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Media censorship during the Covid era | VIDEO




Censorship of opinions and comments has become increasingly challenging for publishers and platforms in the time of Covid-19.

No other world health emergency has attracted such enormous coverage, facts, misinformation and outright nonsense.

And the concurrent rise and rise of social media as an information source has helped the spread of important public health information but also the inaccurate, and sometimes dangerous, mis-information.

Censorship on the major media platforms – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – is not new. These companies regularly remove content that they consider as objectionable, based on their company policies.

This includes hate speech, the glorification of violence, harmful, dangerous and inaccurate content.

This presentation contains images that were used under a Creative Commons License. Click here to see the full list of images and attributions:


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  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 11:06 am

    Where content is simply abuse / hate speech / the glorification of violence / harmful / dangerous / inaccurate and contributes nothing to any constructive debate, maybe removing it is the only answer … and maybe those that don’t will find that that particular part of their media empire is increasingly marginalised until it serves no constructive purpose any more …

    • Avatar


      Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 5:05 pm

      Talking this way is both considering :
      – That people are not intelligent enough to make their own choice between good and bad;
      – That you delegate to other people the right of choosing what is good and bad to listen or read.
      Debating with others is accepting to hear everything, even the stupidest, unacceptable or not mainstream ideas.
      As soon as you restrict the right of talking freely, you begin to promote dictature…
      Facebook, Twitter, Google and others are just businesses and they have to obey and serve their powerful government to keep on existing. But you and they are forgetting something : You will never block ideas by blocking any media. It is always better to fight a bad idea by talking rather than blocking.

      • The Thaiger

        The Thaiger

        Friday, January 8, 2021 at 9:37 am

        Sounds fine in theory. It doesn’t work in the real world. We angst over this issue every day.

        • Avatar


          Friday, January 8, 2021 at 11:37 am

          You are so funny talking about “real world” and your existential daily problems 😉
          Let’s call a spade a spade

          Most of the internet media are getting their information from others main streams sources, right ? Most of the internet media make business with advertising from sponsors, right ?

          Consequently, internet media are absolutely not independent because they are depending financially from sponsors and other suppliers for news. They must butter their sponsors up, whatever their sponsors could demand or expect. This is “the real world” of internet news media…

          • The Thaiger

            The Thaiger

            Friday, January 8, 2021 at 12:25 pm

            Goodness gracious. You couldn’t be more wrong. You better come into our offices for some education about ho modern media works. I’ll warm up the coffee.

  2. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, January 8, 2021 at 1:03 am

    Two problems with that for me.

    First, why should people have a “right” to voice their opinions on Twitter, Facebook, or here for that matter?

    Take here. Why should the Thaiger be obliged to allow comments that have no relevance to the articles they’re supposedly commenting on but which are simply abuse? Or to allow comments which are dangerous, directly or indirectly, if followed?

    Why should they be obliged to allow any comments at all if they don’t want to?

    It’s the owner’s trainset (like Facebook or Twitter) so why should they have to let anyone they don’t want to play with it?

    Second, if you have no “restrictions” on “the right of talking freely”, how about privacy and protection?

    People’s addresses? When they’re at home, and where and how to break in? When they’re on their own, or their children are alone? How to make a bomb or explosives? People’s sexual preferences, real or imaginary? Where to buy drugs or firearms? Where children go to school and where a pedo can indulge themselves?

    You think all that should be allowed freely and openly?


    • Avatar


      Friday, January 8, 2021 at 8:21 am

      There are already plenty of laws that protect people against invasion of privacy, public slander, defamation, etc.

      Today, private companies that live off information and content left voluntarily and free of charge by their users, arrogate to themselves the right to analyze practices and behavior, to steal and resell private information and to enrich databases. government or private data. These same companies are now moving up a gear by claiming the right of filtering or censorship … We think we are dreaming.

      Latest example: Facebook now requires What’sapp users to share their data with Facebook and its entities, under penalty of being banned!

      People with minimal brains have already freed themselves from these intrusive and liberticidal social networks. They find themselves more and more in underground exchange and speech systems.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Friday, January 8, 2021 at 10:13 am

        Sorry. Denis, but there aren’t “plenty of laws that protect people against invasion of privacy, public slander, defamation, etc.”

        That’s simply untrue and factually incorrect as the laws vary widely from country to country, with an obvious example being the Thai lese majeste law, while the internet is available internationally so those laws can’t be applied.

        Yours is a perfect example, if any were needed, of something claimed as “fact” on the ‘net which is easily verifiable as totally incorrect and completely untrue.

        If they’re “private companies” and you’ve agreed to their T&Cs then they’re not “arrogating” or “stealing” anything – you agreed to them doing it.

        If you don’t like it, don’t agree and don’t use them – nobody’s forcing you to.

        ….. and they’re not “claiming the right”. It’s what you agreed to.
        It’s their company and their right to accept or reject whoever and whatever they like or don’t like, just as it’s your right not to allow people into your house for your birthday party if you don’t want to.

        They’re not forcing anything on you, but you want to be able to force things on them – hypocrisy, at best.

        … and if that’s what Facebook require, then why shouldn’t they be allowed to do so? If you decide to have a party in your bedroom and you “require” everyone to be naked, isn’t it up to you if you want to “ban” those who want to go but don’t want to join in? Again, no-one’s forcing you to go or to be on Facebook, so why should you be allowed to force your way in?

        … at least we agree that some have “minimal brains”, but shouldn’t those “underground exchange and speech systems” also be regulated by “laws that protect people against invasion of privacy, public slander, defamation, etc.” ?

        … as well as endangering people by publishing instructions on how to make bombs, buy weapons and drugs, spread paedophilia, etc, etc. etc?

        • Avatar


          Friday, January 8, 2021 at 11:49 am

          There will always be sheep who will agree to be sheared without rebelling, by Facebook, Google and others. It’s their problem, not mine.
          Internet or not, there will always also be evil people to make bombs, terrorize others or indulge in pedophilia or something else …
          Today, legal advertising, television series, talk shows or certain TV programs convey many more perverse messages, violence, sex than a few one-off messages on social networks.
          The big difference is that governments already have direct or indirect control over traditional media (TV, press, radio) but have been taken aback by internet media and other social networks. Today, all the bad reasons are good for gaining control over the information that circulates through the internet. It is a political will backed by the journalists themselves.

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, January 8, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    … and what’s the alternative to “censorship”?

    To publish everything regardless of whether it’s true or not, without verifying anything, leaving the readership to sort the wheat from the chaff?

    Or to warn that a certain report, post or comment may not be verified or true? … and if they do that, who’s to pay for the staff required to filter every post and flag it up with a warning?

    Difficult for even Facebook or Twitter to police, but how can something smaller like the Thaiger do so when comments look true but, if you have and take the time to check them, are a complete fabrication and fantasy?

    Take two very recent issues here that look like a difference of commentors’
    opinion based in turn on differing expert, informed opinion – but where, if you take the time to check properly, the expert, informed opinion says something completely different to what’s claimed.

    In one case, it was claimed that the WHO, FDA and Dr Fauci (all undoubtedly experts) had recently written off PCR tests as “useless”. Apparently true as all had commented recently on issues with PCR tests, but on taking the time to check properly clearly totally untrue and a complete fabrication as all they’d actually done was to repeat what had always been known, that the PCR tests had to be done according to manufacturer’s instructions to be accurate – no more so than, say, checking someone’s height, weight or temperature has to be done according to manufacturer’s instructions to be accurate and to avoid being “fudged”.

    Credible, but a complete fabrication.

    Another was citing Prof Michael Mina (also undoubtedly an expert), saying that he’d said rapid testing should be used now to do tests for Covid instead of PCR tests – also apparently true, as he’d written a number of opinion articles strongly advocating the mass use of rapid testing. But, on taking the time to check properly, again totally untrue and a complete fabrication as he’d actually said that rather than working and being available now they would need at least a year to develop and roll out (assuming they worked) and that it would need funding of some $20 billion.

    Again, credible, but a complete fabrication.

    So what’s the solution for media groups like the Thaiger?

    To not allow any response, so that theirs is the only opinion on their site?

    To provide everyone, whether they’re a recognised expert or a complete fruit cake, with a platform to express their views, all on an equal footing?

    To take some responsibility rather than just leaving their readership to fend for themselves, and censor or block repeat offenders who abuse the platform they’ve been given by repeatedly making comments / posts that are verifiably totally untrue?

    … or to take responsibility and flag up comments / posts that are verifiably completely untrue, or likely to be untrue – all of which take time to verify and check, and time costs money?

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