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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/10/20

COVID-19, Antifa, and Black Lives Matter: The Battle for Control of the Internet

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Message Prof. Anthony Hall
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One of the unifying themes I seek to emphasize here is the importance of the Internet and the many media that feed into it as the most influential shaper of current events--- Prof. Anthony Hall, Editor In Chief of the American Herald Tribune

Many observers have noted that the time through which we are living now seems unprecedented. We are all experiencing an amazing convergence of so many monumental developments that combine into a fast-moving narrative. In recent days the focus suddenly shifted from COVID-19 and compulsory vaccines to insurrection and anarchy from within. Suddenly the vaccine czar, Bill Gates, has been swept from the center stage of current events. Suddenly multi-billionaire Gates has been upstaged by multi-billionaire George Soros.

What is going on? What are the themes of continuity and disjuncture that characterize the strange and consequential sequence of events? What lies up ahead as we leave behind, probably forever, many familiar patterns of life. It seems that everything entered a period of ultra flux beginning in the opening days of 2020 with a US drone strike that martyred General Soleimani.

One of the unifying themes I seek to emphasize here is the importance of the Internet and the many media that feed into it as the most influential shaper of current events. When are we being played by experts in psyops and deception and when are we dealing with spontaneous developments that could not have been planned or spun to advance predetermined political agendas? What is the role of the Internet?

Who if anyone is in charge of what does or doesn't get covered on the Internet? Whose version of events will be highlighted and corroborated and thus be allowed to prevail as authoritative? When does a whistleblower become a conspiracy theorist? How does it happen that narratives convenient to advance the agendas of the rich and powerful, of the status quo, so often become reified as if they are true?

US President Donald Trump, the populizer of the terms, "draining the swamp" and "fake news," has waded into these fraught issues with a plan he claims will safeguard the Internet from political manipulation. In so doing he is addressing some of the core issues of Internet pluralism and freedom.

Trump's intervention into the legalities of Internet communications are not immune from their own set of dangers and possible abuses. The fact remains, however, that the drama of these cataclysmic times is serving to highlight the importance of the Internet not only as a medium for reporting events but as a vehicle that is instrumental in the shaping of events; in determining what actually happens or not. In some instances the medium is indeed the message.

Shutting Down Open Debate on the Internet

The video of the initial press conference of Dr. Daniel W. Erikson and Dr. Artin Massihi easily qualifies for inclusion in any survey of the classic contributions to Internet discussions concerning the new coronavirus. Drs. Erikson and Massihi of Bakersfield California drew on 40 years of combined experience in providing health care to their communities.

On April 25 the doctors set out to replace government models of predictive programming, models that, it turned out, wildly overestimated the mortality rate from the new coronavirus.

The doctors set themselves the task of reporting on the local data, much of which they had obtained through their own primary research. They then explained their own understanding of the Kern County data within a larger assessment of broader epidemiological patterns throughout the United States and Europe. This assessment led them to the conclusion that the time had come to lift the lockdown and allow people to go back to work.

These front line professionals reported that the effects of the lockdown were beginning to provide evidence of negative health effects more serious than those arising directly from the new coronavirus. Drs. Erikson and Massihi enriched this commentary with some very pertinent reflections on the importance of maintaining active encounters with all kinds of microbes to stimulate the strengthening of our own immune systems.

Quarantines, social distancing and lockdowns do just the opposite. The resort to isolation and excessive washing deprive people of the means of maintaining the vitality of their natural immune systems.

Many media publishers including You Tube decided to banish the Bakersfield video from their highly censored platforms.

Unfortunately this instance of censorship was not an aberration. Rather it was an example of a very pervasive pattern. Such censorship, often done in the name of intellectually bankrupt cliche's about "conspiracy theories," has become more the rule than the exception. As the coronavirus controversies unfold it seems that the biases of the biggest Internet publishers have become quite clear.

The Internet publishers have become so obsessively self-serving that even highly accomplished professionals are being forbidden to speak and to be digitally heard, even when it comes to their own areas of academic and practitioner expertise. This prohibition on open debate even among highly qualified individuals with deep understandings of their own areas of expertise is highly detrimental to the best interests of society.

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Anthony James Hall has been Editor In Chief of the American Herald Tribune (https://ahtribune.ca/) since its inception. Between 1990 and 2018 Dr. Hall was Professor of Globalization Studies and Liberal Education at the University of (more...)

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