On Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th November 2019, an interesting meeting took place in Leinster House. The International Grand Committee (IGC) on Disinformation and ‘Fake News’ met for two days.
The meeting was chaired by Hildegarde Naughton of Fine Gael who is Chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communication, Climate Action and Environment.
Part of the meeting’s brief was “How to advance international collaboration in the regulation of harmful content, hate speech and electoral interference online”. The International Grand Committee hopes to agree a set of principles to co-ordinate international activities and legal procedures on these matters. They also claim that they want to respect the right to free speech.
The difficulty with such a meeting is that political parties, liberal media journalists and online social media platforms all have a vested interest in purveying and promoting fake news in order to satisfy their own interests. The political parties realise the huge influence of social media and other internet sites such as google and they realise that the internet can be used for mind control in order to win votes. The social media and other internet platforms make money by generating advertising revenue streams of which fake news is a part. The liberal media journalists seek to use their editorial influence to change the course of society in a direction of their own choosing by influencing popular opinion.
The dangers of these social media platforms to society are obvious but just as dangerous is the idea that political ideologues might gain control of these platforms through introducing penal regulations and enforcing their own brand of fake news onto these social media platforms.
Who gets to decide what is and what is not ‘fake-news’? Who gets to decide what constitutes ‘hate speech’? Will it be possible to identify Catholic Church teaching on the disordered nature of homosexual acts as either fake-news or hate speech? In the current political climate this seems entirely probable. For example an English journalist, Caroline Farrow, currently has legal proceeding being taken against her because she expressed an opinion that is opposed to the obviously fake transgender agenda.
She got into trouble before because she said that Susan Greene had taken her son Jack over to Thailand where he was castrated. Now the words ‘son’ and ‘castrated’ each have a particular meaning. A ‘son’ is a child of the male sex, castration means to remove the testicles of a biological male and can include the removal of the penis as well. When Jack Greene went to Thailand the male sex organs were present on his body. When he returned, these male sex organs were no longer present. He was surgically castrated whilst in Thailand. How can saying this be regarded as either fake-news or hate speech? There is nothing fake in it and it is not hateful to clearly state the undisputed facts in this bizarre case. Yet Caroline Farrow was questioned by police and subsequently has another court case pending because she is being accused of harassment for calling a man a man. the man is question claims to be a woman, but there is no medical or other factual scientific evidence to suggest that this is in fact the case.
Again, on the issue of climate change or climate emergency who decides what is true and what is false. If you do a ‘google’ search on ‘climate data falsified’, at the top of the page you may see two paid adverts. On our search one of the ads was for a climate change denial website, the other was for a climate change support website. Google makes advertising revenue no matter which link you decide to click.
I was in Dublin recently at my mother’s house and I had reason to have a look in her medicine cabinet. In it I found a pack of Iodine tablets. Who remembers the iodine tablets of 2002? The Irish government spent over €600,000 on more than 14 million iodine tablets which were sent to every home in Ireland. This was to counteract a possible terrorist attack at Sellafield. Subsequent research showed that the iodine tablets would not have been much help in such a scenario anyway.
Governments and others seek to control populations through scare tactics. We had acid rain, the hole in the ozone layer, global warming, climate change, climate emergency, swine flu, and bird flu to name just a few. These scare tactics are used to change behaviour and to enrich the pockets of pharmaceutical companies. The internet now allows the major players to profit from these scares as well. Its all about mind control, manipulation and consolidation of power into a few hands.
These meetings, whilst they may have good intentions, will probably end up with governments using what is learned to silence any opposition. Western governments have also become puppets of the global internet conglomerates. Catholics will need to develop alternative news networks and will need to be well grounded in their Catholic faith. It seems that persecution may not be too far off for those of us who believe in Jesus Christ and seek to live our lives according to the teachings of the Catholic Church which He founded.