Apparently, Congressman Sen Ron Johnson (R-Wis) is in hot water again with social media, this time his team uploaded a video associated with a June 3 appearance by the senator at the Milwaukee Press Club. Upset with both the previous Trump as well as the current Biden administrations for “not only ignoring but working against robust research [on] the use of cheap, generic drugs to be repurposed for early treatment of COVID-19,” YouTube made the call that these violated their “misinformation” policy and thus yanked the content. But what’s misinformation and what’s not is up for debate and, in many cases, the regulators and government agencies, such as the FDA and NIH, appear to move in concert with the regulated to establish a party line that blocks low-cost competition. Does overt censorship exist in America today? What if a nation such as Slovakia, or India, for at least a duration during the emergency pandemic, authorize the use of Ivermectin as an early on care option for COVID-19? What if that’s an absolute fact backed by government documents? Is reporting on that fact considered misinformation? In fact, it is, as TrialSite can attest both Facebook and YouTube have taken down TrialSite content that simply reports on the fact that Slovakia, for example, authorized the emergency use of the drug. They assume the American public are too dumb to understand that just because Slovakia authorizes use doesn’t mean the FDA does. But perhaps that’s not the real intention. Perhaps regulatory capture is so strong now that a confluence of interests can literally censor large swathes of the internet? The evidence of government and tech industry collaboration over what is fair game for censorship is on display for all to see. For example, as the lab theory of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 became a topic again, perhaps in anticipation of the Fauci email leak, the line between government and federal agency blurs as recent emails demonstrate collaboration between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and NIAID’s director Dr. Anthony Fauci. Put another way, the U.S. government’s dictating to a massive social platform what is and what is not truth and not necessarily to protect the public but rather to prevent them from the diverse opinions that can help one find the actual truth.
As reported recently in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, YouTube’s position on the matter was that the recent censorship was “in accordance with our COVID-19 medical information policies, which don’t allow content that encourages people to use Hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus.”
In the meantime, Rep. Johnson was “baffled” that this “concerted effort to deny the American public the type of robust exploration research into early treatment early in this pandemic.” Apparently, YouTube follows a policy launched in May 2020 that centers on the censorship of what’s deemed misinformation as defined by the World Health Organization. So, in America, where the National Institutes of Health seemingly would have influence changed their position on Ivermectin to neutral (meaning they don’t recommend to use or to not use given the evolving data sets), the fact that YouTube would enforce such a restrictive interpretation serves essentially to introduce similar censorship of the internet one would experience in a place such as a China.
In response, Rep. Johnson criticized Google-owned YouTube suggesting that these tech companies “have accumulated too much unaccountable power.” He went on, “Big Tech and mainstream media believe they are smarter than medical doctors who have devoted their lives to science and use their skills to save lives.” Johnson continued, “They have decided there is only one medical viewpoint allowed and it is the viewpoint dictated by government agencies.”
In this way, perhaps the concept of regulatory capture—the economic theory that emphasizes what occurs when regulatory agencies may come to be dominated by the industries or interests they are charged with regulating—is actually a major force at this point in our history. What results? Instead of serving the public’s interest, the agencies serve industry, those very firms they’re supposed to regulate.