Facebook: People Will Now Be Allowed To Discuss Whether Covid-19 Originated In Wuhan Lab

Read that headline a couple times. There was a time when such a headline would only appear on The Onion, but it is true. Facebook has long banned anyone who discussed the evidence that a worldwide pandemic killing millions and destroying the global economy may have been released from a government lab in Wuhan, China. Facebook would not allow the theory to be discussed as “debunked” despite widespread criticism that Facebook was, again, engaging in corporate censorship. The false claim that this theory was “debunked” was pushed by various media platforms as part of the criticism of then President Donald Trump and his Administration. Now however Dr. Anthony Fauci and others have acknowledged that there is a basis to suspect the lab as the origin of the outbreak. So now Facebook will allow you to talk about it.

Since February, Facebook has been banning posts claiming the virus was man-made or manufactured “following consultations with leading health organizations, including the World Health Organization” who had “debunked” the claim.  It was ridiculed at the time as entirely divorced from actual science. While the theory was not proven, it was never disproven. Many (including Fauci) maintain that natural evolution is still the most likely explanation but the lab could be the original source for the outbreak.

Now, Facebook has declared

“In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made from our apps. We’re continuing to work with health experts to keep pace with the evolving nature of the pandemic and regularly update our policies as new facts and trends emerge.”

Putting aside the lack of a basis for the earlier ban, the statement reflects that assumption that, of course, Facebook should be the arbiter of what can be discussed by users. I previously wrote about how Facebook is running a campaign to convince young people to accept “content modification” as part of their evolution with technology.  This reframing of expectations has been fostered by Democratic leaders who have pushed social media companies for more censorship to protect people from errant or damaging ideas. Last year, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) warned Big Tech CEOs that he and his colleagues were watching to be sure there was no “backsliding or retrenching” from “robust content modification.”

This censorship craze is not just limited to the lab story or to Facebook. Indeed, last year, House Democrats Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney of California wrote a letter to cable carriers like AT&T to ask why they are still allowing people to watch Fox News. The members stressed that “not all TV news sources are the same” and called these companies to account for their role in allowing such “dissemination.” Thus, it is not just specific stories but whole sources of information that need to be banned to protect innocent, gullible citizens.

In all of these exchanges, the underlying portrayal of the public is the same: they are unwitting dupes who must be protected from harmful thoughts or influences. It is safer for them to have these members and these companies determine what they can hear or discuss.

Facebook’s decision to allow people to discuss the theory follows the company’s Oversight Board upholding a ban on any postings of Trump, a move that even figures like Germany Angela Merkel and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) have criticized as a danger to free speech.  Even Trump’s voice has been banned by Facebook. Trump remains too harmful for Facebook users to hear . . . at least until the company decides that they are ready for such exposure.

Facebook’s announcement is meant to assure that it will not abuse its power as the overseer of any political or social discussions.  It is similar to the benign dictator pitch where a government argues that, despite authoritarian powers, it uses such powers in a benign and tolerant fashion. There is an alternative. It is called free speech.

I have long described myself as an Internet Originalist. There was a time when the assumption was that the Internet is a forum for largely unimpeded free speech. This was particularly the case with social media. Users of Twitter and Facebook state a desire to hear the views of other individuals or groups. Yet, companies like Facebook started to assert the right to monitor those exchanges and decide if it approves of the views or representations being made. What began with censoring out violent threats has morphed into censoring “misinformation” or “harmful” thoughts on subjects ranging from climate change to gender issues to Covid-19 to election fraud.

It is a familiar pattern as speech controls become insatiable and expansive. We would never tolerate a company like Verizon intervening in telephone conversations to correct or cut off arguments. However, Facebook now regularly censors views and is running a glitzy television campaign to get people to love the company for its paternalistic limits on what they can see and discuss.

I do not know if the virus escaped from the Wuhan lab. However, it is less likely that we will find an answer with companies actively preventing people from sharing information and views on the subject. Yet, it is probably more important to understand how a little free speech escapes from Facebook. The fact is that it did not escape. It was a controlled release. Facebook and other companies have turned a rolling ocean of free speech on the Internet into a swimming pool of censored and managed expression. Worse yet, according to its ubiquitous commercials, Facebook wants us to love it for the loss of free speech.  So rejoice, Facebook and its censorship board will now allow us to discuss whether China is responsible for the release of this virus . . . for now.

 

A shorter version of this column ran on Fox.com

83 thoughts on “Facebook: People Will Now Be Allowed To Discuss Whether Covid-19 Originated In Wuhan Lab”

  1. ‘Never forget: the FBI gave Dr. Fauci an award for “distinguished service” in November 2020.

    Why did the FBI do that? Why would federal law enforcement honor an infectious disease specialist?’

    @emeraldrobinson

  2. Turley wrote: “Facebook’s announcement is meant to assure that it will not abuse its power as the overseer of any political or social discussions.”

    How about this theory instead…..

    FB’s announcement signals they got the message, the orders from on high, from the powers that be, that they can no longer keep a lid on the truth so begin to let it out to the public.

    First they throw Fauci under the bus (he’s been caught in a web of lies and he is expendable now). And then going forward everything will be blamed on Trump, not Fauci, not China, not Biden, not Dems or their lying propaganda media.

    Everything that the left and the corrupt, illegitimate Biden admininstration has done, all the mistakes made, problems caused, intentionally or incompetently, will be blamed on Trump from now on.

    Same playbook was used for eight years of Obama. It was all George W Bush’s fault! It was not Obama’s mistakes, incompetence, corruption and lies — it was all Bush’s fault. Obama was just cleaning up the mess he inherited.

    The truth is now coming out. They can no longer hide it, and the same plan is being put in motion beginning with throwing 80-year old evil Dr. Fauci under the bus. He can slip away and retire with his millions.

    Then blame it on Trump. All of the mess being made by Biden will now be blamed on Trump. Not Biden, not the media, not China, not Fauci, not the evil Democrat liars.

    Just disgusting. The whole lot of them.

    Don’t fall for it.

  3. Question – Why hasn’t Facebook banned Facebook from Facebook? For the past year Facebook has been banning posts stating the possibility Covid may have been leaked from the Wuhan lab claiming that it was a debunked theory. Now that the “debunking” has been debunked (by Fauci and many other scientists who now admit it was possible that it was a leak from the lab) shouldn’t the false debunkers (Facebook et al) now be banned from the platform for spreading false claims for the past year.

    1. Not only did Facebook, Twitter, WaPo, NYT et al carry out irregular, perhaps fraudulent “fact checking”, but they took affirmative action to practice affirmative discrimination… a progressive path and grade.

  4. Facebook reversed themselves because they know that an early understanding of the virus might have led to mitigation that would have saved lives and they would not allow any speech that would have presented an alternative argument. We do know that 50,000 tests were performed on 300 animal species and no virus was found. One month ago this study finding no virus in nature would not have been allowed on Facebook. I guess that makes Facebook a science denier.

  5. And then there’s this from the Epoch Times this morning. What I would like to see leaked are documents tying FB’s censorship to the DNC and WH, particularly the latter. In such a case, all the “…but FB’s a private company” arguments fly out the window, would they not PROF. TURLEY? Would FB then be acting on the government’s behalf to do an end run around the First Amendment?

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/facebook-whistleblower-leaks-vaccine-hesitancy-censorship-documents_3834377.html

    Excerpt:

    “A Facebook whistleblower has leaked documents that appear to expose the tech giant’s plans to censor content that show COVID-19 “vaccine hesitancy.”

    Whistleblower Morgan Kahmann, a former data center technician for Facebook, revealed his identity in an interview on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” after first coming forward to the investigative journalism non-profit Project Veritas with the internal documents.

    He says the company’s documents detail a plan to curb “vaccine hesitancy” on a global scale.”

    1. I wonder what percentage of FB employees have gotten the jab?

      Only ahout half of CDC employees and only half of Fauci’s large organization are vaccinated.

    2. The credibility of the whistleblower is suspect. Since he went on tucker Carlson’s show. He’s not exactly the best example of a credible individual himself. The biggest clue that this is suspect is that the documents are “appear” to show. Things that “appear” to show something is not definitive proof that what is being claimed is actually true. There’s ambiguity to the claim.

      1. Gandhi could go on Tucker Carlson and Svelaz would tell us he is a charlatan. Let’s make it more contemporary. Martin Luther Kings Jr’s niece Alvita King could go on Fox as she often does and because she appears on one of Svelaz’s nemeses news stations she too would be discredited. Svelaz, excuse us if we don’t accept your arbitration.

    3. This is basically a farce.

      “ My moral compass says that is not the right thing to do because basically, the users at Facebook are not aware that this is going on and if you’re using Facebook or a social platform and they’re censoring the content of your comments unbeknownst to you, I think that’s highly immoral,” the ousted Facebook employee said. ”

      Of course people are not aware. People stupidly keep signing an agreement with Facebook that their comments or views may be removed of they violate the terms THEY agreed to.

      Further making the point, when people sign these agreements they attest that they have read and understood this agreement. It’s that little check box you click on prior to accepting the agreement. Apparently a lot of people really don’t read what they are getting themselves into.

      1. Svelaz–“Apparently a lot of people really don’t read what they are getting themselves into.”

        ***

        That’s a legitimate thought. Without claiming any conclusions, I wonder how those ‘terms’ might be subject to revision because of large print representations to the public? Twitter is now shouting in favor of ‘free speech’ [Twitter version] to India. Oddly the Indian government believes it has as much right to censor as SF Hippie geeks. Bait and switch, perhaps. How closely do these monopolies follow their own rules? Do they truly read their own fine print before hitting the ‘Censored’ button? And what is the impact if government agents do through the monopolies what they are prohibited from doing directly? And if they carefully censor reasonable information to create a message or narrative or influence an election are they become publishers no longer protected by section 230? Saying Covid maybe leaked from a lab violated their rules a short time ago but now it doesn’t. Did the rules change? No, the permitted narrative did. It could be argued they have rules until they don’t and that their ‘rules’ are only a screen for arbitrary and capricious behavior in violation of their own public representations and, when acting to censor at behest of the government, actually illegal.

        There are more ‘rules’ in this business than appear on the acceptance of terms and I suspect some of their lawyers worry that others will begin to read and enforce them.

  6. Does anyone truly think this is a win? These social media places prove the point on censorship. You cannot speak about this, but now it is OK because we now decided to allow you to read about this issue. It is the very definition of censorship. This should have been allowed from the very start. Not all discussions are going to be polite or palatable. I do not need to have a third determine for me what I should read or speak about.

    1. Framing this as what should be allowed cedes too much.

      It is censorship that is wrong.

      FB is doing an excellent job of proving every point in John Stuart Mill’s “On liberty”.

      When you censor you not only stop lies, but also the truth.

      Had FB’s censoring of the Wuhan labs story been universal. We still would not be able to talk about it.

      It is only because SOME places allowed a FEW credible scientists to note that the Zoonotic theory was falling apart and the most credible alternative was the Lab Leak theory, that FB has reversed itself

      From DAY ONE All origen hypothesis should have been discussed.

      We find Truth by exploring ALL possibilities.

      I would note that this also exposes the deep flaws in FB’s policy of censorship by “experts”.

      The “experts” were wrong about this. Worse they were wrong for bad reasons, Faucci, the WHO, … were protecting themselves.

      Truth most frequently comes from the heterdox sources. Those on the OUTSIDE.

      1. John say, the same can be said about lies. Your argument is not exclusive to just truth. So it can be said that censorship is sometimes a necessity in a society.

    2. Quiet man, Yes, they stomped with hob-nailed boots on what now is obviously a scientifically reasonable discussion. Every leftist is a fascist and it shows every time they get any power.

  7. Opposing viewpoints to allow discussion to get at the truth. That shouldn’t be a news story. So sad that it is in today’s desire to squash free speech.

  8. Esteemed scientist Luc Montagnier stated from the beginning that the Coronavirus disease 2019 was man-made in a laboratory and that it might have been the result of an attempt to create a vaccine for HIV/AIDS. Montagnier’s allegation came after questions arose regarding whether or not the virus came from a laboratory. According to Montagnier, the “presence of elements of HIV and germ of malaria in the genome of coronavirus is highly suspect and the characteristics of the virus could not have arisen naturally.”

    It’s also worth noting that Fauci isn’t qualified to shine Montagnier’s shoes. In my opinion, Fauci is, at best, qualified to serve as a Quality Control Tester of Chinese Fentanyl. The 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Luc Montagnier and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi for the discovery of HIV, and shared with Harald zur Hausen, who discovered that human papilloma viruses can cause cervical cancer. Montagnier is the co-founder of the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention and co-directs the Program for International Viral Collaboration. He is the founder and a former president of the Houston-based World Foundation for Medical Research and Prevention. He has received more than 20 major awards, including the National Order of Merit (Commander, 1986) and the Légion d’honneur (Knight: 1984; Officer: 1990; Commander: 1993; Grand Officer: 2009), He is a recipient of the Lasker Award and the Scheele Award (1986), the Louis-Jeantet Prize for medicine (1986), the Gairdner Award (1987), the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement (1987),[24] King Faisal International Prize (1993) (known as the Arab Nobel Prize), and the Prince of Asturias Award (2000). He is also a member of the Académie Nationale de Médecine. Montagnier was awarded the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.) from Whittier College in 2010.

    Fauci’s accomplishments? He has been wrong about every issue involving the Wuhan Virus. Except once; when he predicted during a speech in 2017 that “There is no question that there will be a challenge to the coming [Trump] administration in the arena of infectious diseases” and “There will be a surprise [virus] outbreak.” Hmmmm. I wonder how he knew with certainty that that was coming and was the one thing where he was actually correct. Could it have something to do with the fact that Fauci has been deeply involved in funding dangerous experiments in China, where the research and experiments would only have value in the context of bio-warfare?

    1. The problem with Faucci and other experts is not that they have been wrong.

      Though many of these errors have been highly predictable.

      It is that they were given POWER.

      Whether it is the “experts” or the governors who issued edicts based on “experts” – the problem is not with what they SAID but what was done.

      Those on the left push the nonsense that not only MUST we do something about every bad thing in the world, but we must be seen to do something – even when we do not know what we are doing.

      Best results are nearly always acheived when myriads of different “experts” are given voice – including not jobs – because once in a blue moon the nut jobs are right.

      AGAIN Alex Jones has been right MORE that MSM talking heads.

      The point is that the correct answers do not always come from the expected sources. From the “experts”. Or some small collection of them that has hold of the levers of power.

      FB was and remains absolutely wrong to censor based on “experts” – or panels of “experts”.

      That entire approach is not merely wrong but dangerous.

      Sometimes the truth comes from the nut jobs.
      Nearly always the truth does NOT come from “experts” with their hands on the levers of power.

      1. John say, your disagreement with experts seems to be rooted on the notion that just because they are experts we shouldn’t take their opinions for grafted. What you say is partly true. The difference is that just because some experts don’t align with your preconceptions doesn’t mean they are wrong.

        There are experts and there are “experts”. Alex Jones advice is by no means credible. This is a man who bloviates about a secret society of lizard people. This is a man who has admitted that lying about the events of a school shooting and is being current sued for defamation.

        “ It is that they were given POWER.”

        False. Fauci was constantly undermined by the president and his allies. He didn’t have any power as you suggest. He had credibility, which is what kept the president from fully undermining his recommendations.

        Censoring false claims is a perfectly legitimate action, especially when it involves a private entity.

  9. “Facebook: People Will Now Be Allowed To Discuss Whether Covid-19 Originated In Wuhan Lab”

    – Professor Turley
    _______________

    Ah, to discuss, that is the question.

    If we comrades and subjects of King Ping and the “dictatorship of the proletariat” may resume the enjoyment of our constitutional freedom of speech, may we again use the n word?

    May we also resume the enjoyment of our right to private property, and immunities from taxation for redistribution of wealth and regulation of anything other than money, commerce and land and naval Forces?

    Freedom, here we come!

    Merit, get thyself ready.

  10. I have long been a follower and supporter of this blog. I am also appreciative of having been one of a handful of persons invited by Prof. Turley to post our own columns as weekend contributors over a period of almost ten years. However, I would certainly not argue that Prof. Turley’s recent decision to eliminate weekend contributors somehow constitutes a violation of my right to freedom of speech. It is his platform and he may allow or disallow whatever expressions of opinion he chooses for good reasons, bad reasons or no reasons at all. That is one of the benefits of ownership, after all. The difference between Res Ipsa Loquitur and Facebook is size, but neither are comparable to Verizon. Whether Facebook should be regulated as a common carrier or public utility is a different issue, and one worthy of debate.

    Prof. Turley’s unfortunate comparison is only one of the reasons I find this column, and the preceding column on the pending action filed by the Chinese American Civil Rights Coalition, extremely disappointing. Clearly that suit will not survive a First Amendment defense, but the substance of both columns misses the point by ignoring context.

    In the case of Facebook, that entity is attempting to avoid the imposition of regulatory oversight by trying to be all things to all people, which usually results in satisfying no one. It is pilloried for allowing the expression of idiocy, some of it genuinely dangerous, and simultaneously bludgeoned for censoring subjects concerning which reasonable people may actually disagree. The reason the censorship controversy has become so intense over the last few years is simply that we have endured a period in which the channels of government have openly published innumerable falsehoods, while embracing crude and vicious appeals to anti-intellectualism, nativism, racism and white supremacy as justification for public policy decisions. Facebook can’t win when there are no longer any rules or accepted standards governing public debate or even common decency. As a First Amendment absolutist, I abhor all forms of censorship, but I understand Facebook’s dilemma.

    With regard to the defamation case, I rather doubt that anyone seriously believes that it will survive a motion to dismiss. There will not be any testimony and Dr. Fauci will not be called as a witness for any purpose. However, although the case is legally flawed, I believe I understand the plaintiff’s motivation. And this is where the issue of context comes into play. It is one thing to undertake scientific studies to ascertain the origin of a pandemic, and references to the “Chinese virus” or the “Wuhan virus” by scientists and academics are understood as handy references for discussion purposes. It is quite another thing, however, to use those phrases as racist shorthand to scapegoat a nation and its people while describing the pandemic as a “hoax” and refusing to do the hard work of framing an appropriate response to its spread. In the hands of the previous administration, the words “Chinese flu” or “Kung flu” were intended to provoke the same response as “shithole countries” and “Mexican rapists.” There is no honorable defense to that usage. One need only read about the now daily assaults on Asian Americans to understand my point.

    I regard Facebook as a social medium, useful for exchanging photos and keeping up with friends. It is not a vehicle for serious debate on anything, and I do not believe it was ever intended to be. So while I have freely and openly discussed the origins of Covid-19 with many people and have watched a number of informative documentaries, I do not regard Facebook as a useful venue for that purpose. When I do wish to engage in serious online discussions, I look to sites like this one, but much less frequently, since even here rational debate has increasingly been jettisoned in favor of acrimonious (and anonymous) exchanges of ad hominem insults. Perhaps that merely reflects the mood of the times. Perhaps important issues are not amenable to remote discussion. Or perhaps mutual respect dies when we speak without looking each other in the eyes.

    1. Mike Appleton wrote:
      “I look to sites like this one, but much less frequently, since even here rational debate has increasingly been jettisoned in favor of acrimonious (and anonymous) exchanges of ad hominem insults. Perhaps that merely reflects the mood of the times.”
      ~+~
      I have a theory, and it is mostly anecdotal admittedly, that what we are experiencing in social media/blog commentary is a type of situation where technology advances faster than socialization or adaptivity in human communicaitons. We as a society have not yet fully adapted to the change. A spillover cost of the ease and ability for the individual to have a nearly equally volumous voice to everyone else is nearly that of those having a large presence in broadcast media. Or at least the perception is. Formerly, the outlets available to most people were limited in scope to the average person. The most promient form was either a letter to the editor for them or to accomplish something especially noteworthy, or infamous in some cases, to gain at least a temporary admission to the public arena. An individual’s other strategy was that they did have the ability to write letters to nearly everyone, but cost and kinship constrained his/her reach. One truly had to work to get out a message of their own doing and through this one most often to be successful had to subscribe to certain rules of decorum and credibility. Those who mistakenly ignored these rules were often shown the door. Of course there was the occasional daring or cheap-shot but those generally never lasted long.

      Now we have broke down whatever barrier to expression with technology available to the ordinary citizen it facilitated as you describe a dark side of having a faceless and anonymous nature having invited some of the worst examples of behavior to enter the fray, and in some circles even praised. That “dark side” for lack of better words has probably existed in the human real for…perhaps nearly always but without having a presence with others there is often little motivation to self control and constrain it.

      An analog to this is a story of a natural hotspring that existed just West of a mountain pass in western Washington State. The property was owned by a group of doctors who, along with numerous volunteers, constructed hot tubs, benches and such for anyone willing to take the hike to visit it. Friends and I went up there many times to enjoy a fantastic view and some good conversation with the occasional visitor. It was free to all, but occasionally there was an expectation that if you were able, to haul up a bundle of wood or other construction materiel when repairs were due. While up there one year I for some unknown reason had a foreboding that as the hot springs became more popular it was only a matter of time before someone came along and wrecked the whole experience for everyone. Sure enough, a few months later a friend telephoned me and said the hot springs were in the news and were shut down. Aparently a group of ruffians caused a drunken ruckuss up there and a big disaster unfolded. The sheriff’s office had to be called out to restore order. Then some local politicans began castigating it and made wild accusations of how much of a public nuissance it bacame. It was a gross exaggeration but the damage had been done. Shortly thereafter we drove to the pass and hiked up to where the springs were and everything was destroyed through vandalism. I was acutely angered by what I beheld that day, but it was tamed slightly only by my reflection that it was sad but inevitable given the nature of people. Nothing people get for free is respected or valued. And if you open something wonderful up to the general public it will eventually get ruined or debased. It only takes a few but a few is enough. Its the same thing with hosting a platform for discussion using today’s social media, except that the inevitable happens with greater speed. I don’t have The Answer for curing this. Some web hosts such as Ann Althouse eliminated the comments section of her webpage. The few that forced a detraction of her full enjoyment of the blog, it seems, were sufficient to cut-out everyone else. Perhaps a mitigation might be to host a discussion site having an invite-only membership requirement for commentary and if those who continually choose to be rude are simply shown the door. It is surely not an open discussion but it is probably much less aggravating to those who host it. If one writes something solely for their own satisfaction, it usually does not matter how many Likes or Clicks they receive, it can be a liberating experience if one can choose to accept it. Personally, I’d rather have a dinner discussion among a few close friends or those with common interests than spend the same time in an auditorium of people clammoring for me to entertain them to purchase their interest. At least the former is more honest and engaging.

      1. I enjoyed your post, Darren. And I agree with your take on what is happening.

        I also see it as the ‘like attracts like’ theory at play. Someone tosses trash in an empty lot. Another sees it and figures they can toss their trash there, too. Soon it is a heap of trash collecting more trash by the day. Like attracts like.

        Or as the saying goes, be it ever so trashy, there’s no place like home.

        I’m not suggesting we anonymous posters are all tossing trash on the heap here in the comments section, although some of us are. Some of us see a trash comment and pile on with more trash comments. It’s the law of attraction. It’s human nature. This is an outlet, a place to have a say, toss in our two cents, to vent some political steam.

        Although it is a nice idea to take a pause and ask ourselves before posting –even anonymously– am I just tossing another piece of trash on the pile? Or am I adding something to the convo that another reader might find worthwhile reading?

        And hey, sometimes one person’s trash is another’s treasure.

      2. “Those who mistakenly ignored these rules were often shown the door.”

        More of that, please.

      3. Carlyle agrees with you on the existence of a dark side to human nature and he beautifully describes its ugliness in his history of the French Revolution. Anonymity, darkness, and mobs will open the sewers to let it loose.

        That it has survived so many millennia of civilization suggests that at rare times, the times of feud, vendetta or war it may have its uses. But allowed rampant, little of value will remain standing, and it is being given license in cities like Seattle, Portland and others to a degree I never expected to see in America.

        But other things are at play here, particularly the degradation of conversation in the media and society. One can scarcely find a movie without F bombs and general rudeness defacing the story. Downton Abbey and a few others are prized exceptions. But it is not the exceptions that are copied so very much.

        Last, every medium is a potential outlet for propaganda and it is known that governments and some organizations staff people to sit through the day littering the internet landscape with their assigned messages, some of which have been extreme. There seem to be a lot of friends of totalitarianism on the internet.

        Still, civil disagreement can be found here and I value this site for that.

    2. Mike:

      “It is quite another thing, however, to use those phrases as racist shorthand to scapegoat a nation and its people while describing the pandemic as a “hoax” and refusing to do the hard work of framing an appropriate response to its spread. In the hands of the previous administration, the words “Chinese flu” or “Kung flu” were intended to provoke the same response as “shithole countries” and “Mexican rapists.” There is no honorable defense to that usage. One need only read about the now daily assaults on Asian Americans to understand my point.”
      ***********************************

      Mike this is pathetically disingenuous. It’s not Trump or his supporters assaulting Asian-Americans. It’s the Dims and their mascot group — the criminals. Look at the plethora of videos, for god’s sake. And calling a virus by its place of origin is neither racist nor particularly unusual. It’s only been deemed so by the liberal horde as a means of attacking a populist they fear even now. You can’t be that naive to think that cries of racism for virus names only originated when Trump did it but the peanut gallery of race baiters were strangely silent when Obama (Zika/West Nile) did it. You wanna feel good about your virtue and sing from the Dim hymnal – fine. But at least have the integrity to admit it. As for your concern about a country that suppresses free speech, tortures its slave Muslim minority and generally supports deadly mischief all over the world, well that’s a puzzler unless, of course, you hate Trump more than you do the Communist Chinese. Hating an elected official more than a deadly rival?

      As an aside about your dismissal of the “Mexican rapist” comment as groundless racism, aid workers at the southern border estimate that from 60-80% of women and teens have been raped on their trip northward. Who did that? The grinkos in a country they hadn’t entered yet?

      https://www.huffpost.com/entry/central-america-migrants-rape_n_5806972

  11. May 27, 2021

    “Sixteen months ago, January 20, 2020 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the Communist People’s Republic of China.

    “The United States was at peace with that nation and, wittingly or unwittingly, through criminal dereliction and negligence and attempting to obtain the cloak of plausible deniability, the People’s Republic of China released on the world the COVID-19 biological weapon.

    “China has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the World. The Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy has directed his entire Cabinet that all measures be taken for the defense of the United States.

    “With confidence in the United States Center For Disease Control and with the unbounding determination of the American people the Untied States will gain the inevitable triumph so help us God.

    “Congress must declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by China on January 20, 2020, a state of war has existed between the United States and China.”

    – President Donald J. Trump

  12. Gee, I wonder if they’ll lighten up on censoring folks who post about their adverse vaxx reactions.

    BTW, the CDC VAERS stats for the last six months show at least 220k reported adverse events, with at least 4k deaths, coinciding with all major COVID vaccination types, and VAERS is believed to represent only 1% to 10% of actual adverse events. In a normal full year, all other vaxxes death counts total to something in the low three digits.

    This is a far bigger story than the lab leak, since FB is helping hide the death and physical toll of the largest medical experiment in human history with information being so deficient and coercion to take the vaxx so great that one can reasonably conclude that the Nuremurg Code is being violated in spades.

    1. The CDC VAERS statistics specifically disclaim any causal relationship between the vaccine and the deaths of vaccine recipients. The CDC also reports that no evidence of causality has been found, at least to date. Therefore, your statement is at best misleading, and premature in any event.

  13. Why all of a sudden has Facebook changed their tune. I offer a long link in explanation but it is worth the reading of every word. The questions that is going to have to be dealt with. Could a cure have been found sooner if we had known the origin of the virus? Instead of looking in nature for the virus and not finding it could we have understood it’s properties and developed a vaccine sooner by looking in the lab? Perhaps even millions of lives could have been saved. It will be a sad day if we find out that Zuckerberg and his Democratic friends were instrumental in the delay because of their TDS. Hears the link. https://thebulletin.org/2021/05/the-origin-of-covid-did-people-or-nature-open-pandoras-box-at-wuhan/.

    1. To be clear – it is STILL possible that the virus had zoonotic origens.

      The prime reason that the lab leak hypothisis is gaining acceptance is that when a virus jumps zoonotically we nearly always can quickly trace that. We can find the intermediaries in natures – among other reasons because it can not and does not jump quickly.
      It typically takes several mutations to successfully adapt to a new host.

      This is also why viruses typically jump more than once before getting to humans.
      Because intermediate hosts only require part of the adaptation needed to reach humans.

      Todate no evidence has been found of any intermediate forms of the Bat Corona Virus – despite extensive effort to find it.

      It is the absence of evidence of a zoonotic jump that has lead to the increased likelyhood of the lab leak.

      We should investigate the lab leak.

      We should also continue to look for a zoonotic link.

      The goal should be to find the actual answer – not the most palletable.

  14. Great story topic for Jonathan Turley: Is it true that Barry Goldwater was a lifetime supporter of the NAACP and actually successfully integrated African-Americans into military and government positions? He’s been portrayed as racist but from what I’ve read he was really on the Libertarian wing of the Republican Party. Goldwater apparently only opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for “libertarian” reasons not racist reasons.

    1. Thank you for the education.

      That’s what I’ve been doing forever – opposing the entire American communist welfare state for “libertarian” and “constitutional” reasons.

      Why don’t people get that?

      All they have to do is read the literal words of the Founders and the literal words of the manifest tenor of the Constitution and Bill of Rights to grasp the scope and breadth of American freedom and the unconstitutional nature of American communism, and, ultimately, to comprehend the criminality and treason of Lincoln and his communist successors whose handiwork was illegal and illegitimate in 1860, 1865 and 1870 and remains illegal and illegitimate today, including the mass illegal invasion-immigration of freed slaves whose status changed from “property” to “illegal alien” and who could not become citizen by law in the form of the Naturalization Act of 1802.

    2. Goldwater’s positions are well documented for those who wish to find them.

      You can read “conscience of a conservative” – which is VERY libertarian – though it does have positions that libertarians will oppose. ‘

      Goldwaters opposition to the civil rights act was solely to the provisions that applied to PRIVATE actors.

      Goldwater did not wish to empower government to force private actors to act in government dictated ways.
      Goldwater understood that every government action that seeks to do good, is not inherently constitutional, nor inherently good.

      This is little different from the Master Cake case today.

      People SHOULD outside of government be allowed to discriminate for whatever reasons they choose – even bad ones.

      Mastr cake refuses to make custom cakes for gay weddings. I am free to take my business elsewhere.
      That is how it should work.

    3. As Senator Goldwater is later quoted regarding gays in the military.

      “I do not care if they are straight, only if they can shoot straight”.

  15. The real mind blowing irony: government officials, their contractors and those they deputize swear a supreme loyalty NOT to censor and NOT violate anyone’s rights. Jim Crow crimes was essentially local officials betraying their own loyalty oath contract and the loyal wing of the federal government check & balancing those disloyal local officials.

    Anytime the ACLU, institute for Justice, etc sue government agencies, it’s almost always involves (near 100%) oath sworn officials violating their own Oath of Office (Title 5 US Code 3331 and Article VI).

    The ACLU and other constitutional law firms actually supports the Oath of Office of the oath-sworn bureaucrats. They support police, FBI, CIA, etc that are loyal to their oath.

    There is no agency in the United States with the authority to censor or conduct warrantless domestic spying without a judicial search warrant based on probable cause of a past crime on any person in U.S. soil. The very clearly worded 4th Amendment has never been amended in either letter or spirit.

    1. Jim Crow was mostly NOT local government officials acting OUTSIDE the law.

      Jim Crow was THE LAW OF THE LAND.

      Jim Crow laws were passed starting about a decade after the end of the civil war because too few businesses were willing to discriminate.

      The railroads as an example refused to add cars to trains in the south to allow whites only cars, until they were forced to do so by Jim Crow laws.

  16. Tips for a longer, happier life.
    1. Don’t crawl around The Great Dismal Swamp among poisonous snakes at night in a swimsuit.
    2. Don’t lay down on the outer loop of the Capitol Beltway and do sit ups.
    3. Don’t walk up to Mike Tyson, spit in his face and call him the “N” word.
    4. Dump and/or don’t allow Facebook in your life.

    1. 5. Dump ALL social media unless you need it for a business.

      6. Dump the Smart Phone and get a flip phone.

  17. Turley says, “ It is a familiar pattern as speech controls become insatiable and expansive. We would never tolerate a company like Verizon intervening in telephone conversations to correct or cut off arguments. However, Facebook now regularly censors views and is running a glitzy television campaign to get people to love the company for its paternalistic limits on what they can see and discuss.”

    Here Turley falsely conflates a phone company with social media. He poses a false equivalency as an e example and proceeds to moan about Facebook’s seemingly unimaginable ability to censor speech despite having previously in another column admitted that Facebook has every right to do so.

    Facebook is allowed to change its mind regarding what content it allows. It’s not illegal or criminal. When Facebook censored information about the wuhan labs last year they were conspiracy theories and wild innuendo that was being used as a distraction from the failings of the Trump administration’s handling of COVID-19.

    Back then they were desperate to dismiss the seriousness of the threat COVID posed. Trump himself admitted it.

    Furthermore, letting these in substantiated conspiracy theories fester would have let violence against Asians escalate by making them a target of people’s anger because of the shut downs. Facebook had valid reasons to censor such information. They had every right to as a private company. People keep forgetting that those sharing that information by using Facebook WILLINGLY accepted and agreed to abide by Facebook’s terms and conditions which included the right for Facebook to remove or revoke a membership or a member’s content.

    Turley’s own blog has these same rules and they are used frequently. Darren once characterized it as being a guest at Turley’s “house”. Guess what? Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg’s “house”.

    He has the absolute right to determine what content he deems inappropriate and consequently apply the measures necessary which include censorship.

    Turley can claim to be an “internet originalist” all he wants. But he’s a constitutional scholar too, and that forces him to acknowledge the fact that the 1st amendment’s prohibitions on the infringement of free speech do not apply to Facebook. If he’s truly a free speech defender, he would make this point perfectly clear, obviously he takes great pains to avoid that direct truth because he seems more upset about the fact that he KNOWS Facebook is doing nothing wrong.

    1. Svelaz, Mark Zuckerberg donated $400,000,000 to the Center for Technology and Civic Life. Take a look at the bios of the CTCL board of directors. https://www.techandciviclife.org/board-of-directors/. Four out of five of the directors have been heavily involved in Democratic politics and the voting process in many states. With his donation to this organization Zuckerberg has let us know why he has done everything he can to shut the mouths of the political opposition on Facebook. Now their obvious bias has been revealed to the world through their censorship of opposing opinions. They are now trying to cover their rear ends by saying we can now speak about the Wuhan lab. Facebook is a branch of the Democratic Party and should be understood to be so. The Robber Barons in America’s past thought they could do anything they wanted just like Mark Zuckerberg thinks today. We broke the power of the Robber Barons then and we need to break the power of Facebook today.

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