CCP would be proud.
According to a special investigation by The Telegraph, a secretive #government team called the Counter-Disinformation Unit (CDU) conspired with #socialmedia companies to curtail any discussion of controversial #lockdown policies during the Covid pandemic.
The Telegraph states that the CDU was set up by ministers to tackle supposed domestic 'threats'' but was used to target those critical of lockdown and questioning the mass vaccination of children.
Critics of lockdown had posts removed from social media, and either faced an outright ban or had their posts 'shadow banned' preventing anyone else from seeing them but without the author's knowledge. Social media firms used technology to stop the posts being promoted, circulated or widely shared after being flagged by the CDU or its counterpart in the Cabinet Office.
It now transpires that this unit sent lists of those it wanted 'silenced' including Professor Carl Heneghan, head of evidence based medicine at Oxford University, who exposed how the government was fixing the death-count figures to justify lockdowns.
Documents revealed under Freedom of Information (FoI) and data protection requests showed that the activities of prominent critics of the Government’s Covid policies were secretly monitored with the unit instructing social media companies to 'take down' any articles it didn't like.
An #artificialintelligence firm (AI) was used by the Government to scour social media sites. The company flagged discussions such as those opposing vaccine passports. This was the UK Government attacking its own people, and a chilling insight into how it treats dissent in 2023.
On Friday, MPs and #freedomofspeech campaigners - including the FSU's General Secretary Toby Young - condemned the disclosures as 'truly chilling' and 'a tool for #censoring British citizens' akin to those of the Chinese Communist Party."
Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “The very concept of ‘wrong information’ dictated by a central authority is open to abuse and should be considered far more critically, lest we mirror Chinese-style censorship."
“Whilst everyone would expect the Government and tech giants to act against foreign hostile disinformation campaigns, we should be incredibly cautious about these powers being turned inwards to scan, suppress and censor the lawful speech of Brits for wrongthink, as is shockingly the case right now.”
A Whitehall source said the comparison with China was “just plain wrong”.
The source added: “On the contrary, the unit was set up to counter the threats disinformation poses to, among other things, UK national security, much of which is spread by hostile states.”