Free Speech

Biden Charges Facebook With Homicide, While His Surgeon General Recommends 'Legal and Regulatory Measures' To Suppress COVID-19 'Misinformation'

Speech is protected by the First Amendment even when it discourages vaccination.

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The day after Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory calling for a "whole-of-society" effort to combat the "urgent threat to public health" posed by "health misinformation," President Joe Biden accused Facebook and other social media platforms of "killing people" by allowing the spread of anti-vaccine messages. Bridling at the homicide charge, Facebook noted that "vaccine acceptance" among the platform's users has increased by 10 to 15 percentage points since January.

"The data shows that 85% of Facebook users in the US have been or want to be vaccinated against COVID-19," the company said in a statement on Saturday. "President Biden's goal was for 70% of Americans to be vaccinated by July 4. Facebook is not the reason this goal was missed."

The escalation of Biden's tiff with Facebook reflects his frustration with the company's failure to control speech the way he thinks it should. As Reason's Robby Soave noted last week, Biden seems to think Facebook should be treating his censorious suggestions as orders. "These platforms have to recognize they've played a major role in the increase in speed and scale with which misinformation is spreading," Murthy said on CNN yesterday. His recommendations include "appropriate legal and regulatory measures that address health misinformation while protecting user privacy and freedom of expression."

It is hard to imagine how any such measures could be "appropriate" in light of the First Amendment. The basic problem Biden and Murthy have identified is that freedom of speech allows people to say things that are misleading or flat-out wrong. And while Biden and Murthy are surely right that misguided opinions and erroneous statements of fact can have bad consequences, that has always been understood as an unavoidable cost of free speech.

The alternative—empowering the government to determine which opinions are acceptable and which statements are accurate—does not eliminate error, since the officials charged with making those judgments are just as fallible as the rest of us, as the history of public pronouncements about COVID-19 amply illustrates. Such a regime would replace the cacophony of contending views that offends Biden and Murthy with a single, authoritative voice that might also be wrong, but without the opportunity for correction. When the government uses "legal and regulatory measures" to suppress "misinformation" it deems dangerous, it destroys the noisy, imperfect, but ultimately enlightening mechanism that allows us to arrive at the truth.

At the end of his advisory, just before the list of references, Murthy tackles a subject that you might think deserved higher billing: What is "misinformation"?

"Defining 'misinformation' is a challenging task, and any definition has limitations," Murthy concedes. "One key issue is whether there can be an objective benchmark for whether something qualifies as misinformation. Some researchers argue that for something to be considered misinformation, it has to go against 'scientific consensus.' Others consider misinformation to be information that is contrary to the 'best available evidence.' Both approaches recognize that what counts as misinformation can change over time with new evidence and scientific consensus. This Advisory prefers the 'best available evidence' benchmark since claims can be highly misleading and harmful even if the science on an issue isn't yet settled."

Who decides what the "best available evidence" indicates? Trusting government-appointed experts with that job seems risky, to say the least.

Anthony Fauci, the federal government's top COVID-19 adviser, has admitted that he deliberately lowballed the threshold for herd immunity because he did not think the public could handle the truth. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), misrepresented the "best available evidence" concerning outdoor COVID-19 transmission in several significant ways. Fauci, the CDC, and Jerome Adams, Murthy's predecessor as surgeon general, initially dismissed the value of face masks as a precaution against COVID-19, only to reverse themselves for reasons that had nothing to do with evolving science.

Now that the official guidance has changed, is it "misinformation" to question whether face masks have done much to prevent COVID-19 transmission? Since the evidence is mixed, you might think that mask skeptics would be allowed to state their views on social media. But Murthy worries about messages that might encourage people to "reject public health measures such as masking and physical distancing." Questioning the effectiveness of masks certainly seems to fall into that category. Murthy even expresses concern that "misinformation" has "led to harassment of and violence against" airline personnel, although the proximate cause of those conflicts is the Transportation Security Administration's scientifically dubious rule requiring that all passengers wear face masks, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated.

Whether skepticism about masks or about mask mandates qualifies as "misinformation" depends on what Murthy or some other officially recognized expert decides the "best available evidence" tells us. Likewise with controversies such as the origin of COVID-19, its infection fatality rate, the herd immunity threshold, the usefulness of specific treatments, and the cost-effectiveness of lockdowns.

The fact the Murthy does not cite a single specific example of "health misinformation" in his 22-page advisory on that subject is not exactly reassuring. He repeatedly echoes Biden's concern that certain messages might dissuade people from getting vaccinated, but even here he is vague. "A recent study showed that even brief exposure to COVID-19 vaccine misinformation made people less likely to want a COVID-19 vaccine," he says.

Several of the messages used in that study were straightforwardly wacky. One stated that "97% of corona vaccine recipients will become infertile," for example, while another warned that "you will essentially become a genetically modified human being" if you receive an mRNA vaccine. But one post wondered why everyone needs to be vaccinated against a virus that kills a tiny percentage of people infected by it, which is more of a question than a false claim.

According to Murthy's definition, "misinformation" includes statements that are true but "misleading," which suggests the label could be applied to, say, concerns about the sample sizes or follow-up periods used in vaccine studies. If someone notes that the studies did not follow subjects for years to see whether they suffered any long-term side effects, that would be true but unhelpful and therefore probably would be deemed "misleading."

In addition to worrying that "health misinformation" is "undermining vaccination efforts," Murthy says it is "dividing families and communities," which to his mind counts as the sort of "significant harm" that demands government attention. If so, pretty much any scientific, political, or social issue that provokes arguments between relatives and friends would qualify as a "public health" problem requiring a government response.

Even purging clearly false statements about COVID-19 vaccines from social media platforms is a tall order. Yet Murthy seems to think Facebook et al. also should suppress debatable or even accurate statements that might discourage vaccination, along with other kinds of "misinformation" about COVID-19. And the platforms are expected to do that without "an objective benchmark," based on an assessment of what counts as "misleading" in light of the "best available evidence," which is open to interpretation and "can change over time." Good luck with that.

Murthy notes "the challenges of content moderation" as well as the potential for "unintended consequences," such as "migration of users to less-moderated platforms." Unfazed by those challenges, he thinks platforms "should also address misinformation in live streams, which are more difficult to moderate due to their temporary nature and use of audio and video."

If social media platforms fail to accomplish this impossible mission, Murthy warns, "legal and regulatory measures" may be necessary. What might those look like?

Now that the surgeon general "has declared the barrage of misinformation spreading on social media a public health hazard," Harvard media researchers Joan Donovan and Jennifer Nilsen argue in an NBC News essay, the government should treat social media companies "like Big Tobacco" by imposing "serious consumer protection regulations." They note that Murthy thinks Facebook et al. should "redesign their algorithms so that search and recommendation systems don't surface reckless misinformation, and to make it easier for people to identify and report misinformation."

If those recommendations became commands, they would clearly impinge on the First Amendment rights of social media companies and people who use their platforms. But even if such regulations could pass constitutional muster, they would face the same basic problem as voluntary efforts to curb "misinformation": Once you get beyond clear examples like warnings about vaccine-induced mass sterility, misinformation is in the eye of the beholder.

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  1. This is why we need to KEEP (not tinker with) Section 230!

    Maybe Section 230 should be promoted to a Constitutional Amendment, come to think of it…

    1. Biden has many levers of power to go after FB; Section 230 is no obstacle to him. He can have FB investigated for anti-trust violations, have the IRS go after them for taxes, or have the civil rights division tie them in knots.

      1. Section 230 doesn’t prevent the government from doing anything. It doesn’t prevent the government from censoring the internet, the 1A does that. It prevents people from suing property owners for defamatory messages they host on their property in good faith or selectively removing messages they previously agreed to host on their property in good faith.

        1. “Section 230 doesn’t prevent the government from doing anything.”

          A TOTAL lie!!! Section 230 prevents Government Almighty from PROVIDING COURT FORUMS in which you can sue Facebook for what OTHER PEOPLE (not Facebook) wrote to their Facebook pages!

          And the smart and honest people here know damned well what happens to you if you then disobey the edicts issuing from said courts of Government Almighty! Which result from a “mere” civil court dispute!

          Civil v/s criminal law; whoop-dee-doo; punishment is punishment!

          And now Texas will show us the way to stop abortion using CIVIL laws!!!

          https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/npr/2021/05/19/998237349/the-governor-of-texas-has-signed-a-law-that-bans-abortion-as-early-as-6-weeks/

          The Governor Of Texas Has Signed A Law That Bans Abortion As Early As 6 Weeks
          The new law prohibits abortion the moment a fetal heartbeat has been detected, before many women are even aware that they are pregnant. Enforcement of the law relies on private citizens.

          1. the property owners (the web site owners) should decide!

            “Website owners = property owners” – SQRLSY One

        2. Section 230 doesn’t prevent the government from doing anything.

          That’s incorrect. Section 230 has multiple parts; one protects against civil lawsuits. Another protects companies from being treated as publishers of information that someone else provided, which protects them against both civil and criminal liability.

          But, as I was saying, Section 230 is irrelevant to Biden; if Biden wants to pressure FB, he isn’t going to do it with weak stuff like Section 230, he’s going go to after them with anti-trust, taxes, and non-discrimination.

          1. which protects them against both civil and criminal liability

            In letter, it offers zero protection against criminal liability except to default to other laws. It’s not very long, you should try reading it sometime:

            (e)Effect on other laws
            (1)No effect on criminal law
            Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair the enforcement of section 223 or 231 of this title, chapter 71 (relating to obscenity) or 110 (relating to sexual exploitation of children) of title 18, or any other Federal criminal statute.

            (2)No effect on intellectual property law
            Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or expand any law pertaining to intellectual property.

            (3)State law
            Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any State from enforcing any State law that is consistent with this section. No cause of action may be brought and no liability may be imposed under any State or local law that is inconsistent with this section.

            (4)No effect on communications privacy law
            Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the application of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 or any of the amendments made by such Act, or any similar State law.

            (5)No effect on sex trafficking law
            Nothing in this section (other than subsection (c)(2)(A)) shall be construed to impair or limit—
            (A)any claim in a civil action brought under section 1595 of title 18, if the conduct underlying the claim constitutes a violation of section 1591 of that title;
            (B)any charge in a criminal prosecution brought under State law if the conduct underlying the charge would constitute a violation of section 1591 of title 18; or
            (C)any charge in a criminal prosecution brought under State law if the conduct underlying the charge would constitute a violation of section 2421A of title 18, and promotion or facilitation of prostitution is illegal in the jurisdiction where the defendant’s promotion or facilitation of prostitution was targeted.

            The “fact” that it “protects” them from criminal liability totally explains all the Congressional hearings into the matter.

            1. In letter, it offers zero protection against criminal liability except to default to other laws. It’s not very long, you should try reading it sometime:

              Yeah, so should you, because you left out the most important part:

              No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

              This applies to both criminal and civil law. The subsection (e) that you cite is to be read in that context.

    2. Ditto. Both sides want to get rid of it because both sides want to be Censors in Chief. Government doesn’t like people saying what government hasn’t approved them saying.

      1. Tell us more about how covid is the same as polio.

      2. How is saying stop censoring censorship? How is saying end civil liability carve outs censorship?

        Youre a fucking idiot. Not everything is both sides.

        1. “…end civil liability carve outs…”

          Hey JesseBahnFuhrer… No matter HOW many times you tell your “Big Lie”, it is NOT true! You’re part of the mob, aren’t you, gangster? For a small fee, you tell small businesses that you will “protect” them… From you and your mob! Refute the below, ye greedy authoritarian who wants to shit all over the concept of private property!

          Look, I’ll make it pretty simple for simpletons. A prime argument of enemies of Section 230 is, since the government does such a HUGE favor for owners of web sites, by PROTECTING web site owners from being sued (in the courts of Government Almighty) as a “publisher”, then this is an unfair treatment of web site owners! Who SHOULD (lacking “unfair” section 230 provisions) be able to get SUED for the writings of OTHER PEOPLE! And punished by Government Almighty, for disobeying any and all decrees from Government Almighty’s courts, after getting sued!

          In a nutshell: Government Almighty should be able to boss around your uses of your web site, because, after all, Government Almighty is “protecting” you… From Government Almighty!!!

          Wow, just THINK of what we could do with this logic! Government Almighty is “protecting” you from getting sued in matters concerning who you chose to date or marry… In matters concerning what line of work you chose… What you eat and drink… What you read… What you think… Therefore, Government Almighty should be able to boss you around on ALL of these matters, and more! The only limits are the imaginations and power-lusts of politicians!

  2. I agree that it is a 1A problem for the government to ban misinformation in the media.

    However, Fox News, Rs that are discouraging vaccines, and others are absolutely morally and ethically guilty of manslaughter for everyone who is currently dying of covid. We could have eliminated covid by now everyone who can get a vaccine actually got one.

    1. And D’s that are morbidly obese, lazy, pigs that sat on the couch all pandemic with govt pay are responsible for themselves and what COVID will do to them if they catch it.

      Eating shitty, no exercise, and obesity are highly correlated with COVID morbidity/mortality. The govt did nothing to spread this message of how to actually protect yourself from COVID. They just wanted their good little sheep.

    2. Interesting take, but not supported. Surveys show that the religious have a much higher vaccination rate than the non-religion respondents. This was led by non-evangelical protestants, followed by evangelicals, Catholics, then the non-religious.

      As the religious tend to be more conservative (R), it would be wrong to blame them for the lower vaccination rates.

      1. Did that control for age? The elderly are the most likely to consider themselves religious, and the vaccine is clearly most beneficial for that age group. To compare, the young are significantly less religious and legitimately have much less to fear from COVID.

    3. Why didn’t you single out the single biggest liar: Dr. Fauci, who initially told us that masks don’t work, even though he “knew” they did?

      1. Fauci was actually right when he said mask didn’t work the lie was when he latter said they did work

    4. “We could have eliminated covid by now everyone who can get a vaccine actually got one.”

      Statement is false, misleading, and without any supporting evidence.

      But you knew that because your prior statement is designed to invoke violence against your political enemies.

      Anyway we all know you are a paid troll.

      1. I mean there are many stories showing vaccinated people getting sick. But leftists like Molly are idiots.

        1. No, actually, there are not many. You push the subtle anti-vax FUD talking points pretty regularly.

          Immunity is strong, lasts, and breakthroughs are rare and nearly always mild. True of the ‘rona or the vaccines.

          If you are a breakthrough case, you may test positive at some point, but the overwhelming odds are that you have a low viral load, it clears immediately, and you’re asymptomatic of very mildly symptomatic. Which is precisely how the human immune system works. The overwhelming bulk of the “many” stories come from people who get tested regularly as a part of their work and are completely asymptomatic. Shit gets reported because it stokes fear and controversy, so works as great clickbait.

          That said Molly is of course wrong. Covid will not be eliminated until literally the whole world has immunity. Unless we want to do a New Zealand and be a hermit nation, which I don’t see happening.

          A few more shots in the US won’t do anything, and if people don’t want one it’s no skin off my back. Now that vaccines are universally available for free, it is just an individual choice. They can take their chances, assess their own risks, make their own decisions. So, get a shot, wait it out, avoid a vaccine all together, or whatever. It doesn’t affect me in the slightest.

          1. “you may test positive at some point, but the overwhelming odds are that you have a low viral load, it clears immediately, and you’re asymptomatic of very mildly symptomatic.”

            So it’s exactly like it was before there was a vaccine

            1. Except of course for running fewer cycles to detect virus now that the vaccines are being pushed, and for vaccinated vs unvaccinated.

              Amazing that you need to run 35-40 cycles pre vaccination and for the unvaccinated, but 25 cycles is perfectly fine for the vaccinated.
              I don’t want to be cynical, I’m sure there’s a perfectly valid medical reason why vaccination means you can run fewer cycles than if someone hasn’t been vaxed

            2. Maybe for kids. I don’t see why anti vax is even a thing. If they created it to kill us all off, well then, btazos, you got us. If it isn’t the vaccines, don’t you realize there are infinite other ways they can kill us off? So let’s just assume the vaccines work like nearly every single other vaccine, and see if we can get to herd immunity.

              1. Assuming the vaccine is not intended, and indded a poor way, to accomplish mass democide, there is the fact that getting the vaccine is unnecessary and illogical for the vast majority of people.
                Further: the desperate push from all institutions, including the WHO trying to cover up natural herd immunity, is just creepy.
                Add to that the quintessential American/human instinct to rebel when told to do or not do something, and one might conclude that there are more logical reasons to not get the vaccine, and few to no medical reasons to get it.

        2. “…many stories showing vaccinated people getting sick.”

          Hey JesseBahnFuhrer… I have read of many ships at sea (even under the sea) surrounded by water, yet catching fire, and even getting destroyed by fire. By JesseBahnFuhrer logic, this PROVES water to be UTTERLY WORTHLESS in fighting fire, right?

          1. Please stfu you fat sack of shit sqrlsy

      2. Seriously, just go look at the list of states, sort by vaccination rate and see the highly vaccinated states have nearly eliminated COVID while the low vaccination rate states are having significant outbreaks.

        This isn’t rocket science levels of data analysis. it is EXTREMELY clear that the vaccines are working and have a substantial impact on COVID transmission.

        What is also clear by looking at the states, is that those with incredibly high infection rates in the Fall and Winter, are actually not having much of a problem now either, indicating that natural immunity is kicking butt too.

        Vaccines work, Natural immunity works. Both true.

        Now what hasn’t been proven true is that the risk of acquiring natural immunity through infection has been proven to be safer than getting vaccinated. So far all the math shows the vaccines being substantially safer.

        1. Trust the Official Experts, they’re never wrong or dishonest

          1. You’ve gotta trust something nardz. Look at it this way – is your life really all that important?

            1. What an odd comment

        2. CaptainJack will get you high (on facts and logic) tonight!

          Sad to say, many right-wing nut-jobs have developed fantastic levels of tolerance (resistance) to even the VERY highest dosage levels of facts and logic!

    5. However, Fox News, Rs that are discouraging vaccines, and others are absolutely morally and ethically guilty of manslaughter for everyone who is currently dying of covid.

      If the vaccine works as advertised, there is no need for masking, vaccination drives, or restrictions: just get vaccinated if you want to be protected. Whether other people get vaccinated or not shouldn’t matter to you.

      The very fact that the Biden administration is so insistent on vaccination drives tells you that they are lying again: either the vaccine doesn’t work as advertised and people who get vaccinated are often not protected, or the administration is just using this as a means of gaining further political power and propaganda.

      And like the good little fascist you are, MollyGodiva, you cheer Biden along.

      1. You know what you are saying is false. So what do you get out of lying about vaccines?

        1. When the government owns everything, it’s called socialism; communism when they also wield a big stick and beat the hell out of you for questioning them.

          When a government doesn’t own but controls things like industry and media, it is called fascism.

          So if a government leader puts pressure on a media outlet by accusing them of literally murdering people, and possibly even threatening them with intervention and regulation unless they purvey what information you want, which definition best fits?

        2. Your own assertion that Covid could be eliminated had everyone gotten vaccinated relies on vaccines working as NOYB2 says, IE vaccinated people don’t get sick, and don’t transmit the virus

          So the better question is, what do YOU get out of lying?

        3. I stated a logical argument. If you think my argument is “false”, you’re welcome to point out any errors in my logic or any erroneous premises.

          So far, you have just engaged in fact-free bloviating and propaganda, MollyGodiva.

          1. “I stated a logical argument. ”

            That was your mistake. You came with a logical argument to a person only capable of regurgitating propaganda and feelz. Molly was never going to be able to go beyond what Fauci tells them to think.

            These people have inferior brains. Sheep is very fitting.

    6. wrong. covid will never be eliminated and saying so is just ignorant. i will never get the vaccine because it is completely unnecessary. i’m still alive and throughout the entire last year i never changed my life. i never got sick and am still alive. don’t need it. period. anyone dying of covid is personally responsible for their own death. if that person was at risk then that person should have gotten the vaccine or taken other precautions. i am NOT responsible for your heath or anyone else’s health. you sound like an insane leftist.

      1. “you sound like an insane leftist.”

        She is, in fact, an insane leftist.

    7. However, Fox News, Rs that are discouraging vaccines, and others are absolutely morally and ethically guilty of manslaughter for everyone who is currently dying of covid.

      You throw others in there so that covers every one. Good call! I guess we can add Fauci and Pfizer for not releasing the vaccine earlier to make Trump look bad. And Psaki, for not sending the troops door to door to ‘insist’ we vaccinate. Or those stubborn fools who chose to DIE after getting the vax, but didn’t send the word out that they are A-Okaliedokilie being a sacrificial lamb for the cause. If it saves one life or costs one to maybe save others I guess. Or those who have had the virus already and have immunity, or the media, for pushing the fear narrative. Or all of those who died from something else but were listed as Covidians. Or those pesky, drug addled junkies who died alongside the Vid because they lost what little hope they had. Or those essential workers, who had no choice but to continue to serve the pajama class in spite of they danger so our lives could go on in a semi-normal but fear enhanced way.
      Did I miss anyone?

    8. GFY

      FNC isnt anti-vaccine, you imbecillic twat

      1. Indeed, FNC is the epitome of controlled opposition.
        I noticed it years ago – they cover the same stories in the same way as the rest of corporateleft media, regardless of those stories inherent significance or relevance to their audience, only they offer occasional voices of opposition.
        It’s not subtle.

    9. >>are absolutely morally and ethically guilty of manslaughter

      morally AND ethically? day-um!

    10. It’s too bad people can’t think for themselves and take responsibility for their own decisions. So be it, then. We’ll just have to make their decisions for them and force them to do what we want.

    11. “Rs that are discouraging vaccines”

      Except Democrats take the vaccine at lower levels.

      And Biden and Harris did more to kill the vaccine than anybody else.

    12. Next you’re gonna say we could eliminate the flu.

    13. discouraging vaccines, and others are absolutely morally and ethically guilty of manslaughter for everyone who is currently dying of covid.

      At most they are ethically responsible for assisting suicide.

    14. YOUR IGNORANCE OF THE TERM MANSLAUGHTER IS CLEARLY SHOWING. to clarify for you, the average number of co-morbidities for covid deaths was recently upped to 2.9. one can more legitimately say that those are suicides than might ANYONE call their deaths manslaughter. we’ve been sold a bill of goods on this matter. please go back to the beginning and the day one reports, then follow the mangled narrative. one needn’t be wise to see we’ve been hustled here. repeat after me… Pangolin

    15. Clarification: Deaths from covid could be almost eliminated if we had high vaccination rates. Covid would still be around, but at a very low level.

      1. Yes but they don’t care and they are immune to all persuasion and all facts.

    16. Which countries have we seen this in?

    17. So what about those who died shortly after taking an experimental vaccine? Or permanently injured from it?
      Or the women who spontaneously aborted shortly after taking the shot?
      Little communists like you obviously have no problem with the damage being done by an experimental vaccine that’s not really a vaccine at all but an MRNA altering device that we still don’t understand what it’s supposed to do.
      BTW, people continue to get the Covid even after taking the kill shot.
      Just ask the democrats who fled Texas .
      Vaccine ,…..my arse.

  3. Jesus Christ, Biden didn’t accuse Big Tech of being murderers, he merely accused them of being accessories to murder. And why would you worry about the Chief Executive of the United States accusing you of being an accessory to murder? It’s not like it’s his job to enforce the laws against being an accessory to murder, his accusations are in no way a threat, veiled or otherwise.

    1. And of course if Facebook and/or Twitter were to file a defamation lawsuit against Biden for accusing them of being criminals, we all know that would be laughed out of court on the grounds that Biden was obviously speaking hyperbolically and nobody would take him seriously. Although Joe Biden was being as serious as a heart attack.

      1. As if I were to put a FUCK BIDEN sign in my yard, that ‘s not being obscene but purely political and hyperbolic and thus protected speech, right?

  4. I see a butt-ton of comments here (from the likes of Der JesseBahnFuhrer, MammaryBahnFuhrer, etc.) constantly advocating that FaceBook should be PUNISHED for what OTHER PEOPLE write up on FaceBook!

    Now that it is plain to see that Der BidenFuhrer agrees with JesseBahnFuhrer, MammaryBahnFuhrer, etc., I am waiting to read of JesseBahnFuhrer, MammaryBahnFuhrer, etc., LOUDLY singing the praises of Der BidenFuhrer, and encouraging us all to VOTE for Der BidenFuhrer and his obviously-now-correct-all-along cronies!

    1. I have a bar of chocolate flavored just for you.

    2. None of wanted government to dictate what can or can’t be said. What we want is for the little people to be able to hold Facebook accountable for what they let on their platform vs not.

      The only corollary to that is the perfectly reasonable expectation that people running for political office can not be banned as that is electioneering and interference.

      1. I hope that they punish YOU for what ***I*** have written! I dropped a written leaflet on your yard; you didn’t “vet” it and either remove it within 3 minutes (if you disagreed), or proudly keep on posting it if you agreed! And if you DID vet it, you didn’t do it PERFECTLY in a manner pleasing EVERYONE!

        Anyway, if that’s what it takes for you to understand “justice” better, then… I hope that they punish YOU for what ***I*** have written!

  5. Along with all the government misinformation regarding Covid-19 over the past 18 months, we can also look at the misinformation (or ture but misleading) bs as well.

    Liberals, including Psaki, were tweeting and posting that the Hunter Biden laptop disclosures were all Russian disinformation. That was a known lie at the time. For years we heard about Russian Russia, Russia, and the walls are closing in (Brennan and Clapper lied in Congressional testimony). The retractions by CNN, Washington Post, The New York Times, etc. for lies about Trump were occurring on what seemed was a weekly basis.

    Should everyone that spread that misinformation now be banned from all social media platforms? Or are bans for lies and deceit only for opponents of the Progressives.

    1. true but misleading – typing too fast.

      1. Assault posting?

    2. BOTH SIDES!
      (but not our side) – The Progressives

    3. “Or are bans for lies and deceit only for opponents of the Progressives.”

      Right on number two. Facebook, Twitter, et. al., have chosen to become de facto government organs, at least when Democrats are in charge.

  6. >>”health misinformation”

    we ensure only we discuss our weaponized virus.

  7. Surgeon General Recommends ‘Legal and Regulatory Measures’ To Suppress COVID-19 ‘Misinformation’

    How many times has the government lied to you?

    1. Over the past year, chiefly as a result of the covid mess, I’ve developed a new mantra: “I think we’re being lied to”. ‘Tis a universal concept, I’m not singling out any one event or group, I’m just pretty sure that all politicians and bureaucrats lie every time they exhale.

    2. Probably easier if I had to count the times they didn’t lie.

    3. President Joe Biden accused Facebook and other social media platforms of “killing people” by allowing the spread of anti-vaccine messages

      Fire the liar

    4. At least since 1861.

  8. The escalation of Biden’s tiff with Facebook reflects his frustration with the company’s failure to control speech the way he thinks it should. As Reason’s Robby Soave noted last week, Biden seems to think Facebook should be treating his censorious suggestions as orders.

    Hey, Robby, how do you like your woke new president? A return to political normality! No more mean tweets!

    1. Better than Trump (Mr. 1% GDP) so far.

      But don’t mistake me, Biden has plenty of time to fuck things up.

      1. Time to fuck things up? It’s been six months and his presidency has been a catastrophe so far.

        I know Trump touched you in the wrong spot, but stop being so obtuse.

      2. In fact, I have no doubt that both Robby and you like Biden better: senile, corrupt fascists are what turns you on.

      3. Lol. Biden cultist appears to defend biden. Even when biden attacks 1a.

  9. Mere words, but the left is using it to gin up violence against their enemies. They are criminal in fact and intent. If you voted for them, you are just as culpable.

  10. This is just the excuse to regulate what they always planned to regulate.

  11. It is hard to imagine how any such measures could be “appropriate” in light of the First Amendment.

    About as hard as it is/was to imagine measures against the second amendment? Just common sense restrictions like banning “misinformation”.
    First make up a word like ‘assault rifle’ or ‘misinformation’, then ban it as a reasonable and common sense restriction.

    1. “Flatten the curve” apparently grants you magical liberties to void pretty much any part of the BOR as you see fit.

      1. Move outta the country then.

  12. If this is the beginning of Reason reversing their stance on rationalizing social media companies censoring speech and deplatforming people–an example of companies exercising their free speech, property, and association rights, we should welcome that.

    The fact is that the chair of the FTC advocated breaking Facebook up because of their tolerance for misinformation.

    “In the absence of competition, Facebook’s quality has deteriorated over time, resulting in worse privacy protections for its users and a dramatic rise in misinformation on its platform”.

    —-Report on breaking up Facebook, et. al. via antitrust coauthored by Lina Khan

    Page 14 of 450

    https://judiciary.house.gov/uploadedfiles/competition_in_digital_markets.pdf

    Lina Khan has since been appointed by Biden to the be the chair of the FTC, and the FTC is suing to break up Facebook on antitrust grounds. The only missing piece of the puzzle was whether the government was telling Facebook what to censor and whom to deplatform, and that missing piece has been supplied by both the White House press secretary and confirmed by Joe Biden himself.

    In short, Facebook censoring and deplatforming people under the instructions of the Biden administration and under threat of a breakup of their company by Lina Khan at the FTC is the worst example of private companies exercising their property and association rights since the government imposed a Hollywood blacklist on the studio system, under threat of antitrust action, during the Red Scare. As much as I despise Facebook, what is being done here is a direct violation of the First Amendment.

    1. They are tip toeing around it. Be prepared for some both sides article that barely recognizes the partnership between platforms and gov’t.

  13. “Some researchers argue that for something to be considered misinformation, it has to go against ‘scientific consensus.'”

    So if the internet had been around BC, saying “the earth is round” would be misinformation?
    When first proposed, germ theory was misinformation?
    Man being able to fly was misinformation until the time when the Wright brothers were not aborted?
    What we need here is a Ministry of Truth.

    1. Exactly. Consensus science is being politicized into the new Vatican.

    2. And those examples are what most frighten me. Without the ability to disseminate new and controversial ideas, the world would still be 4004 years old and malaria would come from breathing humid air (or some such thing).

      Just ask yourself how many useful new products or ideas came out the Soviet Union, or are being developed in the PRC.

      Silence =/= death, but groupthink can kill.

    3. Ah, yes, followed by Miniluv.

  14. Something left out: How many people that have contracted Covid-19 subsequently received a vaccination?

    Over 10% of the population have had Covid-19 and in studies have a lower chance of being reinfected with Variant D than vaccinated people (studies from Israel where 85% of the people are vaccinated).

    The real number of protected would be vaccinated plus those that have already had the virus, which may be over the 70% figure.

    1. This is something I have been saying as well. One would think we would be close to herd immunity by this point.

  15. Dear Democrats, Imagine if Trump had the power you seek. Imagine if Trump could have ordered social media to block all posts suggesting that Trump did not win. Imagine a Republican gets elected in the future (really, it could happen) and that Republican president has the power to dictate what can or cannot be posted on social media. This is not just some imaginary what if, it’s a real possibility, as the recent past has shown. Now there’s a Republican president who gets to decide what is or is not the truth. Scary isn’t it. By supporting Biden in his effort to become Censor in Chief, you are directly supporting this scenario.

    NEVER GIVE GOVERNMENT POWER THAT YOU DON’T WANT THE OTHER SIDE TO HAVE.

    We have the First Amendment for a reason. And there’s a reason it’s the first. It’s to keep government’s hands off of what we can say, publish, post, or express.

    1. Yeah, I never can find the quote when I need it but one of the core concepts behind rights is reciprocity. You don’t take peoples’ guns when they think they need them because you wouldn’t want them taking your guns when you think you need them. You don’t take peoples’ speech when they’re exercising it because you wouldn’t want people taking your speech when you try to exercise it. You don’t force other people to house your troops because you wouldn’t want to house theirs…

      1. Yeah that’s part of it. But also that rights come from God or Nature, and not from some elected dingus or group of dinguses. That this makes Biden, or Hawley, or Trump sad is none of my concern.

      2. This is a little like the “Golden Rule” Do unto others as you would have them to unto you. (A part of every major religion in one form or another.)

    2. Lol. Youre as pathetic as sarcasmic. You can attack the left without forcing it being about the right.

    3. I feel like it was pretty obvious this was the Democrats plan since at least last year.

  16. Suppressing misinformation and conspiracy theories only makes the problem worse.

    1. Especially since it serves to reinforce because they “doth protest too much.”

    2. Remember when echospinner spent a year insisting that the lab leak of covid was conspiracy theory and misinformation?
      The rest of us do.

      1. I don’t remember that, but I may have missed it or forgotten. I’m pretty sure he never said that people promoting the idea should be silenced or censored.

    3. That’s just what the Lizard People want you to think.

      1. Hey, only Misek speaks for the Lizard People here.

    4. Until the misinformation and conspiracy theories turn out to be true.

      1. At this point:
        Misinformation = that which we know to be true
        Conspiracy theory = that which will be confirmed to be true in the near future

  17. Incidentally, if the Biden administration had stayed up all night trying to think of new and better ways to validate Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Facebook, they hardly could have come up with anything better than what the White House press secretary and Joe Biden himself said over the past few days.

    “Big Tech and government agencies are actively coordinating to remove content from the platforms according to the guidance of agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Big Tech and traditional media entities formed the Trusted News Initiative, which essentially takes instructions from the CDC about what information they need to “combat.” The tech companies are doing the government’s bidding, colluding to censor unapproved ideas.

    This coercion and coordination is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has held that Congress can’t use private actors to achieve what the Constitution prohibits it from doing itself. In effect, Big Tech has been illegally deputized as the censorship arm of the U.S. government. This should alarm you no matter your political persuasion. It is unacceptable, unlawful and un-American.”

    —-Donald Trump, July 8, 2021

    “Why I’m Suing Big Tech”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-j-trump-why-im-suing-big-tech-11625761897?

    In the days that followed the announcement of Trump’s lawsuit every news outlet from the TV news networks down to Robby Soave said his lawsuit was laughable and had no merit.

    Who’s laughing now?

    It seems to follow a cycle, where the news media automatically pronounces everything Trump says as ridiculous–only for the truth to come out later. Then the media forgets.

    Jacob Sullum basically just wrote an article that backs everything Trump wrote in his Op-Ed for the Journal. When Robby wrote his refutation of Trump’s lawsuit, he didn’t have the confessions of the White House press secretary and Biden himself, but now that the final pieces are in place, he really should reassess his position on Trump’s lawsuit.

    I wonder, does Whole Foods sell organic crow?

    1. I think they’d rather face Trump than Desantis. It may have been calculated to do just that

      1. I think they’ll be easy pickin’s if they’re running Biden or Harris.

        1. You forget their fortifications

            1. Stacy Abrams showed them the way & the media running propaganda, it is fortified like a motherfucker.

              1. Time for a Blitzkrieg then.

      2. Biden barely squeaked by Trump despite a pandemic driven economic collapse.

        1. Biden “got” the most votes ever

          1. Yeah. Everybody in Michigan’s Antrim County voted for ole Joe including those in the cemetery.

      3. I feel like they had the same idea in 2016, that Trump was the easiest opponent to defeat. Of course the easiest opponent to defeat turned out to be Clinton.

        I wonder if this will backfire as well

        1. It’s a good thing too.No telling how it would all have turned out if Hillary was elected instead.
          I shudder to think about it.

    2. Ken i owe you a beer for giving me the best laugh i’ll have today

      the Trusted News Initiative.

  18. “Biden Charges Facebook With Homicide”
    Using the woke theory that accusation implies guilt, Facebook must be immediately cancelled.

    1. In all seriousness, that wouldn’t be the craziest shit Biden’s said over the past week.

      “The 21st century Jim Crow assault is real”..

      . . . .

      ” We’re are facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That’s not hyperbole. Since the Civil War. The Confederates back then never breached the Capitol as insurrectionists did on January the 6th.”

      —-Joe Biden

      https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-joe-bidens-speech-voting-rights-transcript/story

      Biden doesn’t just need a cognitive test. He needs a psychiatric evaluation.

      1. He’s saying those things for a reason. His admin is desperate for power and knows it’s hanging on by a thread. They hope to come down very hard on the right.

  19. Fascism is now fascionable. Go team Biden. Keeping doing you.

  20. If businesses want to follow the “suggestions” of the folks with the guns and prisons that’s OK because muh free markets and muh capitalisms.

  21. “Some researchers argue that for something to be considered misinformation, it has to go against ‘scientific consensus.’ Others consider misinformation to be information that is contrary to the ‘best available evidence.'”

    “Of course, any reasonable person would find both these approaches to be obvious misinformation.”

    1. ChemJeff considers misinformation to be anything that disagrees with progressives.

      White Knight considers misinformation to be anything Ken says.

      Tony considers misinformation to be anything that disagrees with the Daily Kos.

      Shrike considers misinformation to be anything Ronald Reagan might have liked.

      So, they have a great diversity of opinion.

      1. What are you talking about? jeff, WK, Tony and Shrike are all the same person running multiple socks!

        1. Calm down sqrsly. Not everything has to be made into a strawman.

  22. “Murthy concedes. “One key issue is whether there can be an objective benchmark for whether something qualifies as misinformation. Some researchers argue that for something to be considered misinformation, it has to go against ‘scientific consensus.’”

    Recall that it was once the “scientific consensus” that the sun rotated around the Earth, that diseases could be cured by the application of leeches, that women could not have orgasms, and that “homosexuality” was a form of mental illness. Yes, how fortunate we are that there were no social media around to spread “misinformation” about these scientific truths!

    1. I thought the “science was settled”.
      She blinded me with science.

  23. Biden taking away Facebook’s First Amendment rights! This is why you should have voted for Trump! Because Trump stood firmly behind Facebook’s right to moderate or not moderate users posts! That was chief among his platforms!

    1. Dude, this is different because of who is doing it.

      1. iz only eebil when other side do it

        1. And yet you spent equal time blaming the other side when it is Biden doing it. Excuse youre defending one side over the other. Unless you can show one time when Trump was president and you warned against democrats in the argument. But you’re as dishonest as most of the left libertarians here.

    2. Lol. Just pathetic.

  24. At this point anyone who refuses to get vaccinated is revealing themselves to be a mouth-breathing Trump-supporter (but I repeat myself), so fuck ’em if they get sick and die. One less troll on Reason.

    1. The whole anti-vaxx movement started on the Left, and was centered in affluent Left enclaves like Santa Monica. Later it caught on among the uneducated poor in places like Bakersfield. The full shift to a right wing core value didn;’t happen until the GOP noticed that Democrats were in favor of vaccinations. Gosh, can’t agree with them must have kneejerk opposite response at all times! Gosh, Biden helps old lady cross the street therefore helping old ladies is communism or something.

      1. Even though Trump took credit for inventing the vaccine, because Democrats are pushing it Trump supporters refuse to take it.

        Just like police reform is DOA because Republicans reflexively oppose whatever their political foes support.

        Has politics always been this stupid?

        1. Works both ways:

          Citing the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kamala Harris said that she’d happily take a vaccine that doctors and scientists recommend — but absolutely not one touted by Donald Trump.

          If the COVID vaccines have serious side effects, at this point, I have no confidence that the Biden administration, Fauci, or the FDA would honestly disclose them. If you do, you’re a fool.

          1. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System reflects concerning data about the safety of covid vaccines for anyone willing to review it with an open mind.

            Please explain this graph: https://www.openvaers.com/covid-data/mortality

            It’s estimated that adverse events are significantly underreported.

            The Pfizer and Moderna safety trials won’t be complete until late 2022 and 2023.

            It’s not unreasonable for people to conclude it best to wait until we have more data as to the safety of these vaccines.

          2. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System reflects concerning data about the covid vaccines for anyone willing to review it with an open mind.

            Please explain this graph: https://www.openvaers.com/covid-data/mortality

            So far, 11,000 deaths have been reported due to the covid vaccines. It’s said that adverse events are underreported to VAERS.

            The Pfizer and Moderna safety trials won’t be complete until 2022 and 2023. It’s not unreasonable for someone to wait until we have more safety data to get vaccinated.

            1. Moderna trial not complete until late October 2022

              https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04470427

              1. And that is precisely why I refuse to take the shot.
                A friend of mine died mysteriously a couple weeks ago.
                He had taken two shots.
                He had also complained of things not being right with him. He was an avid R/C flyer and builder but had to stop because his hands didn’t feel right and couldn’t trust his own ability to fly any longer.
                Then he was dead.
                But it had nothing to do with the Vax. (sarc)

        2. Odd, almost everyone I know who doesn’t want the vaccine is a Bernie-loving lefty. I think it’s way less about party politics than many people seem to think.

          1. To be honest, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated. At least of people I’ve broached the subject with. But it’s not something I generally have conversations about.

            1. My policy is don’t ask don’t tell. It’s none of my business and none of anyone else’s.

              1. It is until it’s not. Like if you were going into a high risk environment then there’s a valid argument to be made as to whether or not it should be known. But under the vast majority of circumstances I would agree.

                1. Yeah, sure. Very occasionally there are valid reasons to ask.

            2. Yet above you say you know exactly who is taking it AND why. Weird.

              1. Well. To be fair his comment was based on unfounded ignorance. He could have opened up any study to see his view was wrong.

            3. Of the dozen or so people where the issue has come up in conversation, only my sister isn’t vaccinated. She’s not a Trumpbot. Hates politics and probably has never voted. She’s more a New Age holistic woowoo type

              Statistically however unvax status NOW is almost entirely about political leanings and age. A month or two ago it also included low income but much less so now.

              1. “Statistically however unvax status NOW is almost entirely about political leanings and age.”

                From what I understand, blacks and Mexicans are not getting vaccinated in large numbers. Those groups do not lean right. Anecdotally, I know people that hate Trump and are not getting the jab.

              2. Statistically however unvax status NOW is almost entirely about political leanings and age.

                If you’re under 40, there is no medical reason to get the vaccine.

                Likewise, there’s no medical reason to get the vaccine if you have already had COVID.

                1. And if you get the vax….you can still get sick!
                  Just ask those Texas dems who fled to D.C.

          2. Then again, where you live isn’t everyone a Bernie-loving lefty?

      2. Funny, but both Biden and Harris are on record talking about how they’re hesitant to get the vaccine and how its ‘untested’ and all that.

        Of course – that was when Trump was in office.

        So, talk about calling the kettle black . . .

        1. I laughed out loud reading Brandybuck’s analysis for this very reason.

          1. Trump has consistently told people to get vaccinated. But to leftists like brandy and sarc he has to be the issue.

      3. The whole anti-vaxx movement started on the Left,

        Even the framing of that is not valid. It’s like being “anti-medicine” vs “pro-medicine” or “anti-surgery” vs “pro-surgery”.

        Each vaccine is different. Some are very safe, some are quite dangerous. COVID vaccines have been in used for less than a year; we have no idea what the long term effects may be.

        And given the dishonesty of the Biden administration, the FDA, and Fauci in the past, I wouldn’t even trust them to report known side effects truthfully.

        COVID vaccines are probably safe, but we don’t know anywhere near as much as we do about other vaccines.

        Taking the COVID vaccine at this point is a risk benefit tradeoff that everybody has to make for themselves.

      4. It’s far from a “core value”, I’d say. And still much more common on the left.
        Not wanting the one vaccine doesn’t make one anti-vax either.

      5. The shift of right wingers being anti vaccination didn’t even happen dumbass.

    2. You might want to revisit the Left’s anti-vaccine narrative – in full force while Trump was in office.

      https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/515376-trump-blasts-biden-harris-for-anti-vaccine-rhetoric

    3. It’s like you purposefully ignore that it ain’t right wingers who aren’t getting vaccinated. Stop with the baseless speculation that magically fits your desired narrative and actually research the issue.

      1. Stop with the baseless speculation that magically fits your desired narrative and actually research the issue.

        Well then I’d have to change my name, now wouldn’t I?

        1. Ah, playing the “I was being sarcastic” card. The good ole’ John Stewart Daily Show defense. Well done.

          1. Considering my name is sarcasmic, it’s probably best for you to assume that when I say something hyperbolic that I’m not being serious.

            1. That one was a bit too close to actual BUttplug comments. Needs more hyperbole. Parody gets hard these days.

              1. Yeah, you’re right.

              2. That wasn’t parody. He was literally wrong. That’s not how parody works.

            2. You really don’t understand what sarcasm is.

              It isnt a get out of being a retard card. You said something easily refuted by 5 seconds of research. You were wrong because eyoure a partisan idiot.

      2. It’s like you purposefully ignore that it ain’t right wingers who aren’t getting vaccinated.

        What the goddamn fuck. You people are just mindblowingly stupid and disingenuous liars aren’t you. These vaccination rates are not some secret. The vaccination locations are all known. They have been analyzed by county – by congressional district – drilled down to even age subsets (the only other significant differentiator) – confirmed by both polls and recent county-level breakouts.

        I suspect most of you commenters are actually just suburban trolls who think you are some elitist vanguard for your party. But your political allies in rural areas are going to get obliterated by this disease in the second half of this year because of the lies you are telling them to believe.

        1. “Obliterated”. Yeah, only 99.7% per cent of them will survive if they get COVID.

          1. Oh hell of course. actually more like one billion in a billion will survive. No one died of covid in 2020 either. It’s not even just the fucking flu. It’s a cold. The coof.

        2. Drill down by race. Not location. And also use something not 2 months out of date dumbass.

    4. At this point anyone who refuses to get vaccinated is revealing themselves to be a mouth-breathing Trump-supporter (but I repeat myself), so fuck ’em if they get sick and die. One less troll on Reason.

      Great, we can all live with that. It’s our choice what risks we take. In my life, riding a motorcycle and rock climbing are more risky than COVID.

      So the question remains: why does the Biden administration keep bullying people to take the vaccine?

      1. So the question remains: why does the Biden administration keep bullying people to take the vaccine?

        Good intentions most likely. But we know where they lead.

      2. Because the moron made a ‘promise’ about ‘70%’ and rather than just accept reality, he’s drunk with power like every WH occupant.

    5. I didn’t vote for Trump in either election and haven’t been vaccinated. Trump played little to none in my decision making on the subject. Mostly the misinformation/propaganda campaign by the federal medical establishment is what has driven my decision to wait. I can’t trust they are giving me accurate information.

      1. I went and got jabbed because I don’t want to be shut out of live music and other gatherings.

      2. On the other hand, to be sure, you can trust that they are giving you bad information; they even say so.

      3. Did you ask your doctor his opinion?

    6. Hey retarded broken fuck. Cnn just had a survey showing hesitancy was 41% democrats, 20% independent. Can you do math? Likewise the cultures least likely to be vaccinated are Hispanics and African Americans.

      But you’re such a TDS riddled fuck you can’t be bothered by facts.

      Just today Psaki said biden would refuse to work with Trump to get people vaccinated. Trump has multiple speeches to get vaccinated.

      But you’re a sad pathetic leftist at this point. So who needs facts. You have your enemy.

    7. Ooh, do I get to be a right wing extremist today instead of a RINO?

  25. ‘This isn’t over.’ Even as life gets back to normal for many, COVID-19 keeps killing Washingtonians
    While COVID-19 deaths have diminished greatly, people are still dying every day, leaving their families to deal with grief possibly compounded by remorse over failure to vaccinate or take extra precautions.

    It’s your fault. YOUR FAULT.

  26. “The data shows that 85% of Facebook users in the US have been or want to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” the company said in a statement

    I’ve never read a more clear reason to stop using Facebook than this.

    1. This!

  27. The escalation of Biden’s tiff with Facebook reflects his frustration with the company’s failure to control speech the way he thinks it should.

    The greatest threat to American Democracy is the Conservative Backlash that wants to keep Facebook from policing speech.

    The Democrats’ desire to stop unfavorable speech is, while regrettable, well-intentioned.

    1. “The Democrats’ desire to stop unfavorable speech is, while regrettable, well-intentioned.”

      Something about the road to hell?

    2. The same intentions used by lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pott, Castro et all…..

  28. There is a huge difference between medical science and public health policy.
    You can and should question “facts” and “research” discussing medical science.
    But policy wonks do NOT want discussion and they hide information (and flat out lie) while they play some game theory angle to achieve a public health goal.
    Problem is that there is just too much information available today to lie or hide – so retards like Fauci have waning influence with normal, thinking people.

    I think the 1950s approach to driving public policy is ineffective today. We need a better way.

    1. I think the 1950s approach to driving public policy is ineffective today. We need a better way.

      No way is a completely acceptable alternative. Not only is there too much information available, there is no potential for a single definition/outcome/goal for public health and, I contend, the desire to form and seek one is inherently oppressive, both to public health and otherwise.

      1. You might be right. It is not clear that “science” had anything to do with folks chosing to get vaccinated. I think plain old “scared shitless” is what drove folks to get jabbed.
        But there was a lot of lying by the Gov, via the mouthpiece of the media, to get people scared enough. And the lying continues today with the censorship of Ivermectin information, as a single example.
        What people forget, is that the main concern about new covid cases is that the existing medical infrastructure may be overwhelmed. No talk about beefing Hospitals up – just a singular focus on getting folks vaccinated.

        And the mRNA vaccines have risks, but those risks are never put in context, (e.g. comparing to other vaccines for smallpox, polio,HPV,etc), as if the policy wonks believe that lying about the risks will keep the sheeple happy.

  29. All of the big tech companies are under investigation for anti-trust violations. The government trying to suppress speech it doesn’t like, and that’s created a huge incentive for corruption. It’s isn’t too hard to imagine a company quietly signaling to the administration that it will suppress certain viewpoints in return for more lenient treatment.

  30. Its funny, Sullum, how ‘wrong, but within normal parameters’ looks more and more like ‘do what Trump did, but more of it’.

  31. We’re doomed.

    1. The human death rate is holding steady at 100%.

  32. If it was Muslim humans killing hundreds of thousands of Americans, there would be no end to the restrictions on liberty Republicans would tolerate. We already saw that once, and it was only 3,000 dead.

    The problem is the conservative brain, which can only detect threats that come in the form of other human agents. Nature is simply beyond them, because they’re not using their thinking brains, they’re using their chimp brains. Chimp brains don’t know about viruses, but they sure as fuck know about Team Bad.

    That’s all. Pure stupidity. Too bad it doesn’t come with humility.

    1. If it was Muslim humans killing hundreds of thousands of Americans, there would be no end to the restrictions on liberty Republicans would tolerate.

      The restrictions on liberties after 9/11 were overwhelmingly bipartisan. Obama ran on repealing some of those restrictions, but then turned around and doubled down on them, lying corrupt authoritarian a–hole that he turned out to be.

      The problem is the conservative brain,

      No, the problem is the progressive brain, people who believe that all human problems can just be solved by bigger and bigger government by experts. Progressives are predominantly found in the Democratic party, but they also have hijacked the Republicans. Fortunately, Republicans seem to be wising up and kicking progressives out again.

      1. There isn’t a progressive brain per se, but there are brains that aren’t so easily triggered into a fear or disgust response. When conservatives think about gay men, for example, the same parts of their brains activate as when they see a maggot-covered log. The point is there is no thinking involved whatsoever.

        It does take using the frontal cortex to solve complex modern problems. By modern I mean anything humans have engaged in since they climbed out of the trees.

        This is important: the conservative brain isn’t merely an alternative. It is a malfunction. Only caring about human agents will get you killed, probably by a virus, but it could be a mudslide or a car crash. The brain still thinks the biggest threat in the world is the next tribe over. But that’s not the case at all. People who watch FOX News and think the nearest Democrat is going to get them killed sooner than a deadly airborne virus are STUPID and DANGEROUS and there is nothing redeeming about any of it. It is a malfunction of the brain with respect to the context of the environment, period.

        1. Progressives are the most easily offended people…. ever! I couldn’t even get past your first sentence! Total bullshit, even for you!

        2. This is important: the conservative brain isn’t merely an alternative. It is a malfunction.

          The only known way to “solve complex modern problems” is through small government and free markets. All other approaches have failed disastrously, over and over again.

          And the insanity of fascists and socialists like you, Tony, is that despite of centuries of history demonstrating this fact, you still want to do it again.

          1. Small government and free markets are slogans that mean almost nothing.

            1. Only if the thought of people living their lives without asking permission or obeying commands as long as they don’t harm others is offensive to you.

              1. Don’t ask permission or obey commands…. except when they need permission or must obey commands not to harm others.

                We’re talking about a deadly pathogen. How are your principles even relevant? People are being harmed by other people’s personal actions! I agree with your principle, and am applying it.

                1. How are your principles even relevant? People are being harmed by other people’s personal actions!

                  If you get vaccinated and the vaccine is as effective as the FDA says, how does anybody else’s vaccination status affect you?

                  1. Because it’s a communicable disease, bro.

                    1. It’s not communicable to you if you’re vaccinated, “bro”.

                2. “We’re talking about a deadly pathogen. How are your principles even relevant?”

                  PRE-vaccine <1% mortality. The majority dying had multiple comorbidities, usually obesity, metabolic syndrome, DM, COPD, heart disease. And old. That was PRE.

                  Now there is a vaccine, that has a high efficacy rate. So if you had all those comorbidities, your morbidity/mortality risk just plummeted. If you are reasonably healthy and young, a virus that had almost no chance to kill you, just went to nearly 0 chance of killing you. Driving a car, crossing the street, going out in a storm, swimming in the ocean, all carry a higher risk than Covid in this scenario.

                  If you and your "progressive brained" ilk are so terrified of existing in the universe without big daddy govt forcing the population to act in absolute accordance with your dream of a bubble wrapped 0-risk society, then you can stay in your house, and shut the fuck up.
                  You dont have to go outside or to the grocery store. The rest of the country is done with you and these fucking absolute pussies of humans, that aren't fit to exist in the world.

                  Stay in your house, or go outside and shut the fuck up. Those are your choices. The public has spoken, and they are done with you people's nonsense.

              2. It’s abhorrent to him. Because he’s a fucking fascist.

            2. They may mean nothing to you; that’s a reflection of your ignorance.

        3. “there are brains that aren’t so easily triggered into a fear or disgust response.”

          Those would not be progressive. They practically invented the concept of “triggering.”

          1. The important bit is the fear and disgust. Being triggered in your sense is an analogy to PTSD. That’s a real thing. Getting your feelings hurt because someone used an imprecise term for a concept that was just made up yesterday; of that I’m skeptical. I’m a sticks-and-stones kind of guy.

            1. People want security based on their fears.

              They want social insurance based on fear.

              They want restricted speech based on fear.

              They want regulations based on fear.

              I’m seeing a huge overlap between progressive policies and fear.

              1. We’re talking about two types of fear then, if you insist. One is a rational estimation of the needs of a democratic populace, and one is your amygdala telling your body a tiger is about to attack. One results in cooperation, health, and happiness. The other results in you digging yourself an early grave because Hitler told you the Jews are gonna get you, or Tucker telling you it’s the trans college students.

                1. Rational estimation and fear are not the same thing.

                2. Democrats endorse democrat policies and vote democrat rat because their fears most closely align with the fears democrats tell them about.

                  Rational risk analysis has nothing to do with it.

                3. Now who’s the lost-at-sea relativist?

                  Everyone has pretty much the same brain, with minor variations. Everyone has a tribal instinct.

                  Only Republicans think scientists are in a conspiracy to deceive them, as they follow a lifelong career grifter as the font of all truth.

                  So there you go.

                  1. Democrats react out of fear and enact policy out of fear. There’s nothing relative about that.

    2. What you’re missing Tony, is that when human agents react to threats from nature, they often become a threat themselves. You’ve heard the expression that the cure is sometimes worse than the disease, right? Humility is understanding that cooperation, not force, is usually the best response. Cooperation allows good ideas to flourish and bad ideas to die. Force means one idea dominates, regardless of merit because fuck you that’s why. You want to see humility? Try observing libertarians who aren’t trying to use state violence to force their ideas onto others. They’re humble. The force that you always support is hubris, not humility.

      1. In this context I’m only talking about the “force” (if you insist) of requiring vaccination to cause herd immunity to end a virus that is killing millions of people and evolving unpredictably, thanks to there being so many unvaccinated people.

        It’s a social problem of the most social kind, and if that doesn’t accord with libertarian assumptions about how societies work, that’s their problem to work through. People who think global pandemics can be dealt with by rugged individualism need to practice humility before I do, because I’m right and they’re stupid beyond all sanity.

        I’m not saying these problems are easy. I’m not the one saying that. Libertarians are. The same solution to every problem, even new ones. It could be that the universe works that way, or it could be that libertarians are motivated more to maintain their silly worldview than to help fix anything.

        I didn’t get vaccinated because I know better than you about epidemiology. I got it because I’m humble enough to assume that the global scientific community knows better what it’s talking about than my paranoid uncle. I don’t know how much more humble I can be.

        1. Well, you could start by not assuming that your partuicular style of humbleness is something everyone should emulate. Or saying dumb things implying that the global scientific community speaks with one voice on this or any other subject. This is new stuff for science. There is and should be disagreement and debate about all of it.

          1. Yeah like climate change. As long as there is a single contrary voice somewhere in the world, the most responsible thing is to let the world burn and let the virus spread. Teach the controversy!

            1. The best thing to do is to let people cooperate and come up with the best solution, rather than simple-mindedly using violence to force one person’s solution onto everyone.

              1. Large-scale cooperation is called democratic government.

                Get enough people together to decide things, and some people aren’t going to get their way. And when lives are on the line, some kind of coercion is going to be part of the deal.

                You’re a grown up, you understand this.

                1. There are plenty of examples of large-scale cooperation that don’t involve violence. Ever had a job?

                  1. I’ve never had a job where I could freely choose based on my own rational self-interest to embezzle money or sexually harass coworkers.

                    You don’t actually believe what you’re saying, and that’s frustrating.

                    1. When did theft and harassment become cooperation? You really don’t understand the difference between initiating force and reacting to force. Between cause and effect. So there is no possible foundation for us to have a rational conversation when we can’t even agree on something that simple.

                    2. You seem to be saying that as long as nobody tried to take advantage of other people, the world would be peaceful. That sounds both fantastical and tautological to me.

                    3. I’m saying that because people will take advantage of other people, that we should be extremely cautious when we give them the power to do so with impunity.
                      We need government because we’re not angels. But people don’t become angels when they join government. Quite the opposite. So it’s best to minimize government’s involvement in our lives, because all it is is assholes with guns who do whatever they want because nobody can stop them.

                    4. Minimizing government only ever means letting the powerful get away with more stuff. For some reason you guys see no depth to the force you’re willing to permit governments to do if you’re talking about preventing trespassing or petty theft. All of your alleged principles fly out the window once property gets involved. That sounds like a grift to me. All the more so when you start defining peaceful taxation as violence. The metaphors get stretched in such a configuration that the powerful get whatever they want and the poor get the boot.

                    5. Minimizing government only ever means letting the powerful get away with more stuff.

                      What power do these people have without using government guns?

                      All of your alleged principles fly out the window once property gets involved.

                      Property is the basis of these principles. I spend my time, my life, working to acquire property. When you fuck with it you’re fucking with my life. That’s an initiation of force, and force is justified in response.

                      Go ahead and have the last word. You make my head hurt.

                    6. Man, it really is all projection with you assholes.

                    7. You’re making exceptions to your own rules and justifying them with “nature says so.” Not acceptable. Very arguably, property is the initiation of force. You are employing government to force other people off a piece of land based on a claim that exists only because government permits it. It’s literally an entitlement.

                      I don’t have a problem with this. I have a problem with people who claim that they get to use my money to pay for their property rights, but somehow I’m not allowed to use their money to protect children from starving to death. It’s psychotic.

                2. Large-scale cooperation is called democratic government.

                  You mean like Nazi Germany? Democratically elected, implementing the will of the majority. That’s what you are arguing for.

                  1. Yes NOYB2, all democracies eventually become fascist genocidal states. The key quality of fascist genocidal states, obviously, is their deep cherishing of enfranchisement.

                    1. Correct: all democracies eventually fail, usually just after people like you advocate “large scale cooperation” within them.

            2. Yeah, all of it. We don’t understand climate well and we don’t understand viral pandemics very well. The science is absolutely not settled in either of those areas. That’s not to say we can’t understand some general things.
              The virus already spread, despite the most intense and authoritarian public health measures ever applied being used all around the world. Maybe your favored experts are missing something. And if their plans require absolutely everyone in the world to be perfectly compliant, then they are doomed to fail in any case.

              1. The most rational thing would have been for every human on earth to quarantine for a couple weeks, with some small, protected skeleton staff to deliver food and what not.

                As I said, if the threat were human agents, we would all tolerate more restrictions on freedom. We tolerate martial law in some instances. But the fact is we’re all gonna die in a car crash or by a heart attack a million times before we die at the hands of a hostile invader. Our brains are simply not working for us if we’re letting feelings guide our thinking instead of just thinking.

                1. “The most rational thing” depends entirely on what your premises are. If the only thing you care about is the fewest people dying from this one particular virus, everything else be damned, then maybe that would have been rational in some sense. But I don’t think that’s the only thing that matters in the world and I will make my own choices on what matters.
                  Also, we pretty much tried what you suggest would have been the best thing. And it didn’t work. Even if everyone had been perfectly compliant, it wouldn’t have worked because you can’t instantly organize that “skeleton crew” and it would have been millions of people anyway.

                  1. You’re absolutely right. We make such horrifying trade-offs all the time. We tolerate mass death in transportation as the cost of the freedom to drive. Some day we will find that compromise to be as barbaric as child labor or whatever. These things are difficult and fluid. We’re just trying to figure out a world we made with no instruction manual.

                    But there is low-hanging fruit, and that’s all the president is talking about right now. Mass misinformation designed to get people killed. It’s the primary tool of the worst people. It’s more deadly than weapons.

                    1. And we tolerate deaths from disease so we can have any freedom at all. If the restrictions for Covid made sense, they they make sense all the time. The same number of people die of flu and colds over a slightly longer time period. So why shouldn’t we shut down all mass social activities forever?

                    2. We make such horrifying trade-offs all the time. We tolerate mass death in transportation as the cost of the freedom to drive.

                      And the tradeoff “we” want to make on COVID is to let people decide for themselves and accept whatever risks come with that decision.

                      The problem is that fascists like you don’t take “no” for an answer.

                    3. Dude, you’re not even acknowledging that this disease spreads to other people. Take that into account and get back to me.

                    4. Zeb,

                      We also make these trade-offs when it comes to pathogens, and we have certainly gone liberal on this one.

                      All anyone was ever asked to do was socially distance and wear a mask. If you’re freaking out like a hysterical child over that, you aren’t participating in this conversation in good faith, you’re being a whiny entitled titty baby.

                      I would have done much more restriction much earlier, and we would have if we didn’t have a giant retarded clown in charge.

                    5. Dude, you’re not even acknowledging that this disease spreads to other people. Take that into account and get back to me.

                      Dude, you keep failing to acknowledge that if you get vaccinated, the disease won’t spread to you.

                      Therefore, instead of demanding that other people get vaccinated, just get vaccinated yourself.

                    6. Dude, you aren’t acknowledging that we can never achieve herd immunity if millions of people refuse to get vaccinated. And it’s not just about the fact that you’re claiming a right to spread a virus to everyone (whose vaccination status you can’t know), you’re claiming a right to let a virus persist and evolve into God knows what forms.

                      You are the reason force has to be considered. Stupid, dangerous people like you. If you were running around attacking people with a hatchet, you’d be just fine with that idea, but your brain can’t wrap itself around a threat that doesn’t come with two arms and two legs, so you’re talking nonsense.

                    7. “Dude, you’re not even acknowledging that this disease spreads to other people. Take that into account and get back to me.”

                      Fucking lefty shits will use any excuse at all to grab power, even an illness sightly more severe than the flu.

                    8. Dude, you aren’t acknowledging that we can never achieve herd immunity if millions of people refuse to get vaccinated.

                      I’m not “acknowledging” that for the simple reason that it is wrong.

                      And it’s not just about the fact that you’re claiming a right to spread a virus to everyone (whose vaccination status you can’t know)

                      The only reason the virus would spread to you if you choose not to get vaccinated. But for some reason, you want to force me to get vaccinated while refusing to get vaccinated yourself.

                2. The most rational thing would have been for every human on earth to quarantine for a couple weeks, with some small, protected skeleton staff to deliver food and what not.

                  Anyone that has ever glommed onto this notion should be treated with nothing but scorn and abuse. You have to be willfully ignorant of human nature, supply chains for even the most ordinary goods, and the actual unfolding of events in places where some facsimile to this was tried in order to still believe that this proposal is anything even resembling a rational response.

                  Sticking your head in the sand and praying for the bad air to go away is the exact opposite of a rational thing.

                3. The most rational thing would have been for every human on earth to quarantine for a couple weeks

                  Well, fortunately, we aren’t governed by rational decisions, and hopefully we never will be.

        2. Rugged individualism is a strawman. Nobody really believes in that other than a few hermits who decimate local rabbit populations before finding a new place to build a log cabin.

          Statists act as if nobody every voluntarily cooperated in the history of history, and cooperation only happens when they start pointing guns. People do cooperate and do the right thing on their own, without force.

          Granted force is a lot easier than persuasion. It’s easier to put a gun to someone’s head and say “Put this into your body or I’ll kill you” than to convince them it’s the healthy thing to do.

          1. People aren’t cooperating in a responsible way now, and we have one of the more powerful governments on earth.

            And the way people cooperate in a sophisticated way is what we call government anyway.

            The only actual problem in this conversation is right-wing propaganda.

            1. And the way people cooperate in a sophisticated way is what we call government anyway.

              Government is force. It is the people who use violence, or call upon those who do, to accomplish their goals.

              There’s nothing sophisticated about that. Quite the opposite.

              1. So the only permissible form of cooperation for any human society is the kind that requires nobody doing anything they don’t want to do?

                1. That’s kind of what cooperation is. Though I’d put it in terms other than “want to do”. Cooperation means not forcing anyone to do things they can’t be convinced are worth doing.

                  1. That doesn’t apply to children, of course. Or violent psychopaths. Those we can restrict. Their ideas about their own well-being are suspect.

                    Presumably at exactly our 18th birthday we become 100% rational agents in no need of any laws or even persuasive argument. The world would be a peaceful place with no coercion.

                    I guess if we mistake our mother’s basement for the world, the point is arguable.

                    1. Here we go. Back to the root of it all. You see no difference between initiating force and reacting to force. I don’t have the energy for this. Later.

                    2. Presumably at exactly our 18th birthday we become 100% rational agents in no need of any laws or even persuasive argument. The world would be a peaceful place with no coercion.

                      No libertarian or individualist ever claims such a thing. Fuck off with that condescending bullshit. I try not to assume I know all about you and try to avoid personal insults. Why do I keep thinking it is worthwhile to argue with you?

                    3. It hardly matters to the person who ends up dead. This is a moral rule that you made up out of thin air because it sounds fair to you.

                      What counts as initiatory force is hardly cut and dried, especially if we’re talking about a virus.

                    4. Tony
                      July.7.2021 at 1:57 pm

                      It would be a mistake to take my posts too seriously, as I have no deeply held beliefs.

                2. Cooperation only counts when everyone has a gun in their back?

                  1. No, but explain to me how 7 billion people cooperate toward some common goal without any coercion.

                    1. They don’t. It has never happened and probably never will. You want people to do something on a large scale, you have to convince them it’s in their own self interest. That’s not how I wish people would behave, it’s just how things are.

                    2. Explain to us how a power strong and ruthless enough to coerce the entire human race into serving its goal could possibly be a good thing and not end in horror.

                    3. It’s not really cooperation when the alternative is being murdered by some government goon.

                      Because in the end, that’s all government is. It’s thugs with guns who will kill you if they get frustrated with you for not doing what you’re told.

                      That’s not sophisticated. And that’s what you want.

                    4. But it’s what you want too sarc. Do you think murderers and rapists should be free to live their truths, or do you think some sort of social policing should react to their free actions?

                      You’re doing exactly what I said you’d do. You’re only seeing threats that come in the form of human agents (initiate force–it’s right there in the word initiate).

                    5. Absent government I have a moral right to react to people initiating force, such as murderers and rapists. That is where legitimate government force comes from. I do not have a moral right to force you to pay for my child’s education or healthcare or whatever else it is that you want government to do. That is an initiation of force.

                      Not that you understand the difference.

                      I’m tired of this.

                    6. No, but explain to me how 7 billion people cooperate toward some common goal without any coercion.

                      Your entire thinking is suffused by a totalitarian, progressive world view in which everybody on this planet needs to be subsumed into a single collective with a single purpose.

                      There is no goal that 7 billion people have in common. None.

                    7. You can claim a moral right to do whatever you want. There are no such things as moral rights encoded in DNA. That’s just an assertion. We can’t have a conversation about real things if you insist on injecting magic into it.

                    8. You can claim a moral right to do whatever you want. There are no such things as moral rights encoded in DNA. That’s just an assertion.

                      Where did I claim “moral rights”?

                      I’m pointing out the idiocy and irrationality of your claims of COVID vaccinations.

                      I’m also pointing out the idiocy and irrationality of your general approach to government, based on centuries of practical experience with it.

        3. In this context I’m only talking about the “force” (if you insist) of requiring vaccination to cause herd immunity to end a virus

          There is zero evidence that complete vaccination of all Americans would “end the virus”. That’s not just my view, it’s the view of the Biden administration.

          or it could be that libertarians are motivated more to maintain their silly worldview than to help fix anything

          The “silly world view” here is yours: against centuries of failed history, you still cling to the delusion that centralized government action fixes problems.

          I got it because I’m humble enough to assume that the global scientific community knows better what it’s talking about than my paranoid uncle. I don’t know how much more humble I can be.

          Good for you: you made a voluntary choice by listening to the experts you believe in. Yet, for some reason, you want to deny others the same choice.

          1. Even you don’t believe you should have the free choice to put other people’s lives in harm’s way. You only think you have that freedom now because you don’t understand how viruses work.

              1. As little as possible. Guess how much government meddling there’s been in my car to protect me from my own choices? A lot.

            1. Except most people aren’t putting anyone in harms way, even if they’re u vaccinated and not wearing a mask you science denying fascist fuck.

            2. Even you don’t believe you should have the free choice to put other people’s lives in harm’s way.

              What does that have to do with COVID? If you get the COVID vaccine, you’re protected. That is, you make the choice of whether you take a risk from COVID or not. What I do is irrelevant to your risk.

              You only think you have that freedom now because you don’t understand how viruses work.

              Actually, I understand not just how viruses work, I understand how vaccinations work. You appear to be ignorant of both.

              1. Choosing not to get vaccinated is choosing to put other people in harm’s way, should you get the normal viral load instead of the low viral load you get when you’re vaccinated. It’s a contagious disease. That’s how you got it in the first place. You understand how contagion works, yes?

                1. Choosing not to get vaccinated is choosing to put other people in harm’s way,

                  You are not in harm’s way if you get vaccinated. Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether I get vaccinated or not.

                  should you get the normal viral load instead of the low viral load you get when you’re vaccinated.

                  The COVID vaccine is either a novel mRNA-based vaccine or a recombinant adenovirus vaccine, not an attenuated COVID vaccine. Therefore, you get no “viral load when you’re vaccinated” against COVID.

                  You understand how contagion works, yes?

                  I do. You, on the other hand, are staggeringly ignorant.

                  1. If you’re not vaccinated, you can spread the disease to other unvaccinated people. You also serve as an incubator for viral evolution, but you’re the expert so I assumed you’d thought about that.

                    1. Shitstain’s health is shitstain’s business, not mine.
                      Shitstain should fuck off and die.

                    2. If you’re not vaccinated, you can spread the disease to other unvaccinated people.

                      People who have been infected with COVID before are just as well protected as people who have been vaccinated. Many others likely have immunity via cross-reactivity. So your statement is false.

                      But, more importantly, it simply doesn’t matter whether unvaccinated people spread the disease since you can get vaccinated if you like.

                      You also serve as an incubator for viral evolution, but you’re the expert so I assumed you’d thought about that.

                      Yes, I have!

                  2. He wallows in his ignorance like a pig in shit.

    3. What makes you think it’s only conservatives that are confined to monkey-brained ideology?

      1. It’s the defining feature of the conservative brain that it reacts more easily to fear and disgust. These activities are in a more ancient part of the brain, and one side effect of them activating is that the problem-solving brain switches off.

        In a fear response, your brain’s job is to protect your body from harm, even at cost to your health. Keep it turned on long-term, as right-wing propaganda is designed to do, and not only are you not making any rational decisions, you’re damaging your health.

        1. You know who else said political differences are a medical problem?

          1. I would say biological. If everyone used their problem-solving brain, we could solve a lot of problems.

            Our brains are amazing problem solving machines, but they did evolve in an environment where things like viruses and climate change are totally beyond their immediate comprehension. We created these problems with technology, and we need technology to solve them.

            If your brain reacts to a modern global problem the exact same way it reacts to the neanderthal tribe living a mile away, you’re going to get the answers wrong and people are going to die. This isn’t a difference of opinion. Opinion happens in the other part of the brain.

            1. If only there was a final solution to the biological problem of people having the wrong politics…

            2. That’s an astonishing confession. Do you ever actually read and understand what you write?

            3. The only thing I’m asking people to do is think harder and assume less. The amygdala is a hammer, but the problem isn’t a nail, it’s a china cabinet. This isn’t a call to genocide, it’s an attempt to explain what causes genocide.

              1. What causes genocide is people like you who think they know better than everyone else what is good for them and what they should be doing, and who somehow manage to amass the influence to engage in large-scale coercion towards that end.

                1. No, planning does not cause genocide. Planning is planning. You’re arguing against the modern world. And that’s fine. Maybe we’d be better off going back to a pre-technological society where the only cooperation you need to do is what the chief or your grandmother tells you to do.

                  Until we get back to that point, our option is to organize according to rationality or organize according to some hair-brained magical thinking that billions of people with no rules will somehow create a functioning society.

                  What causes genocide is people being convinced that some other group of people is responsible for all your problems. Perfectly normal people become genociders with the right leader pulling the right psychological triggers. Just be careful you’re not categorizing millions of people by tribe and thinking they’re irredeemably evil or responsible for your problems. Personal responsibility is not compatible with that.

                  1. “No, planning does not cause genocide…”

                    Shitstain here is replying to what?
                    We know full well his mental capabilities are NWS, but it seems his drinking is really getting to him

                  2. Tony
                    July.7.2021 at 1:57 pm

                    It would be a mistake to take my posts too seriously, as I have no deeply held beliefs.

                  3. Demonization precedes genocide.
                    See; CRT.

                  4. Exactly. See FOX News making up a scary racial threat out of thin air to get its idiot addicts to hate people they’ve never met or heard speak.

                    Yes, you’re right, FOX News is how genocides happening. One’s sort of happening right now, if you count the people it has convinced that vaccines have microchips.

                  5. “categorizing millions of people by tribe and thinking they’re irredeemably evil”

                    Not at all. I’m saying YOU’RE evil, seeing as how you have repeatedly confessed to being a fucking Nazi right here in this thread. You’re nothing on your own, but it’s people like you who would happily shove the rest of us onto the trains if a Fuehrer with ideas you respected told you to. You have no clue what a dangerous point of view you’re espousing here.

                  6. Blaming Jews, blacks, and/or “white males” is evil and, combined with a willingness to kill, results in genocide. That’s what you do, Tony.

                    Speaking out against socialists/facists like you, Tony, doesn’t lead to genocide.

            4. I would say biological. If everyone used their problem-solving brain, we could solve a lot of problems.

              Yes, that’s what fascists and socialists actually believe: the supremacy of rational thought over reality.

              Unfortunately, the real world doesn’t work that way.

              1. You have things exactly backward, but you’re arguing that people using their brains to try to solve problem leads inexorably to fascism, so you seem confused on several levels.

                1. You have things exactly backward, but you’re arguing that people using their brains to try to solve problem leads inexorably to fascism, so you seem confused on several levels.

                  No, Tony, you just don’t know your history. Fascism was an attempt at a rational design of society, government by experts.

                  For example, the supposed racial superiority of some groups over others wasn’t something that some uneducated peasant came up with, it was something that came from top US and European academic institutions. It seemed as logical to progressives then as climate change and critical race theory seems to progressives today.

                  American progressives at the time explicitly bemoaned that in the US, they were constrained by the US Constitution, and they cheered on Hitler and Mussolini in Europe who were realizing their ambitions.

                  1. That hasn’t changed. US progressives today whine about being restricted by the Constitution and ridicule respect for it.

  33. On a purely practical note, does anyone actually beleive this kind of pronouncement will increase trust in the vaccines among those who already don’t trust them? I mean, it’s mostly political opposition, and this just makes it look more partisan.

    I’m very pro Vax and I love mRNA technology (very exciting stuff), but pushing against the opposition instead of just extolling the virtues while inviting criticism and openness just feeds the conspiracy theories. It’s easy, after all, to show that the government fears what you have to say when they clearly fear what you have to say… And everyone will ascribe the reasons behind that fear to causes they already beleive in.

    1. and I love mRNA technology (very exciting stuff)

      No, it’s not. It’s been tried for more advanced therapies beyond replacing robust, near-centuries-old vaccine technologies and it’s between benign flop and, literally, malignant hazard. Even at replacing robust, near-centuries-old vaccine technologies, it’s expensive, fragile/unstable, and, now, overtly politicized.

      1. At what point is there a preponderance of evidence to admit they’ve finally figured it out? Because they’re going head to head with centuries-old vaccine technologies in this use case and are largely blowing them out of the water.

  34. I’m really surprised that neither the article nor any commenters bring up Hayek re misinformation/knowledge.

    This has become a very weird form of ‘libertarianism’

    1. Who needs all the personal responsibility that comes with Hayek or Smith when Ayn Rand came along and told teenage boys that whatever they want to do is the apex of morality, especially if it hurts the people we hate?

  35. As a side question, have the Texas representatives who ran from their oaths bring the Communist Chinese Virus with them, or catch it in DC?
    Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. It’s possible, although not probable, that the Texas Dems were the original source of CV-19. The Chinese have inferred that the virus originated in the US and maybe had to do with the Gates foundation. And Gates is a democrat. Who really knows for sure?

  36. What a Putz. Biden’s Harris declared “no vaccine” for her under the Trump admin. It is all her fault nobody grants to be vaccinated.

    1. If you can point me to her saying something worse, please do. But all I’ve seen is her saying that she wouldn’t consider a vaccine only on Trumps word, but would want to hear from medical experts.

  37. “has always been understood as an unavoidable cost of free speech.”

    That’s the thing though. Outside of certain libertarian and republican circles, “costs” of freedom have NEVER been understood as unavoidable.

    I don’t think you realize how insipid Marxism really is Sullum. Leftists today don’t view freedom in an individual context. They view it in a collective context. If they believe that your ownership of guns or ability to speak freely causes harm, in their world view, you have actually violated the freedoms of others through privileges extended to you by the state.

    These people do NOT believe in natural rights. They are not Americans and do not share any of our values. They don’t believe in God, they don’t respect individuality, and there is no such thing as “unavoidable” to the Marxist utopian.

  38. Section 230 doesn’t prevent the government from doing anything. It doesn’t prevent the government from censoring the internet

    1. The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, statute law, and the courts don’t stop government from doing anything it wants.

  39. As Vivek Murtha without doubt knows, scientific consensus is always right and always truthful, if not universally benign. Dr. Ignaz Simmelweis was not available for comment on the issue of “scientific consensus”.

  40. The Nazi’s (def; National Socialists) are Fascist????
    NO! Who could’ve guessed that?

  41. Mob stuff. Big tech did a favor for the “big guy” by banning Trump and taking down Parler before the election. Tech thought they were done with the mob.

    In the words of my very wise Uncle Frank, who grew up two blocks from Angelo Bruno..”They won’t bother you unless you do them a favor, then , they own you.
    Never, ever, do them a favor.”

    “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in”. GF
    Tech is cornered and the northeast mob runs the country.

    1. You live in a dream world!

  42. Dear Anyone In Government,

    thanks for the concern but i’ll decide what ‘s real and not. i’ve seen your work product and definitely do NOT need your help. i already have a proctologist.

    thanks

    Jack

  43. Christ, what an asshole.

  44. Instead of going after the media, they should be looking at the dirty dozen of professional mis-informers. Maybe they can demonstrate a conspiracy to disseminate dangerous information. Audit their taxes, look for other crimes they may have committed.

  45. Biden’s government is now the purveyor of all truths, and the only purveyor of truth. Violate that by offering a different opinion or scientific theory and you will be arrested and punished up to and including imprisonment and/or execution.

    Kind of reminds you of Stalin and the Bolsheviks and Stalin?

  46. Biden’s government is now the purveyor of all truths, and the only purveyor of truth. Violate that by offering a different opinion or scientific theory and you will be arrested and punished up to and including imprisonment and/or execution.

    Kind of reminds one of Stalin and the Bolsheviks?

  47. The problem is that no one trusts the government for information. That isn’t Facebook’s fault. The government could engage in a minimum of self-examination to discover how they have failed to earn trust, and do something about it.

    If their only idea is to tell other people to shut up, that suggests they won’t earn our trust, and don’t plan to.

    1. Decades of Republican party employing a deliberate strategy of propaganda to undermine faith in the concept of government itself might have something to do with it.

      That their followers thought “Thus, let’s elect Republicans to government power” logically followed can only be explained by inherent stupidity.

      1. The truth gets out eventually. Don’t worry about it.

      2. If democrats could be trusted by the American people, they would have earned it a long time ago.

        1. They have earned it. Republicans haven’t won a national popular vote since I was a toddler.

            1. Oh, I forgot about 2004, when Republicans were given credit for failing to prevent a horrific terrorist attack.

              1. “Winning election in two-party system” does not equal “trusted.”

                1. I’m on the record for wanting to redesign the system from the ground up, but nobody will make me temporary dictator.

                  1. Earning trust doesn’t require redesigning the system. It requires integrity.

                    1. It wouldn’t by any chance be the case that you think “integrity” and “fascist orange buffoon with a lifetime career of grift” are often identified with one another?

                    2. Again, I’m flattered, but this really isn’t about me.

                  2. Not even shrike would be dumb enough to give a fascist like Tony that much power.

                  3. Not even your fellow, totalitarian leftists are that stupid, Tony, and that says a lot.

      3. Correction, “Decades of Republicans …. undermine faith in the concept of Nazi government” — (i.e. National Socialist).

        What’s sad Tony is you cannot see the benefit in having a Non-Nazi form of government. Therefore; Might I suggest you and your ilk go start a membership club of Nazism where you can run around trying to *steal* wealth WITHOUT the use of Gov-Guns.

        Then the Nazi’s in the country can have their Nazism and the rest of us can have our Individual Liberty and Justice.

        1. Yeah yeah, you hate the Nazi progressives, and you’re gonna keep hating them until you’re certain every last one has been shoved into an oven.

          1. I think Nazi Progressives can do whatever they want WITHOUT Gov-Guns. That’s where the Individual VIOLATION **IS**. They’re more than welcome to start a Nazi Club; couldn’t care less.

          2. I might pay to see someone as twisted and evil as you shoved into an oven. Why don’t you go live your life and let others live their life in peace? Why in Hell are you bothering decent people with your evil, totalitarian bullshit on a libertarian site?

          3. Because you are a liar or stupid. You don’t want less authority over other people, you want more. You people can barely get through a sentence without describing some people exercising freedom in a way you don’t approve of. And forget people freely cooperating with each other through the democratic process to pass laws you don’t like. I can’t count the number of times you people have explained that democracy is bad because it doesn’t give you precisely what you demand, the implication, sometimes unstated, sometimes overt, is that you deserve authoritarian rule because you’re just so right.

            But you’re not right! Not a single thing you believe makes any goddamn sense! Plato said smart people should be in charge, not any old high school graduate who read Atlas Shrugged.

            1. Idiocy at it’s finest — “forget people freely cooperating with each other through the democratic process to pass laws”

              The “free” cooperation to enforce by Gov-Gun their [WE] mob “law” over everyone else. I do believe I just realized why so many democrats fought a civil war to keep their plantation slaves.

              They were actually stupid enough to think it was their “freedom” to own slaves. I thought we moved past this mentality two centuries ago.

  48. The Associated Press, using figures provided by the CDC, found that of the more than 18,000 Americans who died of covid in May, only about 150 were fully vaccinated. That’s 0.8 percent. Between Jan. 21 and July 9, 2,471 Virginians died of covid; 18 of them were vaccinated, or 0.7 percent. Between Jan. 1 and June 30, 37,180 Californians died of covid; about 71 — 0.2 percent — were vaccinated.

    1. The Associated Press, using figures provided by the CDC, found that of the more than 18,000 Americans who died of covid in May, only about 150 were fully vaccinated. That’s 0.8 percent

      We agree. That means that vaccinations work. And that means that we can leave it up to any individual whether they want to get vaccinated.

        1. Sounds like LA County’s youngest black and Latino residents are behaving rationally, given that there is no medical reason for them to get vaccinated.

  49. Biden has many levers of power to go after FB; Section 230 is no obstacle to him. He can have FB investigated for anti-trust violations, have the IRS go after them for taxes, or have the civil rights division tie them in knots.

  50. The problem is that the Biden administration is blowing smoke. Obviously Joe couldn’t have come up with this by himself.Even if he did it shows a great deal of cognitive dissonance on the part of Biden.
    So what else is new?
    So why do people , who are so critical of Facebook continue to use it when there are other similar sites to go to? Is it laziness or out of habit?
    My question is who are those 13 so guilty of misinformation, what does the Biden administration believe they can do to those people and just how legal or illegal will it be ruled when it ends up in court?
    When the fact checkers rule something false even when taken directly from the CDC, then the red flags need to go up.
    So, who’s fact checking the fact checkers when they’re fact checking everyone else?
    After all, everybody knows the government almighty would never lie to the American people. Not in a million years.

    1. Still looking for that, “similar site to go to.”

      I cannot believe out of 300M people not a single few of them have had the idea to compete with Facebook. Either government regulation (patient/copyright) is getting in the way or humanity has really become so self-entitled that adding value to society really is no longer a consideration.

      Still happy to look at suggestions for Desktop PC.

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