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Spreading such information does fall under free speech, as in "I'm allowed to say anything I want without repercussions". But shouldn't all freedoms have their little limitations? Technically, antisemitism would be free speech as well, but does that mean it's moral to have such a needlessly hateful opinion? Or are those spreading it probably making things worse?

Yes, you're allowed to express your knowledge and feelings about this, and I would agree that it's always good to have viable alternative explanations. When all this began as an unknown disease pattern, one could be forgiven for having wild theories about it; quite okay, it's an unknown pattern! It's in the nature of the unknown to be… well, not known. And we humans are exceedingly well at filling those blanks, maybe sometimes a bit too well.
When the first deaths rolled in, and people who studied the biology and/or chemistry behind it all (with practical experience in this field!) started to see the danger, some minds began to adapt to the reality. This might be a bigger problem than anticipated, they said. And so, it was an epidemic. And when humanity started to feel the infection globally, these people with experience declared it a pandemic, based on their knowledge spanning decades.

It all came extremely fast, yes, so fast, it beggars belief. Everyone struggled to find precedence cases from the past to compare it to, and about the closest one, Spanish Flu of the 1910s, no one can tell a tale anymore as practically no one makes it beyond 110 years of age. I'm sure you'd agree with me on this one.
But we found something closer: We found the H1N1 pandemic and EHEC, ~10 years ago, give or take a few. Did we lock down back then? No, I believe it was mild, I didn't feel any impact. We went on with out lives, didn't we? For H1N1 we even made a vaccine, Pandemrix, and you could even be forgiven for thinking that you never were offered a H1N1 vaccine back then, so why is it you're to vaccinate against SARS-CoV-2 today? What's different? There it is again, you see, it's the unknown variable that makes people question their surroundings and fill in the blanks, in the quest to gain plausible explanations on their own, in absence of a better source.
Would you look at that? A vaccine that is out after just a few months of research? How is this even possible? How can it be that in March all this really took off and in July you could already get vaccinated? This is absolutely not normal. We waited years for new vaccines in the past, and now this vaccine is finished after three months? Three months, really? Something's up, everyone can see it, can't they? Can't they?

Let me quote here something:
If you don't have all the information, it's easy to be misled.
It applies to people with experience in their field; after all, Edward John Smith, captain of the Titanic, was not a greenhorn in his field of ship captaining, right? Decades of experience on deck, he could steer that whale safely through the waters! But the Titanic went into history for all the wrong reasons, and you know the story. Decades of experience, working against him, clouding his reasoning, guiding 1000+ souls into the promised land; unfortunately, not the land promised on their tickets. The expert, failing in the most critical time.

Totally possible that our people of experience do the same, don't they? They're human. I like your thinking here; listen to them, but don't trust them 100%. Trust them, like, 80%. They generally say the truth, but we should exercise a little caution and check alternatives. Reasonable. As I wrote, I like your thinking.

Hm. But. Are all the unknowns, truly unknowns? And am I really supposed to fill in the blanks myself, in absence of a better source?
If you don't have all the information, it's easy to be misled.
Have I gathered enough historical info on the Spanish Flu, the closest comparison we have to what's happening today?
Do I know enough about the biological and/or chemical processes that are taking place in cases of viral infection?
Do I understand the differences between H1N1 and today's SARS-CoV-2 to a point where I can judge myself?
Am I able to see from my position why the vaccine was out just a few months after the pandemic started?
Can I synchronize with what Mr. Smith was feeling and thinking in his situation? Would I do the same?
Is it known to me how many deaths are happening in clinics in my area?
Do I know for sure the above is by something not related to SARS-CoV-2?
Do I have all the information to be able to judge all this?

How easy is it to mislead me? Is it really enough for me to fill the blanks with the first plausible explanation I hear about, or should I question what I hear and read, always, everywhere?


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Questioning government policies is one thing. Anti-semitism or any racism is something very different.

𝘐𝘧 𝘸𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘯'𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘰𝘮 𝘰𝘧 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘦, 𝘸𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘯'𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘪𝘵 𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭. ― Noam Chomsky

For me, it's that simple.

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You're right, maybe it is. Slightly unfitting comparison. But it's not about the comparison, is it?

COVID sceptics, they're somewhat special: Thinking they're ignored by mainstream media because of some conspiracy against them that doesn't want the public to know the truth. It's as I wrote previously: We're good at filling blanks, and we're just as good filling them with figments of our own mind, in absence of a better source, if we don't have all the information. Some lack the imagination to fill them themselves, and turn to the next best source of information for help: The internet, being a web of routers routing people to text that should be treated neutral. It should be called "freedom of information", not "freedom of speech", but that's a different story.

Sceptics take the cake, though: They go waaay beyond just questioning the policies and instead question the existence of the source of those policies. They apply a sort of emotional response to this, to those who live, unprecedented situation.
Should we allow them to paint an alternative universe of facts based on what they feel is right, which conflict with facts established by science, a human discipline practised thousands of years for the betterment of mankind?
Is it okay to tell someone "this COVID medicine will kill the virus in you, don't vaccinate", if we know from science that viruses can't be killed, because they don't live in the first place, so medicine won't help a bit?
Is it truly okay to tell the world "all is fine, go back to your everyday lives, no problem" if health care systems are on the brink of collapse and the heap of corpses grows?

Sceptics yell: "There's a disease coming, where is the vaccine?" and expect the vaccine to be ready three months later. Politics moved heaven and hell to make it possible, break old, rusty bureaucratic processes, but sceptics already were on a different narrative by then: "We found out, the disease is fake/man-made. Stop the containment measures!" Around summer time 2020 most governments saw reason to comply, they loosen the restrictions, despite people with experience warning them not to; in a way, they did what sceptics wanted them to do. Cases rose again, do you remember? Then the governments needed to restrict again because their health care systems started crumbling again.

To put that crumbling into perspective: Imagine you break your ankle. What will you do, tell your cousin to fix it? Or do you call the ambulance and expect them to come for you, transport you to the next clinic, then give you some form of plaster, I imagine? A crumbling health care system means, you don't get to be transported to the next clinic and be given a plaster. Everyone in the clinic is fighting something, something that kills people if left unchecked. If your broken ankle is left unchecked, will you die from it? So what's the priority, your ankle or people on the brink of death?

In a way, it's not true that sceptics don't have all the information: They do. The information they have just starkly contradicts the facts established by science, so much so that they force their information on others and generally are a nuisance to our combined efforts to finally return to how life was before SARS-CoV-2.

A personal plea, to you from me: We want the same thing, friend, going back to normality! We want to party on the dancefloor, watch movies, maybe go back to work. Let's work together to get back there! Spreading wrong information and calling it "freedom of speech" won't stop the virus, though, it will just kill much more people in the end. It will mutate and attack you and me as well, not only the vulnerable people who are already on the verge because of other diseases. You can't be that ignorant towards other people, can you? Why the hate towards people? Why the hate towards those who don't think like you?
 

8 hours ago, rock3716 said:

𝘐𝘧 𝘸𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘯'𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘰𝘮 𝘰𝘧 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘦, 𝘸𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘯'𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘪𝘵 𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭. ― Noam Chomsky

For me, it's that simple.


As written prior, philosophical question for you:
10 hours ago, OpenSourcerer said:

But shouldn't all freedoms have their little limitations?


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@rock3716

It's an interesting case for us too. It's a very odd behavior by the provider, because it poses mere conduit problems (*). If a hosting provider intervenes to censor the content published by a customer without solicitation by a court order or at least a communication by a third party, it means they have editorial control, so they might be held liable (secondary liability)
for the content published by their customers. In the reply, they clearly admit that they intervene against disinformation and misinformation, and suggest that a crime has been committed ("endangering public health"), as if they were omniscient to decide what disinformation and misinformation are, and they have the ability to monitor all the content of all of their customers.

A safer approach for them would have been reporting to the competent authorities to decide whether something infringes the law or not, ensure to the publisher of the content the right to a defense, and optionally make the content unavailable while the case is ongoing. because of a third party warning, and not for their ability to check everything in their infrastructure uploaded by customers. Tons of things must be verified, but if the reports and the reply are authentic and not fake, the provider is walking on a slippery slope: apparently it is naively operating to hog editorial control, a catastrophe for any hosting/housing provider etc.

(*) Directive 2000/31/EC has been transposed not only in the 27 EU Member States, but also in iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein..

Kind regards
 

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