Joe Rogan and Spotify aren’t in trouble for spreading false information. They’re in trouble for embarrassing the media and government officials who themselves pushed false information.
The Left has a word for misinformation that turns out to be true. They call it, “misinformation.” Over and over again, the tech giants, cheered on by power-drunk government officials, have censored and deplatformed people who have contradicted the official narrative regarding COVID and heavy-handed public health measures that restrict freedom with dubious health benefits.
Tellingly, the demands to censor Joe Rogan rarely identify the supposed “misinformation” he peddled. Even more tellingly, the censors totally fail to acknowledge that Rogan-promoted “conspiracy theories” have a better track record than many of the articles of faith his critics promoted.
Let’s start at the beginning. In March 2020, at the start of the pandemic, a “conspiracy theory” emerged suggesting that the dread COVID-19 virus actually escaped from the Wuhan virology lab that studied coronaviruses. Vox warned,
With more and more people searching online for information about the coronavirus outbreak, they can easily encounter a barrage of misleading and potentially dangerous information. And the WHO, which has also released its own ‘myth-busting’ resources, is warning that misinformation about the novel coronavirus has caused harmful stigmatization and discrimination. In the US, for instance, there is a growing number of reports about misinformation fueling racism against Asian Americans.
Facebook and other social media then censored posts that suggested the virus originated in the Wuhan lab.
As Rogan recently noted, Newsweek and several other outlets later reported, “the pileup of circumstantial evidence pointing to the Wuhan lab kept growing—until it became too substantial to ignore,” adding,
Thanks to DRASTIC, we now know that the Wuhan Institute of Virology had an extensive collection of coronaviruses gathered over many years of foraging in the bat caves, and that many of them—including the closest known relative to the pandemic virus, SARS-CoV-2—came from a mineshaft where three men died from a suspected SARS-like disease in 2012. We know that the WIV was actively working with these viruses, using inadequate safety protocols, in ways that could have triggered the pandemic, and that the lab and Chinese authorities have gone to great lengths to conceal these activities. We know that the first cases appeared weeks before the outbreak at the Huanan wet market that was once thought to be ground zero.
Then there were the cruel shutdowns that wrecked so many lives, destroyed businesses, and deprived families of so many irreplaceable experiences. In May 2020, Facebook totally censored a group on its platform called, “Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine.” It further banned users from organizing, “events that defy government’s guidance on social distancing,” restrictions it later did not apply to the Black Lives Matter-aligned gatherings that soon followed. The double-standard spoke volumes.
Yet, it turned out that the oppressive restrictions provided little or no benefit to public health. The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics conducted a sweeping review of public health data to determine whether countries achieved better public health outcomes by implementing strict public quarantine rules.
“While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted,” the authors found. “In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”
Then there was the ferocious attack on non-vaccine medical treatments. One of then-Governor Andrew Cuomo’s first official responses to the pandemic was to issue a March 3, 2020 executive order prohibiting off-label use of hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus. It was an odd thing to do at such an early stage of the pandemic before any science was available to test the claim. Since then, a public relations campaign savaged doctors who suggested ivermectin might be effective in treating COVID. We all remember the “horse-dewormer” slurs against ivermectin, as though anyone taking it must have pilfered the pills from a veterinarian’s medicine bag. Yet a Japanese study detected a significant “antiviral” effect against coronavirus (on humans, not horses).
The American Journal of Therapeutics published a study in the summer of 2021 concluding,
Meta-analyses based on 18 randomized controlled treatment trials of ivermectin in COVID-19 have found large, statistically significant reductions in mortality, time to clinical recovery, and time to viral clearance. Furthermore, results from numerous controlled prophylaxis trials report significantly reduced risks of contracting COVID-19 with the regular use of ivermectin. Finally, the many examples of ivermectin distribution campaigns leading to rapid population-wide decreases in morbidity and mortality indicate that an oral agent effective in all phases of COVID-19 has been identified.
At the time of writing this piece, YouTube’s policy continues to prohibit, “Content that recommends use of Ivermectin or Hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19, Claims that Hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment for COVID-19, Categorical claims that Ivermectin is an effective treatment for COVID-19, and Claims that Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine are safe to use in the treatment COVID-19.” This, notwithstanding the fact that Reuters has now issued a correction conceding that the Japan study yielded credible evidence of ivermectin’s antiviral effect.
Joe Rogan and Spotify aren’t in trouble for disseminating false information. They’re in trouble for embarrassing the media and government officials who themselves have pushed false information and bad policy. That’s why the powers that be are resorting to censorship instead of rebuttal. It’s easy to understand their panic. As I wrote in 2020, “If social media wants to play doctor, they should prepare to be sued for malpractice.”
Hundreds of thousands of Americans died from COVID, some of whom might have lived if social media hadn’t blocked legitimate information about therapeutics. When COVID finally abates, they will no longer be able to justify censorship to “protect” public health. Let the lawsuits begin.
By Adam Mill