FASTER, PLEASE: Collapse of the COVID Truth Regime.

Central to COVID censorship was the notion that people simply cannot be trusted to evaluate evidence on their own and make health decisions for themselves. “Part of the censorship movement is so elitist,” Powell said. The assumption behind COVID “content moderation” was that a small cadre of anointed experts deserved disproportionate sway over public opinion because their views were objectively correct, but this has proven to be far from the case.

YouTube, for instance, suspended users for statements that disputed the efficacy of face masks; these statements have now been vindicated by a landmark Cochrane review of 78 randomized controlled trials, which found that masks made “little or no difference” in preventing the transmission of COVID-19. Resulting mandates negatively impacted deaf and hard-of-hearing people, affected the learning and development of young children, and impaired the social cognition of elderly dementia patients. Because they disallowed open public discussion of their favored policies, social media companies should be considered partially responsible for the collateral damage that ensued.

During school closures in 2020, for example, fatal teen drug overdoses doubled, the child homicide rated increased by 28%, confirmed evidence of child abuse rose by 30%, and there was a 31% increase in the number of child sexual images online. Clearly a critical assessment of the COVID restrictions placed on children was morally imperative, yet Twitter blacklisted a prominent advocate for school reopening, Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, as soon as he opened his account. As Dr. Bhattacharya recently argued in Tablet, this move and similar actions hampered the conversation around ongoing masking, testing, and quarantining protocols in schools, and these protocols continued in many states without evidence-based deliberation.

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