World Health Organization (WHO) head Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus just urged social media platforms to work with the WHO to censor supposed “disinformation” about monkeypox.
WHO Director-General Dr. Ghebreyesus claimed that so-called “discrimination” online can “fuel the outbreak” of a viral disease while he also pushed media organizations and tech companies to work with the WHO to censor information about monkeypox.
In his comments, Ghebreyesus specifically hearkened back to the COVID-19 pandemic, and urged not only social media but also news organizations to help the WHO suppress health information it disagrees with.
“As we have seen with COVID-19, misinformation and disinformation can spread rapidly online,” he said. “So we call on all social media platforms, tech companies, and news organizations to work with us to prevent and counter harmful information.”
The WHO director-general claimed that online “stigma” can actually contribute to a pandemic. “The stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus, and can fuel the outbreak,” Ghebreyesus alleged.
Monkeypox seems to be the new COVID-19 for the media. Ghebreyesus earlier this week overruled his own expert committee at the WHO, which voted 9-6 that monkeypox was not a global emergency. In an unprecedented action, Ghebreyesus unilaterally declared an international health emergency for monkeypox.
Censoring online speech can make censors look hypocritical; sometimes a story considered misinformation at first is later deemed credible. The late-found legitimacy of the Wuhan lab leak theory of COVID-19’s origins is an example of a topic where the “misinformation” of yesterday can become the widely accepted information of today.
In fact, the WHO has been caught spreading misinformation itself. In January 2020, WHO tweeted, “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus.” Information from the WHO about COVID-19 transmission was later labeled “misleading” even by leftist Facebook fact-checkers.
This censorship campaign under the guise of protecting health is nothing new. Media Research Center’s CensorTrack database logged over 800 cases of Big Tech censorship of the COVID-19 debate between March 17, 2020, and Feb. 3, 2022.
Ghebreyesus is not a medical doctor, having a masters in immunology of infectious diseases from the University of London and a doctorate in philosophy in community health from the University of Nottingham in the UK.
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