How the Virality Project Threatens Our Freedom

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    by Dr. Joseph Mercola, Mercola:

    STORY AT-A-GLANCE
    • We now have proof that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) partnered with a censorship consortium called the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) to illegally censor Americans
    • During the 2020 election cycle, the EIP and CISA worked with the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) and the DHS-backed Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) to police political wrongthink on social media

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    • In February 2021, the EIP rebranded itself as the Virality Project, and went on to censor COVID-19 narratives on behalf of the government, even when they knew it was true
    • The Virality Project targeted first-hand accounts of COVID jab injuries to prevent vaccine hesitancy, and posts that expressed fears about vaccine passports because being against vaccine passports was a “gateway to being anti-vax.” They also censored jokes and satirical memes on the basis that they might “exacerbate distrust” in public health officials, and made asking questions a punishable event because questioning is “commonly used by spreaders of misinformation”
    • As bad as things are, they’re about to get a whole lot worse unless Congress puts a stop to it. In the last three years, the U.S. government has granted more than 500 contracts and/or grants aimed at tackling “misinformation”
    • The Department of Defense is also focused on research involving AI and tech that can monitor internet conversations and deploy countermeasures before wrongthink goes viral. Congress must defund all of these programs, as well as any agency department or team involved in censoring Americans

    As detailed in “Propaganda and Censorship Dominate the Information War,” we now have proof, courtesy of the Twitter Files, that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) partnered with a censorship consortium called the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) to censor Americans.1

    In an Atlantic Council interview, EIP head Alex Stamos also admitted that the partnership between the EIP and the DHS was set up to outsource censorship that the government could not do due to “lack of legal authorization.”2

    Stamos, a former chief of security at Facebook, is also director of the Stanford Internet Observatory — one of the four organizations that make up the EIP — and is a partner in the cyber consulting firm Krebs Stamos Group together with former CISA director Chris Krebs.

    Virality Project Is EIP Rebranded

    During the 2020 election cycle, the EIP and CISA worked with the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) and the DHS-backed Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) to police political wrongthink on social media. The EIP coordinated the take-down of undesirable content using a real-time chat app that the DHS, EIP and social media companies all share.3

    In February 2021, the EIP rebranded itself as the Virality Project, and went on to censor COVID-19 narratives on behalf of the government in the same way the EIP censored election narratives on behalf of the political Left.4

    According to independent journalist Matt Taibbi, the Virality Project was essentially a dry run for President Biden’s federal Disinformation Governance Board.5 In fact, the Virality Project proposed a federal “Misinformation and Disinformation Center of Excellence” just one day before President Biden announced the plan for this Orwellian outfit.

    Public backlash forced Biden to reconsider, but all that means is that the government chose not to make its unconstitutional censoring of Americans official policy. They’re still doing it through partnerships with the EIP/Virality Project and other third parties.

    Virality Project Censored Truth

    In a March 20, 2023, report (video above), The Hill host Robby Soave detailed the goals of the Virality Project, which “above all else were to protect the perceived integrity of the federal health bureaucracy, vaccine manufacturers and government vaccine policymakers, and to advance mainstream establishment narratives and interests in general.”

    As noted by Soave, the Virality Project frequently pressured social media companies to censor COVID-19-related information and/or label it as “misinformation” — even if the information was true.

    “This coalition, which was working with government agencies, NGO’s and the social media companies themselves, took the position that even true information could count as dangerous misinformation if its effect was to encourage a policy that clashed with the expert consensus …

    If we still value the First Amendment, we must resist these pernicious calls for censorship. A call that is coming from a sordid coalition of ‘truth czars’ and ideological activists masquerading as fact checkers,” Soave says.

    The mere possibility of causing “vaccine skepticism” or “vaccine hesitancy” was enough of a justification to censor information about the deadly COVID shots, for example, even though the information was truthful and required in order to make an informed decision.

    This even included true first-hand accounts of serious COVID jab injuries, which could have saved lives had they been allowed to be shared. As noted by Andrew Lowenthal, co-founder of EngageMedia and author at Brownstone Institute:6

    “Rather than listening out for safety signals to protect the public, leaders in the ‘anti-disinformation’ field ran cover to protect Big Pharma, smearing and censoring critics.

    The moral depravity is astounding and quite possibly criminal … [In] suppressing ‘stories of true vaccine side effects’ the Virality Project put people in danger. Rather than keeping people safe they exposed us to the depredations of Big Pharma.”

    Wartime Logic

    Best-selling author John Leake7 also commented on the Virality Project’s censoring of truthful information, saying:8

    “This reminded me of our recent trip to Australia in which we learned the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) led by Dr. John Skerritt, MD, PhD, made the decision to suppress accurate reports of vaccine-induced myocarditis in young people because such reports could cause ‘vaccine hesitancy.’

    As these policymakers and regulators see it, the incidence of grave and fatal side effects are sufficiently rare to warrant censoring ANY reporting of them, as such reporting could cause the greater harm of ‘vaccine hesitancy.’

    By their calculus, severe injuries and deaths caused by COVID-19 vaccines are the price we as a society must pay for the purportedly greater number of lives saved by the vaccines.

    Never in the history of medicine has this calculus been used to evaluate the benefit of a medical product. Only in a military context — that is, commanders in the field must accept a certain number of casualties in order to achieve the greater benefit of vanquishing the enemy — has this logic been applied.”

    No Concerns, Jokes or Questions Allowed

    The Virality Project also targeted posts that expressed fears about vaccine passports — because being against vaccine passports was a “gateway to being anti-vax” — and censored jokes and satirical memes on the basis that they might “exacerbate distrust” in those targeted as the butt of the joke.

    Dr. Anthony Fauci is one example of a public health official whose reputation was protected in this way. They even made asking questions a punishable event, because asking questions is a tactic “commonly used by spreaders of misinformation.”9

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