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Surprise! The Global Elites Have Set Their Sights On A New Target: Free Speech |

Numerous speakers and panelists at the World Economic Forum (WEF) consistently emphasized the necessity of censoring “misinformation and disinformation” during the Davos conference held from Monday to Friday.

Top representatives from government, universities and nonprofits set their sights on this purportedly menacing threat in speeches and discussions throughout the summit. Many pressed for worldwide cooperation on combatting so-called misinformation, and advocated for the enforcement of specific censorship measures to stifle the dissemination of objectionable content online, particularly in the lead-up to the 2024 elections.

For instance, European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen kicked off her “special address” on Tuesday by talking about how threatening “disinformation and misinformation” is to the world order.

“For the global business community, the top concern for the next two years is not conflict or climate, it is disinformation and misinformation, followed closely by polarization within our societies,” von der Leyen said to start her speech.

The EC president was citing the WEF’s recent Global Risks 2024 report, which surveyed more than “1,400 global risks experts, policy-makers and industry leaders” in September 2023 to determine what they perceive to be the most significant global risks in the near future. “Misinformation and disinformation” topped the list, with “societal polarization” ranking third; the report specifically flagged the risks in relation to the 2024 elections taking place.

“These risks are serious because they limit our ability to tackle the big global challenges we are facing,” von der Leyen continued. “We are once again competing more intensely across countries than we have in several decades. And this makes the theme of this year’s Davos meeting even more relevant. Rebuilding trust … This is a time to drive global collaboration more than ever before.”

EC Vice-President for Values and Transparency Vera Jourová said the EU is making sure individuals receive factual information through mandating censorship at Davos on Thursday during a panel on “Defending Truth.”

“Disinformation is a very powerful tool,” Jourová asserted. “[The EU is] focusing on improving of the system where the people will get the facts right. We don’t speak about opinions. We are not correcting anyone’s opinions or language. Yeah? This is about the facts.”

Jourová noted the EU’s 2022 “2022 Code of Practice on Disinformation” that compels numerous Big Tech signatories like Google and Meta to counter “disinformation” through measures like “fact-checking” and demonetization. The EC also referred the Daily Caller News Foundation to its European External Action Service’s Strategic Communication Taskforce, which identifies and exposes “disinformation.”

A chief at an international nonprofit providing “support” to news organizations shared insights on a strategy for demonetizing so-called “bad” sources of information at the “Defending Truth” panel with Jourová.

“Disinformation makes money and we need to follow that money and we need to work with, in particular, the global advertising industry,” Internews President and CEO Jeanne Bourgault stated. “A lot of those dollars go to pretty bad content. So you can work really hard on exclusion lists or inclusion lists just to really try to … focus their ad dollars toward the good news and information. The accurate and relevant news and information.”

Moreover, Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) CEO Alexandra Reeve Givens called on Big Tech to up its online election censorship initiatives at the conference on Tuesday during a panel on “Protecting Democracy against Bots and Plots.”

“We’re in this bizarre environment where right as the threats are ticking up, the investments in actually doing the day-to-day work of online trust and safety for our information environment is being scaled back and is under attack,” Givens stated. “We have to have the social media companies keep up the work.”

Alphabet, Amazon, Meta and Twitter — now X — all reduced trust and safety personnel in 2023, according to Wired.

“Is there a way to force them to do that?” Foreign Policy magazine Editor-in-Chief Ravi Agrawal asked Givens. “Push them to do that.”

“You get them to places like Davos, and you have them talk about the work,” Givens responded, laughing. “The staffing and decisions of companies, making sure they’re putting in those investments, making sure that they’re sharing information, that they’re doing it not just for the U.S. election but for the other elections … That has to stay a key focus. Even if there is political pressure.”

Givens noted “interventions” social media platforms have adopted, such as monitoring so-called misinformation and disinformation, asking users if they have read an article before they share it and fact-checking. She said these are “bare minimum” essentials for 2024.

Givens eventually said legislating censorship of “misinformation” is “dangerous territory” at the end of the panel discussion and noted the importance of “transparency” about content moderation decisions. The CDT pointed the DCNF to its content moderation transparency recommendations.

Furthermore, Harvard Professor of the History of Science Naomi Oreskes and President of swissuniversities Luciana Vaccaro disclosed their mutual dislike for billionaire Elon Musk’s X during a Monday forum on “Liberating Science.”

“For a long time I was on Twitter and now it’s become such a toxic place that I’ve concluded it’s not a worthwhile place to spend time,” Oreskes stated. “I have given up on X. What a scary name that even is, right?”

“It’s [a] very toxic environment and … I have no solution on that,” Vaccaro responded. “I think there will be a societal reflection on how information is brought there. Of course on X now there is also the policy of the owner that is problematic but I think this is a problem of the society of the future.”

Under Musk, X has reduced its total worldwide trust and safety staff, including employees and contractors, by 30%, from 4,062 to 2,849, according to a recent report by Australia’s eSafety Commission.

A reporter for Rebel News later pressed Oreskes on her X comments, asking her, “What’s wrong with X?”

“Where do I start?” she responded, laughing. “So much disinformation on that channel.”

The reporter asked if X should have more censorship, but Oreskes said she would not respond to that query.

Harvard, Internews, swissuniversities and the WEF did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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