted those articles. A couple of weeks later, Biden won the general election for president. As both the Times and The Washington Post have recently admitted, the New York Post story was not disinformation after all, but undeniably true.

So now the Department of Homeland Security has announced that the head of their new “disinformation” inquisition will be the singularly ridiculous choice of a young woman named Nina Jankowicz, the same person who supported the censorship of the New York Post article about the Hunter Biden laptop, proclaiming the New York Post story as “a Trump campaign product.”

This is the woman who will be determining what we can and cannot say in public? If you are not gravely concerned about the direction of the current administration in the attempted stifling of speech they disapprove, you simply are not paying attention.

D. Michael Enfield

Napa

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