If there is one positive thing that can be said about this terrible plague were enduring, it is that now and then, it gives the Trudeau government some really, really great ideas.
Sure it was only a couple of weeks ago that the Liberals came up with the idea that they a minority in Parliament, remember should give themselves the power to tax and spend for the next two years, without having to get parliamentary approval. It was a truly brilliant idea, except that it ignored the fact that approving government spending is one of the most important functions of Parliament. Take away its authority over spending and the House of Commons might just as well be any old bingo hall, or with a little imaginative renovation, a one-of-a-kind Costco store.
Now, compliments of Privy Council President Dominic LeBlanc, we learned that the Liberal government is contemplating legislation to make it an offence to, as a CBC report put it, knowingly spread misinformation that could harm people. In plain language, this government is openly thinking of making itself the official censor of what can and cannot be said about COVID-19. Pure brilliance again, dont you agree?
Well, actually, no. Dont even think of it. Better still, to borrow a phrase from Greta Thunberg: how dare you? There is already a government that has that power, and in some cases brutally exercises it. That is the government of the Communist Party of China.
And what has it done with that power? It barred telling the truth about COVID-19, and instead told lies about it. On the where it happened, when it happened, how it happened and how it spread, the Chinese government confounded, confused and lied about a plague that has now hobbled the whole planet. And China officially reprimanded the doctor who initially tried to warn people about the coronavirus, and who, with dread irony, actually died from it. (A postmortem apology followed from the government. That surely helped.) Admire the Chinese government if thats your thing, but on this subject, it is not an example to be followed.
So, lets tap this serpent of an idea on its little head before its fangs emerge and it develops a real appetite. The problem with government having control over what is said and written, completely aside from it being the utter contradiction of a liberal democracy, is that governments especially on a matter such as this pandemic are simply not competent enough to know what is right and what is wrong.
What is required for a government to pass a law against misinformation? To begin with, it presumes an infallible authority thats able to make judgments on what is, or is not, correct information. Even worse, it presumes the government has the ability to make judgments on a matter that, incontestably, is not yet fully understood by anybody.
This virus is new. The investigation of its nature, transmission, the best policies to confront it, the extent of the response to it, even the nature of the response all of these elements are, at best, in an incomplete and early stage of understanding.
Experts have varying degrees of skill and knowledge. If experts disagree, which happens often, will some of them be silenced? In actuality, a divergence of opinions can be seen as a path to the full truth emerging. But this cannot happen if the government gags those who may seem to be wrong at the present moment.
On the purely political front, there are equal objections to giving government censorship powers. Governments take to extensions of their power like bears to honey. The more power they get, the more they believe they alone should exercise it. Power swells the ego. Add more power, and if you follow the analogy, a little balloon soon thinks its the Hindenburg. And a government swollen with power does not like other voices.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau barred the leader of the Opposition from joining talks with other opposition leaders because, in Trudeaus own memorable words, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer disqualified himself from constructive discussions with his unacceptable speech earlier today.
Yet it is not for Trudeau, or any other prime minister, to determine what is acceptable speech from his constitutionally positioned critic, the leader of the Opposition. Nor is it proper for this minority government, which has had enough struggles of its own over misinformation on masks, on screening at airports, on our relative security from the pandemic to decide what the rest of us can, and cannot, say or write about this unique crisis.
- The spectre of censorship and intolerance stalks todays left - The Guardian - July 13th, 2020
- How literary censorship inspired creativity in Victorian writers - The Conversation UK - July 13th, 2020
- Chinese TV Regulators Appear to Increase Story Supervision - Variety - July 13th, 2020
- Gone With the Wind and the Difference Between Censorship and Context - Film School Rejects - July 13th, 2020
- UK universities accused of censorship by complying with China - Telegraph.co.uk - July 13th, 2020
- Parler: the Twitter 'alternative' isn't the free speech haven it claims to be - The Conversation AU - July 13th, 2020
- How Victorian Writers Navigated Censorship And Suppression Of Free Speech - Science 2.0 - July 13th, 2020
- Art Exhibit Hits Back at Censorship, Abductions of Dissidents - Khaosod English - July 13th, 2020
- Disney + has just added a version without the censorship of a Marvel movie, well liked- JAPANFM - D1SoftballNews.com - July 13th, 2020
- Claims of censorship and bullying at UCT as another explosive report surfaces - IOL - July 13th, 2020
- Social Media Bans 'Highlight the Profound Censorship on Web 2.0' - CoinDesk - CoinDesk - July 12th, 2020
- Wendell Berry joins lawsuit to stop University of Kentucky from removing controversial mural - Courier Journal - July 12th, 2020
- The Trump Administration Is Attacking Critical Internet Privacy Tools - VICE - July 12th, 2020
- Facebook suspends disinformation network tied to staff of Brazil's Bolsonaro - Reuters - July 12th, 2020
- [OPINION] Pinoy BL, censorship, and problematic LGBTQ+ representation - Rappler - July 12th, 2020
- Laura Loomer and Freedom Watch request full court review of their Big Tech censorship lawsuit - Reclaim The Net - July 12th, 2020
- Hongkongers face a Kafkaesque reality as censors outlaw the words of protest - The Guardian - July 12th, 2020
- US Senate Finance Subcommittee hearing highlights need to review on China's censorship - Tibet Post International - July 11th, 2020
- Black TikTok creators have long accused the platform of censorship - Reclaim The Net - July 11th, 2020
- The Facebook boycott is illiberal. Who has the courage to oppose it? - Thehour.com - July 11th, 2020
- Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Blasts Alleged Big Tech Censorship: By Offensive, They Mean The Left Doesnt Like It - Deadline - June 21st, 2020
- 'Gone With the Wind' censorship is a slippery slope - Los Angeles Times - June 21st, 2020
- AG Barr on tech companies censoring viewpoints: 'There's something very disturbing about what's going on' - Fox News - June 21st, 2020
- Resist The Self-censorship Bug - City Journal - June 21st, 2020
- New Report Looks at How People Feel About Online Censorship, and Who Should be Making the Calls on Such - Social Media Today - June 21st, 2020
- The main types of censorship in films: Are they even necessary? - Film Daily - June 21st, 2020
- Censorship and the future of e-readers - Catholic Culture - June 21st, 2020
- Censorship is a growing problem in our news and other media - Bluefield Daily Telegraph - June 21st, 2020
- U.S. senator: Twitter tried to censor me and lost - The Highland County Press - June 21st, 2020
- Is this the maddest target of woke censorship yet? - Spiked - June 21st, 2020
- Gail Asper 'very troubled' by allegations of discrimination at Canadian Museum for Human Rights - CBC.ca - June 21st, 2020
- The Unplug Collective Allows Black Women to Express Themselves Without Censorship - Teen Vogue - June 21st, 2020
- Bolton book decision: Right answer, wrong reasoning | TheHill - The Hill - June 21st, 2020
- Censorship by country - Wikipedia - June 9th, 2020
- Censorship Is Not All Bad | HuffPost - June 9th, 2020
- Why Is Censorship Bad? | Reference.com - June 9th, 2020
- Things you're not allowed to say: lowlights of the new censorship - New York Post - June 9th, 2020
- Barr claims social media platforms 'censoring particular viewpoints and putting their own content in there' - Fox News - June 9th, 2020
- Nazi Propaganda and Censorship | The Holocaust Encyclopedia - June 9th, 2020
- The march of progressive censorship - Spectator.co.uk - June 9th, 2020
- Reddit CEO Steve Huffman thanks users that asked for more censorship on the platform - Reclaim The Net - June 9th, 2020
- The Censorship of COVID-19 Data Around the World | Sam Bocetta - Foundation for Economic Education - June 9th, 2020
- Censorship row over report on UK BAME Covid-19 deaths - The Guardian - June 9th, 2020
- Blood Brothers #36: Social media censorship, nationalism and defending Muslim rulers - 5Pillars - June 9th, 2020
- Bitcoin.com's Mining Video Censored: The Tale of Youtube's Blatant Censorship and Propaganda - Bitcoin News - May 19th, 2020
- Here's How to Fight Censorship In a Nutshell - Discovery Institute - May 19th, 2020
- What Triggered a Biology Journal to Demand Government Censorship of Intelligent Design - Discovery Institute - May 19th, 2020
- OpEd: Has Disney Taken Censorship Too Far With the Latest Disney+ Blur? - Inside the Magic - May 19th, 2020
- People are worried about Disney censoring 'Hamilton' when it comes to Disney Plus this July - Insider - INSIDER - May 19th, 2020
- Does Big Tech censorship ultimately fail, giving more legitimacy to the content it tries to hide? - Reclaim The Net - May 19th, 2020
- Hey, Google, your censorship of 'Plandemic' only turned its author's book into #1 bestseller. Its the Streisand effect, stupid! - RT - May 19th, 2020
- Opinion: Conspiracism is a popular phenomenon; addressing it requires understanding and dialogue rather than censorship - Eastern Echo - May 19th, 2020
- The pandemic is making digital rights violation in Africa, the new norm - Techpoint.ng - May 19th, 2020
- YouTube bans content that contradicts WHO on Covid-19, despite its track record of misinformation - MercatorNet - May 19th, 2020
- Bringing Back Blogs in the Age of Social Media Censorship - WP Tavern - May 10th, 2020
- #MeToo in the land of censorship - Human Rights Watch - May 10th, 2020
- The people have cancelled... there's a new kind of censorship in town - Independent.ie - May 10th, 2020
- Dave Rubin interview: His new book, censorship on the left and what he sees happening in Canada - National Post - May 10th, 2020
- The Darlings are discouraged and disheartened by live stream censorship - The Province - May 10th, 2020
- Twitter accused of 'censorship' after banning Wings Over Scotland accounts - The National - May 10th, 2020
- Facebook Won't Fudge Censorship Oversight, Qumra Sells $80 Million in Holdings and Juganu Revolution in Today's Roundup - CTech - May 10th, 2020
- Facing COVID-19 Misinformation and Censorship in Brazil, Russia, and China - Slate - April 23rd, 2020
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle accused of censorship over refusal to engage with tabloid media - The Independent - April 23rd, 2020
- German censorship campaign targets scholar over BDS and applies 'antisemitism' charge - Mondoweiss - April 23rd, 2020
- News on News: Reflecting on institutional censorship and the conversations with the experts - Grand Valley Lanthorn - April 23rd, 2020
- Facebook Pandemic Philanthropy Overshadowed by Its Censoring of Protests - Breitbart - April 23rd, 2020
- Lady Chatterley's censor: Almost 60 years ago, a court case looked to save us from ourselves - The Big Smoke Australia - April 23rd, 2020
- The ADL wants to fight hate in video games, but ham-fisted CENSORSHIP is the last thing we gamers need - RT - April 23rd, 2020
- Internet Censorship During COVID-19 Is Threat To Cryptocurrencies And Liberty - Forbes - April 2nd, 2020
- Social media censorship in the time of coronavirus - Telecoms.com - April 2nd, 2020
- The Coronavirus Has Started a Censorship Pandemic in Turkey, Hungary, Thailand, and Around the World - Foreign Policy - April 2nd, 2020
- Landmarks in law: the controversial 80s play that defied gay censorship - The Guardian - April 2nd, 2020
- Turkey among several countries censoring their coronavirus critics - Ahval - April 2nd, 2020
- Bitcoin Core shifts to dark web to resist censorship - Decrypt - April 2nd, 2020
- It's a bad idea for journalists to censor Trump instead, they can help the public identify what's true or false - The Conversation US - April 2nd, 2020
- The mounting human cost of Chinas coronavirus censorship - Reclaim The Net - April 2nd, 2020
- Society's Dependence on the Internet: 5 Cyber Issues the Coronavirus Lays Bare - Nextgov - April 2nd, 2020
- Turkmenistan bans the word Coronavirus, wearing of masks, in a major censorship move - The Statesman - April 2nd, 2020
- Indias government wants to censor the media to fight Covid-19 but transparency is a better weapon - Scroll.in - April 2nd, 2020
- YouTube continues to ban crypto content; None knows the reason - iNVEZZ - April 2nd, 2020