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April 18, 2020 | Here Comes the Infodemic!

James Corbett

James Corbett is an editorial writer for The International Forecaster, the bi-weekly e-newsletter created by the late Bob Chapman.

It’s silent. It’s deadly. It’s spreading all around the globe. And, if you’re not careful, it’ll get you next!

The viral pandemic? No, silly! The viral infodemic.

Haven’t you heard? There’s a tsunami of fake news that’s coming to get you! And if you plebs don’t behave properly then your rulers are just going to have to shut down the internet for your own good.

If you haven’t heard the term “infodemic” yet, then lucky you. But trust me, you’re going to be hearing about this idea ad nauseum in the coming months, so you better get prepared.

So what is an infodemic, exactly? Good question. Let’s turn to everybody’s favorite global health agency, the World Health Organization, for that answer, shall we?

On February 2nd they released a situation report on the novel coronavirus outbreak that had a section on “Managing the 2019-nCoV ‘infodemic’.” This report helpfully explains that an infodemic is “an over-abundance of information – some accurate and some not – that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.”

Oh, no! Too much information? Say it ain’t so! If only someone can save us from this terrible scourge of having to use our own brains and apply a little discernment to the information we encounter!

Don’t worry too much, though. The good folks at the WHO have a plan for dealing with such an “over-abundance” of information:

“Due to the high demand for timely and trustworthy information about 2019-nCoV, WHO technical risk communication and social media teams have been working closely to track and respond to myths and rumours. Through its headquarters in Geneva, its six regional offices and its partners, the Organization is working 24 hours a day to identify the most prevalent rumours that can potentially harm the public’s health, such as false prevention measures or cures. These myths are then refuted with evidence-based information. WHO is making public health information and advice on the 2019-nCoV, including myth busters, available on its social media channels.”

OK, everybody, it looks like the WHO has everything under control here. Be sure to follow them on Weibo, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest and turn off your critical thinking switch. After all, they’ll sort out the good info from the bad info for you! No thinking required.

Well, that solves that. I guess we can all go back to enjoying our self-isolation in peace, right?

If only.

No, of course we have not seen the end of this hand-wringing over the flood of mis- and disinformation on the internet. Nor have we seen the last of the meddling globalist busybodies who are desperately seeking to reestablish the monopoly on information that they enjoyed in the old dinosaur media paradigm of TV, radio and print.

In fact, this is just the beginning of what is shaping up to be the largest battle in the history of the infowar. Perhaps the deciding battle.

So, what exactly is the gambit here? As with everything else about the corona crisis, we can get a better understanding of where things are heading by consulting the pandemic blueprint: Event 201.

As everyone knows by now, Event 201 was a tabletop exercise simulating a global pandemic that was held in New York last October. Hosted by the Center for Health Security in cooperation with the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Event 201 simulated “a series of dramatic, scenario-based facilitated discussions, confronting difficult, true-to-life dilemmas associated with response to a hypothetical, but scientifically plausible, pandemic.” And that “hypothetical” pandemic was caused by the sudden outbreak of a novel coronavirus that totally wasn’t in any way related to the sudden outbreak of a novel coronavirus that was happening at the exact same time as the simulation, you crazy conspiracy theorist, you! (What, the Center for Health Security’s blanket denial that their simulation of a novel coronavirus pandemic was related in any way to the simultaneous novel coronavirus pandemic? Fine, here’s a FactCheck.org debunk for you! Take that, you tinfoil wingnut!)

For those who haven’t checked out the entire Event 201 playlist yet . . . why not? It seems rather relevant to the events we’re living through right now, and it featured many of the same players who are directing the response to the real-life (but totally unrelated!) novel coronavirus pandemic, like Chinese Center for Disease Creation and Propaganda Director-General George Gao, US Centers for Disease Creation and Propaganda Deputy Director Stephen Redd and Bill & Melinda GatesofHell Foundation President Christopher Elias.

The penultimate session of the exercise was entitled “Information Dissemination Discussion” and centered on the problem of dealing with the flood of disinformation and misinformation spreading in the wake of the (totally unrelated to our current) novel coronavirus pandemic. After watching a literal fake news segment detailing how Twitter and Facebook have identified a “disturbing number” (what number is that, exactly?) of accounts “dedicated to spreading disinformation about the outbreak,” the participants discuss how to combat the scourge of people saying things they don’t approve of online. In brief, their discussion centers on the following points:

  • Some of those evil authoritarian regimes (read: US State Department enemies) are going to respond by shutting down the internet (but we would never do that!).

  • Some of those evil enemy governments (read: Russia) are going to spread misinformation about the pandemic on social media in order to undermine democracy (or something).

  • We good guys (read: America and its vassals) need to combat the misinformation not with blanket internet shutdowns, but by working with the social media giants to “elevate authoritative voices” (read: us) and getting rid of those misinfo trolls and disinfo bots (read: everyone who disagrees with us).

  • We good guys also need to leverage trusted voices in the community to spread our message for us.

Several of the speakers reference the “Edelman Trust Barometer,” which they use to determine who is considered “trustworthy” and thus who can help propagate their propaganda most effectively. Apparently, this barometer tells these participants that people find the CEOs of large companies quite trustworthy (what planet are these people living on?) and thus prime candidates to be courted by “business leadership organizations” that can presumably be relied upon to toe the WHO line on information about the pandemic.

So how much of this is playing out in reality?

Government shutdowns and internet blockages over pandemic “misinformation”? Check.

Accusations that those dastardly Russian bots are waging disinformation campaigns around this pandemic? Check.

Social media giants working to elevate authoritative voices and purge dissenting voices from their platforms? Check.

Leveraging trusted voices to spread the WHO party line? Well, funny you should mention that. In fact, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has just released a creepy video telling us exactly where to place our trust. (Spoiler: Vaccines. He wants us to trust in vaccines.) He has also announced the creation of “a new United Nations Communications Response initiative to flood the Internet with facts and science while countering the growing scourge of misinformation.”

The world eagerly awaits the word of the UN communications response team on what information to trust and what to distrust.

I jest, but I think we all know where this “infodemic” narrative is going, and it is not good news for independent journalists like myself who do not agree with the WHO or its big pharma buddies on the solutions to the covid “crisis” (or even the nature of that crisis itself). No, you can bet your bottom dollar that outlets like The Corbett Report are exactly what the Event 201 planners had in mind when discussing their purge of dissenting voices online.

Lest there be any doubt, even the academics are getting in on the act now by comparing the viral spreading of information online to the viral spreading of SARS-CoV-2. Specifically, Joan Donovan, research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has jumped into the fray with an article for Nature: Social-media companies must flatten the curve of misinformation.

With a title like that you can probably imagine the gist of her article, but here’s an excerpt anyway:

“Moderating content after something goes wrong is too late. Preventing misinformation requires curating knowledge and prioritizing science, especially during a public crisis. In my experience, tech companies prefer to downplay the influence of their platforms, rather than to make sure that influence is understood. Proper curation requires these corporations to engage independent researchers, both to identify potential manipulation and to provide context for ‘authoritative content’.”

Yes, in a shocking development an “independent researcher” has proposed that big tech hires “independent researchers” to identify misinformation and provide context for authoritative content. You know, like when researchers who worked at the Wuhan Virology Institute “fact check” articles about the possibility that the novel coronavirus emerged at the Wuhan Virology Institute. Right? That’s what you mean by “independent researchers,” right?

In case you haven’t cottoned on yet, “infodemic” is just another euphemism for “fake news,” which, in the mouths of the MSM fake news peddlers, means independent online journalism. And the current pandemic pandemonium provides the purveyors of official fake news the perfect opportunity to remove independent voices from the internet. You better believe they’re going to use it.

So watch out for the infodemic. If you’re not careful, the powers-that-shouldn’t-be are going to take care of this “problem” of the “abundance of information” by making sure you only ever get your information from approved sources.

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April 18th, 2020

Posted In: The International Forecaster

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