Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 24 May 2023

Australian Government Colluded With Big Tech to Suppress Speech on Covid, FOI Documents Show

A Freedom of Information request by Senator Alex Antic has revealed that the Australian Department of Home Affairs made over 4,000 requests to digital platforms to take down content related to Covid.

The FOI documents show that from the start of the pandemic up to December 15th 2022, the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) referred 4,213 social media posts that officials believed to be in breach of Big Tech platforms’ community guidelines. This comes as a surprise, given that the Department’s purviewincludes border security, counter-terrorism and immigration, but not public health.

Covid social media posts were reported to platforms under the Online Content Incident Arrangement (OCIA). A copy of the OCIA was provided in the FOI response, however every page but the cover was redacted.

In Senate Hearings Monday, May 22nd 2023, DOHA representatives told Senator Antic that the OCIA was initially set up in the wake of the 2019 Christchurch shootings as a counter-terrorism effort to monitor and report Terrorism & Violent Extremist Content (TVEC). However, under the Scott Morrison Government, the Department was given the directive to, “lean in on Covid dis- and misinformation”.

Senator Antic responded:

What you’re describing, effectively there is a censorship industrial complex that arises out of the Department of Health, presumably ATAGI and the Therapeutic Goods Association (sic) directing traffic through the Department of Home Affairs to enforce that?

Secretary of the Department, Michael Pezzullo AO, did not accept this characterisation, however he told Senator Antic that DOHA did receive funding to monitor social media posts related to Covid on behalf of the Department of Health (DOH). The funding is set to end on June 30th 2023.

Assistant Secretary Catherine Hawkins stressed that DOHA is “not the arbiter of truth and we have no coercive powers” when it comes to determining what constitutes Covid dis- and misinformation and enforcing content take-downs. DOHA’s role is more like a social media hall monitor, reporting posts to social media platforms based on what violates their own community guidelines. Except that DOHA doesn’t actually do the hall monitoring itself – it outsources the task to a service provider.

This is one of a series of troubling revelations that hint at the possibility of a Censorship Industrial Complex at work in Australia.

Read More: Australian Government Colluded With Big Tech to Suppress Speech on Covid, FOI Documents Show

The Trap 

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