It’s the greatest story never told.
Four and a half million people lost their lives. Most major economies lost more than 4.5% of their GDPs. And nearly every human being on this planet has lost a significant degree of freedom. Naturally, the most important question is why? What caused the pandemic that upended our world?
And while any death is a tragedy, one of the greatest losses in this pandemic has been something previously considered to be universal: the death of objective truth. For nearly a year, anyone who used social media to suggest that the virus originated in a lab was down-ranked, shadow banned, or blocked on social media. You see, that “truth” wasn’t consistent with how Big Tech viewed the world.
Only when that possibility was accepted by the federal government did it become an idea Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey would let us freely discuss in their marketplaces of ideas.
And this trend isn’t limited to social media. This week, new information tumbled out via a Freedom of Information request that raised new questions about whether U.S. government funding of virus research in China helped start the COVID-19 pandemic. But don’t expect the major news or social media networks to report about this inconvenient truth.
And if you consider that to be worrying, I might remind you that the White House recently admitted they were coordinating with Facebook to ban “misinformation.” Of course, “misinformation” is now defined as any ideas that are inconvenient for the progressive movement.
The censorship of politically unpopular ideas has gained widespread acceptance on the Left because ideologically, progressivism has replaced liberalism. Liberals believed the solution to bad speech was more good speech. Progressives simply wish to silence all opposing viewpoints. It’s important to remember that liberalism descends from the Age of Enlightenment, while progressivism descends from Marx.
And the most terrifying thing is that this may be merely a harbinger of what’s to come. Do any of us want to live in a world where politicians are the arbiters of which information should be allowed to be shared, debated, and discussed in public forums?
Americans rightfully mock Communist China for its social credit scores, censorship, and lack of privacy. But when the government reads all of our emails, when it snoops on Ring doorbell cams, and when its allies in Silicon Valley are happy to censor anything inconsistent with the aims of the politicians in Washington, are we any better? It appears the primary difference between American totalitarianism and Chinese totalitarianism is that ours is a public/private partnership.
Regardless of what side of the political aisle they fall on, every American should demand to know the true origin of the pandemic that upended our world because every American deserves to know the real truths about their society, whether or not they’re politically convenient.
• Adam Guillette is the President of Accuracy in Media.