December 2023
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The Ministry of Truth really is watching you

Monday/ Tuesday blog

You learn something new every day

Until this weekend, I wasn’t aware that the UK Government has a Counter Disinformation Unit (CDU).

Though I wasn’t aware of it, apparently the Government announced the existence of its Counter Disinformation Unit in March 2020:

In George Orwell’s novel ‘1984’ there was a Ministry of Truth. It’s quite difficult to see any difference between Orwell’s Ministry of Truth and our Government’s Counter Disinformation Unit.

Here’s what this important Government department does:

The purpose of the CDU’s work is focused on helping the government understand online disinformation narratives and attempts to artificially manipulate the information environment. The CDU takes an evidence-based approach to countering harmful disinformation online, through aggregated analysis of publicly available information, typically from social media.

And it contacts any social media platforms whenever the CDU finds information it considers potentially harmful disinformation so that the social media can remove any content considered disinformation:

If any of the content the CDU reviews may infringe the moderation policies of the social media platforms from which the content derived, the CDU may notify the relevant platform. The platform will make a decision whether to take any action consistent with their policies. The information CDU shares with social media providers is limited to sending links to content of concern, or aggregated overarching trends.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

We need people to follow expert medical advice and stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. It is vital that this message hits home and that misinformation and disinformation which undermines it is knocked down quickly.

We’re working with social media companies, and I’ll be pressing them this week for further action to stem the spread of falsehoods and rumours which could cost lives.

When false narratives are identified, the government’s Rapid Response Unit coordinates with departments across Whitehall to deploy the appropriate response. This can include a direct rebuttal on social media, working with platforms to remove harmful content and ensuring public health campaigns are promoted through reliable sources.

The unit is one of the teams feeding into the wider Counter Disinformation Cell led by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, made up of experts from across government and in the tech sector.

The Cell is engaging with social media platforms and with disinformation specialists from civil society and academia, to establish a comprehensive overview of the extent, scope and impact of disinformation related to coronavirus.

So I imagine anyone suggesting any of the following:

  • The Chinese plague leaked from a dirty, poorly-run Chinese lab
  • The miracle vaccines are not safe and not effective and are not miraculous
  • Lockdowns were a total disaster causing greater misery than Covid ever would have caused
  • Catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is a semi-religious cult with no scientific basis
  • Women cannot have penises and men don’t menstruate
  • and much much more

Would have been monitored by the Counter Disinformation Unit and often had their social media activity downgraded by helpful algorithms or else removed altogether.

And you may have thought we lived in a free, democratic society.

Before I blow a fuse in fury, I’ll hand over to Dr John Campbell to explain the many benefits the Counter Disinformation Unit has brought Britain. Though it seems that like myself, Dr John Campbell only became aware of the existence of the Counter Disinformation Unit recently:


6 comments to The Ministry of Truth really is watching you

  • Paul Chambers

    There was a young lady on GB News who formed a group objecting to school closures and masking of children. She had been extensively followed and held up a data access request that was like a book with her every activity logged.

    Very depressing state of affairs. I expect your book on climate change makes you a target and presumably an enemy of the neo-liberal state.

    I copy below a paragraph from Craig Murray recent blog re Ukraine which is worth a read:

    “As the West has entered more and more extreme stages of neo-liberalism, the general trend is that the West has become more and more like modern Russia. The massive and ever burgeoning inequality of wealth has seen western oligarchs now overtake their Russian counterparts in terms of the proportion of national GDP represented by their personal fortunes. In the West, multiplying limitations on free speech and assembly, the reduction in diversity of the mainstream media landscape, internet suppression of views through corporate gateways like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, increased direct or indirect reproduction of security service initiated content in the media, these are all making the West more Russia-like. To me, it feels like Western leaders are learning from Putin’s book”.

  • Stillreading

    OFCOM, presumably acting in cahoots with this “Ministry of Truth”, undoubtedly has its scythe swinging ever closer above GBNews, panting to deliver the terminal blow. It seemed particularly evident to me yesterday evening, seeing Mark Dolan’s hasty interjection at the end of a heated discussion between his three guests on the subject of anthropogenic climate change. One guest was clearly a sceptic, in common parlance a “climate change denier”, and at the end of the quite short discussion and before moving on to the next topic Dolan was obliged to state that, of course, the science was established, implying it is beyond challenge. Or words to that effect. The assumption is that the producer had issued panic-driven instructions into Dolan’s earpiece. For those interested, the interview is undoubtedly available today on YouTube. Be it “climate catastrophe” or the faux vax, no open, honest discussion is permissible on UK broadcast channels. As has been noted here already, even Farage watches what he says – or rather, he is careful whom or what he supports – on GBNews.

  • A Thorpe

    As you pointed out recently the freedoms we thought we enjoyed towards the end of the 20th century were really just a blip in history of repression of the majority by an elite minority. Slavery existed almost from the start of civilisation, but when the Roman Empire ended we got something far worse – the Holy Roman Empire and the strict control of our freedom by the church which did everything possible to eliminate dissenting ideas. Anybody fancy being burnt at the stake for being a climate denier? It was technology that ended this control with the printing press. Now technology is being used to reestablish control over us and it seems to be working very well. Astonishingly many people welcome being told what to do and being handed money stolen by the state from others in the form of taxation. Thomas Sowell said something like the state quietly takes money from us and then hands it out with a big fanfare. The majority fall for it all.

  • Stillreading

    It’s my experience with friends and acquaintances, all of whom apart from my own children are in their 70s plus. that there exists infinite faith in what “they” tell us to do. Government, the NHS (including the local GP practice) with their ongoing “get a 6th, 7th, 8th dose of the magic juice before you die of covid” mantra, CO2 is frying the world, all the lot of the nonsense. Mention the approaching horrors of CBDC and their eyes glaze over, they have not the slightest idea what it means and they don’t want to know. The kind, caring, law-abiding people I am thinking of do not even possess the most basic mobile phone, even less a “smart” one! Several couples indeed still trot off to the Post Office every week to collect their pensions in cash and would no sooner set up Direct Debits to enable them to obtain cheaper power and phone bills than they would leap off a roof expecting to fly! As a dissenting octogenarian from all these horrors, were I not so sure of my own sanity and scientific and medical understanding, I would suspect I am going mad! New technology is indeed being used to exercise control over us, Thorpe, and we ain’t seen nothing yet!

  • Carolyn

    Just wish I could say I was surprised to that hear there was a Ministry of Truth. What is stretching my credulity is the statement that it no longer exists!

  • A Thorpe

    I have now watched the video. I have no time for Campbell. I checked back through some of his old videos to confirm what he said at the start. In one, he his reporting Trump’s promotion of the vaccines as being “safe and effective”. Campbell failed to look at the published trials and understand what they said. He just blows about with the wind.

    He is also fundamentally wrong in this video about “our government”. It is the King’s government. The opening words of the monarch’s speech at the opening of parliament are “My government …, and repeated through the speech. If we lived in a democracy and the government and monarch served us, as they claim, then we should be told what is discussed at the meetings of the King and the PM. It is parliament that represents us and it is there to control the government. It is parliament that is failing us. We saw that with parliament’s treatment of Andrew Bridgen.

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