National Science Foundation Gives Tens of Millions to Fight COVID ‘Disinformation,’ Populism

Government efforts to squelch purported misinformation and disinformation on the most contested subjects in American politics don’t stop with Cabinet-level agencies.

The National Science Foundation has awarded at least $39 million in grants and contracts in fiscal years 2021 and 2022 for projects that target misinformation or disinformation, frequently pertaining to COVID-19 and elections.

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‘They’re Complicit in All This’: Ron Johnson Slams Media for ‘Covering Up for the Democrats’

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin mauled media outlets for “covering up for the Democrats” during an appearance on “Sunday Morning Futures.”

“As corrupt as the Biden family is, and we’ve known this literally for years, the news media has, Sen. Grassley and I have, but what may be even more troubling is the corruption within federal law enforcement and inside a corrupt, complicit and dishonest media,” Johnson told host Maria Bartiromo.

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House GOP Set to Investigate PayPal for Its Plan to Fine Users for ‘Misinformation’

House Republicans are likely to launch an investigation of PayPal for a now-retracted policy that would fine users up to $2,500 for spreading “misinformation” or posting content that it deemed “objectionable,” per a letter sent to PayPal Tuesday.

The letter demanded that PayPal send House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee and Financial Services Committee written answers to 15 questions about the circumstances surrounding the “Acceptable Use Policy,” which was published by PayPal on Oct. 8. The questions demand PayPal to name those who drafted the policy, who had the authority to approve it, and whether PayPal had coordinated with the Biden administration regarding it.

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Commentary: The Tentacles of the Social Media Octopus

Washington DC

by Victor Davis Hanson   A shared theme in all dystopian explorations of future and current totalitarian regimes – whether China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, or Cuba – is government control of all media information, fueled by electronic surveillance. A skeptical public learns to say one thing publicly but quite…

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PayPal Reverses Course, Withdraws Policy That Would Have Fined Users for ‘Misinformation’

PayPal outside shot of logo

In a censorship experiment gone awry, PayPal reversed course Saturday night and said it was withdrawing a new policy that would have allowed the company to fine users $2,500 if they spread “misinformation.”

The company sent a statement to the National Review saying the Acceptable Use Policy had been sent out mistakenly,

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Doctors File Lawsuit to Block California Law Threatening Physicians for Practicing Medicine Independent of Government Narrative

Two California doctors filed a federal lawsuit that seeks to block a California law signed by Governor Gavin Newsom (D) last week that threatens the free speech rights of physicians to provide full informed consent to their patients about the risks of COVID-19 mRNA shots and benefits of early treatment with off-label drugs.

The new law threatens to punish doctors who do not support the government’s established narrative, called the “scientific consensus,” on COVID-19 with revocation of their license, and livelihood.

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Gavin Newsom Signs Bill to Punish Doctors for Providing COVID-19 Vaccine Informed Consent Information Not Backed by Government and Big Pharma

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Friday a bill that allows the medical boards of California to be used as government overseers as they discipline doctors who provide their patients with informed consent about the risks of the COVID-19 mRNA shots and the benefits of early treatment for COVID disease with off-label drugs.

Newman signed AB 2098, which labels as “unprofessional conduct,” a doctor’s discussion about the benefits of early treatment of COVID with effective, readily available, and inexpensive medications already in use for years.

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Fact Check: Abortion Advocates’ Claim State Pro-Life Laws Endanger Lives of Pregnant Women Is False

The abortion industry and its allies in politics, the media, and establishment medicine have made the false claim that women’s health is endangered by state pro-life laws because abortions cannot be performed in these states when the life of the mother is at risk.

Legal and medical experts, however, are explaining how that claim is false and constitutes “misinformation,” since pro-life laws in all states clearly articulate the lives of pregnant women are protected under them.

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OB/GYN Dr. Christina Francis: ‘Abortion Supporters Have No Scientific Evidence’ to Back Up Their Position

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month, the abortion industry and its allies in the media and the medical field “are having to defend their actual position” regarding their claim that women are in danger as a result of the ruling, but “have no scientific evidence to back it up,” leaving them to “rely on spreading” lies, OB/GYN Dr. Christina Francis told The Star News Network in an interview Thursday.

Francis, a board member and CEO-elect of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), testified Tuesday before the House Committee on Energy & Commerce in a Democrat-led hearing titled “Roe Reversal: The Impacts of Taking Away the Constitutional Right to an Abortion.”

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Primary Source of COVID Misinformation Is the Feds, Scientists and Scholars Tell Surgeon General

U.S Surgeon General Vivek Murthy recently asked the public how COVID-19 misinformation “in the digital information environment” had affected health outcomes, trust in the healthcare system and “likelihood to vaccinate,” among other issues.

According to vaccine and healthcare policy experts who joined with Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, the misinformation is coming from inside the house.

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Twitter Will Now Suppress ‘False’ and ‘Misleading’ Tweets Under ‘Crisis Misinformation’ Policy

Twitter announced Thursday that the company would be implementing a new policy for its users that would focus on making sure widespread “misinformation” was not amplified on the site during crises.

Tweets branded as misinformation during a crisis will be blocked out with a warning notice under the new “Crisis Misinformation Policy,” the blog post read. Twitter added that the policy would prioritize tweets with high exposure or from “high profile accounts.”

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Feds’ Pressure on Tech Platforms to Censor COVID ‘Misinformation’ Is Unconstitutional, Suit Says

The government’s sustained pressure on social media platforms to censor and report purported COVID-19 misinformation amounts to “state action” that violates the First Amendment, according to a lawsuit filed Friday on behalf of three Twitter users.

The New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), a frequent litigant against COVID-related administrative action, is representing theoretical cognitive scientist Mark Changizi, lawyer Michael Senger and stay-at-home father Daniel Kotzin.

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Commentary: The Department of Homeland Security Is Becoming the American Thought Police

The Department of Homeland Security, which under the Biden Administration routinely lets watch-listed terrorists cross the southern border unmolested, and which approved entry to the United States for Colleyville Synagogue hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram despite his being known to British authorities as a terror risk, has taken upon its broad bureaucratic shoulders an even more challenging job.

Stopping the flow of MDM.

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Big Tech Censored Dozens of Doctors, over 800 Accounts for COVID-19 ‘Misinformation,’ Study Shows

Major technology companies and social media platforms have removed, suppressed or flagged the accounts of over 800 prominent individuals and organizations, including medical doctors, for COVID-19 misinformation, according to a new study from the Media Research Center (MRC).

MRC’s Free Speech America CensorTrack, an initiative that monitors acts of censorship across online platforms, identified over 41 instances between March 2020 and February 2022 in which doctors, scientists and medical organizations were censored, according to the results of a study shared with Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Commentary: Time Is Running Out for the COVID Coverups

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.

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Left-Wing Activists Tied to ‘Disinformation’ Group Are Working to Demonetize Conservative News Sites

Activists linked to a left-wing disinformation network are pressuring advertisers to cut ties with conservative news sites.

Check My Ads, a group started by Sleeping Giants co-founder and activist Nandini Jammi and advertising consultant Claire Atkin, bills itself as “Adtech’s first watchdog” and claims to “cut disinformation off at the source.” The organization attempts to curb the spread of what it deems misleading or hateful content by pressuring advertisers and ad exchanges to sever business relationships with certain news and commentary sites.

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Twitter Permanently Suspends Georgia U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Personal Account

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene

Twitter permanently suspended the personal account of Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene over repeated violations of its COVID-19 misinformation policy, the company confirmed early Sunday.

Greene’s personal account, @mtgreenee, was no longer active Sunday morning, and it has been labeled with an “account suspended” notice. Greene’s official government account, @RepMTG, is still active.

When reached for comment, Twitter confirmed Greene’s account was suspended, and the company said she committed “repeated” violations of its policy on COVID-19 misinformation.

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Commentary: The Biggest Junk Science of 2021

Doctor with protective gloves handling vaccine

Just as it did last year, the most dangerous pandemic in a century spawned all sorts of junk science in 2021, running the gamut from pure quackery to ideology-fueled misinformation. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to spot junk science, especially when it’s disguised in techno-babble or parroted by governments, doctors, or other traditionally trusted sources. This sneakiness, combined with the unprecedented stress of a novel, highly-infectious disease, makes almost anyone prone to falling for BS.

To help identify junk science in the future, it’s useful to showcase junk science from the present and past. Here are six of the worst examples from this year:

6. Star NFL Quarterback Aaron Rodgers Was ‘Immunized’ Against COVID-19 With Homeopathy. Through much of the NFL season, Green Bay Packers starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers led reporters and fans to believe that he had been vaccinated against COVID-19. But when Rodgers was diagnosed with the illness in early November, it was revealed that he had not in fact been vaccinated, but rather had been ‘immunized’ with a homeopathic remedy. Homeopathy is a ridiculous, utterly disproven pseudoscience based on the magical notions that “like cures like” and that water can ‘remember’ the essence of a substance. Furthermore, according to practitioners, diluting a substance down to infinitesimal, often nonexistent amounts actually makes the homeopathic remedy stronger. In keeping with this fairytale logic, Rodgers likely imbibed a homeopathic potion (essentially just water) that before dilution may have had some sort of virus in it, and claimed that it raised his antibody levels, rendering him ‘immunized’. It’s utter nonsense.

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Commentary: Keep Slandering Red States, Corporate Media and We’ll Keep Winning

Donald Trump supporters

One of the delights of living in Montana under complete Republican governance is that even though your state can be mercilessly trashed by the arrogant blue state corporate media, they can’t do much to stop you or your neighbors from living your best lives.

I kept that in mind this week with the simultaneous appearance of not one, but two extended hit pieces on the poor, benighted, ignorant, awful, rednecks in Montana: one in Jeff Bezos’ propaganda fishwrap, the Washington Post, and the other in the failing New York Times.

I had low expectations before reading each, and in that sense the articles did not disappoint; but they are worthy of forensic examination, because both, in different ways, provide sterling examples of the arrogant ignorance that epitomizes our failing elite class, and the hysterical desperation they feel as both power and the narrative slip from their grasp.

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Another Whistleblower Files SEC Complaint Alleging Facebook Didn’t Do Enough About ‘Hate Speech’, ‘Misinformation’

Person looking on Facebook with trending topics

Another former Facebook employee filed a whistleblower complaint Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging that the tech giant misled its investors by failing to combat the spread of hate and misinformation on its platform, The Washington Post reported.

The former employee, whose name is not yet public, alleged that Facebook executives chose not to pursue adequate content moderation policies related to hate speech and misinformation for the sake of maximizing profits. The complaint also alleges that Facebook did not do enough about alleged Russian misinformation on the platform for fear of upsetting former President Donald Trump.

In particular, the complaint alleges that Trump and his associates received preferential treatment, according to the Post.

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Poll: A Majority of Americans Think Misinformation Is a Problem

The majority of Americans believe U.S. politicians and social media companies spread more misinformation than any foreign government, including adversaries like China and Russia, according to a new poll.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, released Friday, found that about 75% of Americans believed politicians in the U.S., social media companies and social media users are the biggest drivers of misinformation. Just under half of respondents, however, thought that the U.S. government was responsible for misinformation, while just over half said the same for Russia and China.

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After Backlash over NBC Interview, Fauci Tells CNN He Encourages People to Spend Christmas with Family

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday said that he would be spending Christmas with his family, and encouraged others to do the same, after saying over the weekend that it was too soon to tell if Americans could spend the holiday together.

“I will be spending Christmas with my family. I encourage people — to have a good, normal Christmas with your family,” he told CNN host Kate Bolduan.

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Commentary: Vaccine Hesitancy, the Medical Establishment, and the COVID Apocalypse

"There's no planet B" sign

This month the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Sixth Assessment Report. As with the previous five reports, it is bursting with dire “projections” about the future of the planet and civilization (they never say “predictions” because there is always some accountability and embarrassment when a prediction turns out to be wrong). 

I’m no climate scientist, so I can’t claim to hold a research-based opinion on “global climate change,” as it is now known. But I remember exactly when I started taking the “projections” of bodies like the IPCC with a grain of salt. It was when the “Climategate” scandal came to light in 2009, in which a hacked server resulted in a leak of internal emails from climate scientists at the prestigious Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Great Britain.

The leaked emails clearly showed that researchers were withholding important information from the public—information that would undermine the apocalyptic claims of climate scientists. For example, illustrious expert Kevin Trenberth acknowledged to his colleagues that “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty.” But rather than admit this uncertainty, researchers colluded to “hide the decline” from the public. 

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Michael Patrick Leahy Explains the ‘Unholy Alliance’ Between Big Tech and Social Media Giants

Thursday morning on First Principles with Phill Kline, host Kline welcomed Michael Patrick Leahy, CEO of The Star News Network and host of The Tennessee Star Report to weigh in on the developing oligopoly of Big Tech and social media giants.

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Facebook Reportedly Considers Creating an Election Commission, Just in Time for Midterms

Facebook is considering creating a commission to advise the tech giant on election-related issues including misinformation, The New York Times reported.

The tech company reportedly contacted several academics and policy experts to draft plans for a commission that will advise Facebook on electoral matters and potentially decide policies related to political misinformation and advertising, several people familiar with the plans told The New York Times. Facebook plans to announce the commission in the next few months to be prepared for the 2022 midterms, the Times reported.

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Twitter Enlists Users to Flag ‘Misleading’ Tweets as Part of Misinformation Crackdown

Person holding phone up with Twitter sign up page on smart phone.

Twitter announced Tuesday it will test a feature allowing users to report tweets they believe are misleading, as the company cracks down on alleged misinformation.

Users in the U.S., South Korea, and Australia will be able to select the “It’s Misleading” option when reporting a tweet, the company announced Tuesday. The social media platform said it may not take direct action on each flagged tweet, but will use the reports to identify misinformation trends.

Twitter staff will review certain reported tweets depending on the topic or level of exposure and determine if they violate the company’s misinformation policies, a Twitter spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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