Letter to the Editor: Censorship in Australia
It is hard to think of a more vaguely conceptualized, bad law. How are misinformation and disinformation to be defined? Prima facie it would seem to start with identifying something that is false. So does this apply to the forecasts of economists, who routinely make predictions that are wrong? Is that disinformation or misinformation worthy of removal?
Obviously not, but why not? Economic forecasts, if believed, could be quite harmful to people. But the government is saying it would not apply to the truth or otherwise to individual posts. It will be posts that challenge what the government says, particularly about matters of public health. The so-called “spread of online disinformation” referenced by the minister is clearly alluding to social media activity questioning the governments’ COVID-19 policies, especially the mandating of the so-called “vaccines”.
Australians in that year were brutally confronted with the choice of either getting inoculated with an untested drug or being banned from the workforce. This was presented as necessary to stamp out COVID. Yet the ABS reported that, in 2022, after about four-fifths of the population had been injected, deaths from COVID rose ninefold: from 1100 to over 10,000. So was the government’s claim that it would keep society safe from misinformation? Or what about the initial claims that the lockdowns, which lasted longer in Australia than anywhere else in the world, would only last a few weeks so as to “flatten the curve” (you know, the curve that never existed).
“Meaning”, indeed, is the keyword, not information, which is merely passive. When people write posts, they are actively trying to communicate meaning. So the attempt to legally proscribe disinformation or misinformation is based on a false premise about what is actually occurring. The ABS furnishes information; people posting on social media are doing something much more complex.