It’s a term now used by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

It involves using facts in a way the federal government doesn’t like. <- Please fact-check this!

The DHS can, it seems, treat a US citizen as a terrorist if they promote malinformation.

And, with a law Barack Obama signed on New Year’s Eve 2011, this allows the state to ‘disappear’ you without any due process at all.

Bret Weinstein takes a while to explain the situation below.

He calls this the mechanics of fascism being put into place in America.

Not, as far as anyone knows, actually used. Yet.

I watched the video a couple of hours after it was streamed yesterday. By chance.

I’m not big on fascism analogies but this seems a fair description.

23 Comments

  1. Label/Smear/Dismiss/Deplatform/Defund now seems a libmob technique

    This seems very Alinsky or Stalinist
    You dare to argue against LibMob, they stick a monster label on you “Racist/Islamophobe/ Malinformer”
    That’s a smear.
    They then use FalseReportingWarfare to get platforms to remove you
    Next they intimidate advertisers to boycott you *

    Recently I have been sent down rabbit holes as innocent comments I have made , have been removed off YouTube and Facebook by FalseReportingWarfare
    So the rabbit hole is, that you have to waste time checking what happened and reposting etc.

    Fascism is a term I reserve for the holocaust
    Such trickery techniques to me are Alinskyism

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Starmer front group CCDH are using such warfare against YouTubers mainly Alex Belfield
    as you can see from their #PRasNews article in today’s Times
    unpaywalled https://archive.fo/Jn9k6
    A long hitjob against Belfield
    Although it makes out that Belfield’s video caused a mob to swarm Starmer
    It withholds a key point until hundreds of words in
    * That Belfield doesn’t even speak in the video *
    It is merely a straight clip of Boris speaking in parliament

    A second obvious redflag is also in the article
    It tries to smear Mr Rotten Politics video which is about admission stats
    It tries to DISMISS the video WITHOUT referencing the any numbers
    The stat in the video that 92% of patients in one week in one hospital WERE jabbed
    One can’t dismiss number arguments without referencing numbers
    I can refute the video but not in the scam way they did. Basically It cherrypicks one special week in one hospital

    A second article on the same page is a hitpiece against some UK freedom guys who are doing a UK truck convoy stunt
    Now they are pretty wacky, but the Times article is wacky as well
    cos it is straight in there with tickbox analogies
    “.. using .. Telegram, which *far-right groups* used to co-ordinate the *storming of the US Capitol* last year.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Stew, with respect, I think the US Department of Homeland Security defining Malinformation as it has, in the context of terrorism, given the other statutes already on the books, goes way beyond run-of-the-mill ‘Label/Smear/Dismiss/Deplatform/Defund’ as you call it. Not that I’m agreeing with anything of that kind from Labour, transactivists or anyone, or saying that Alinsky was a great guy. Just that this is of an order of magnitude worse.

    I do highly respect Bret Weinstein and his wife on such issues. (This takes us back to the issue John raised in FENTON!! – about all of us having to choose our experts but also having to reevaluate them as we go along.) I won’t try to say why I listen to the Weinsteins so much (though not on climate – and I’ll come to that shortly). In this instance Bret is pointing to something objective – something objectively wrong – in this new DHS web page dated last Monday, 7th February.

    The day I did Bit Rot on here – and began with a tweet that explicitly sought to distinguish fact from speculation. But if the fact was judged to be leading people astray … what then? And, let’s remember, which country has the most influential BIg Tech companies operating within it and under its laws, including Twitter? This isn’t a small matter, the way I see it. At all.

    Like

  4. On a much brighter note, and highly related, here’s part of an email Steve Koonin sent to Anthony Watts in the last day or two:

    “[Friday] Joe Rogan released a 2-hour podcast that I had recorded with him on Thursday in Austin. It was a serious, in-depth conversation about climate and energy matters that will reach 11M people (more than NYT, WSJ, WaPo, CNN, and Fox combined).”

    The first time Rogan has really tackled the climate issue. He’s interviewed Covid dissidents like Weinstein, Pierre Kory, Peter McCullough and Robert Malone, plenty of times now. But (based on what others more knowledgable than me are saying) he has never given two hours to an informed climate dissident. And if there’s one person the establishment wants to close down it’s Rogan. With his “11M people (more than NYT, WSJ, WaPo, CNN, and Fox combined)”. The new DHS attack and incipient fascism that could go with it will have Rogan in its sights. And Bret Weinstein will be very cognisant of this.

    Weinstein and his brother Eric (more of a maths/physics genius) both seem not to have seen too much wrong with the establishment consensus on climate and energy. Put them in the same boat as Fenton. And evaluate with care.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Now that Canada’s Trudeau has declared Dictatorship by applying nearly the same set of ideas in his nation, there is no reason to think this won’t be done by the dangerous, increasingly rejected and openly corrupt American Administration.

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  6. Richard,

    Your post has got me thinking about the taxonomy of information ‘science’. It seems that it is based upon three dichotomies of dissemination:

    Accurate / Inaccurate

    Tendentious / Non-tendentious

    Malign / Benign

    However, what I have read so far seems half-cut since it always seems to fail to fully explore all the combinations afforded by the above. Descriptions of Malinformation, in particular, do not seem to address accurate, non-tendentious, malign dissemination. The problem with the malign / benign dichotomy is that it is context dependent and shifts when stakeholder perspective is adjusted.

    My limited research has also unearthed another term new to me: Infodemiology. It looks like the sort of pseudo-science that lies behind John Cook’s work on ‘vaccination’ against fake news. I think that is when this whole subject wanders into particularly dark and dangerous territory.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Richard yes they have gone from dismissing people
    to labelling them terrorists
    but it’s from the same Alinksy root ..of “win by all means necessary, even dishonestly”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. For those who might be wondering what accurate, non-tendentious, malign information dissemination looks like, I offer the example I mentioned in my article, FENTON!!

    Professor Fenton had posted the following video on Youtube, but it was pulled. After watching it, you might ask why.

    It was certainly accurate information (by ‘accurate’ I should say ‘accurate and sufficiently complete with respect to the conclusions drawn’). After all, if a professor who pioneered the application of Bayesian statistics in the field of software engineering cannot be trusted to be accurate when it comes to basic Bayes theory, then who can we trust?

    It was certainly non-tendentious, unless one classes the desire to educate on matters that often lead to misconceptions as being tendentious (keep in mind that Professor Fenton makes a living out of such clarification, including in his role as a forensic witness in court cases).

    But it was also malign, inasmuch as it was damaging to the government campaign that was pushing the 1 in 3 asymptomatic statistic. From the government’s perspective, the video contained information that might cause the public to act against its wishes.

    It could be argued that, despite its accuracy, the video fell into the category of malinformation, but the censors went further than that. It was actually incorrectly treated as disinformation. This is possible for two reasons. Firstly, those who were adjudicating lacked the competence to discern its accuracy. Secondly, having incorrectly concluded that the video was inaccurate, cynicism led them to the conclusion that it must have been a deliberate attempt to deceive. When good information supports ‘bad’ people, it becomes both malinformation and disinformation.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Stew:

    win by all means necessary, even dishonestly

    Sure, but when the government does it, like this, with deadly consequences for those who are deemed to have stepped out of line, then I think it’s more precise to call it fascism. Alinsky may or may not have been delighted, because ‘his guys’ are pulling the strings. But that won’t be for long anyway. There are always more ruthless people who rise to the top in such a situation.

    Hopefully there’ll be a backing off and these ‘powers’ will never be used.

    John: Was ‘malinformation’ familiar to you as a word and concept? It was new to the Weinsteins and me! Bret has though talked about the emergency use authorisation for vaccines, and the info war that went with it, as leading to powers that it was highly unsafe for any government to have. Again, hopefully never to be used.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Here’s a question which I’ll also ask on WUWT. Does Rogan say in his interview with Koonin that Peter Thiel recommended that he should read the book and interview the guy? It was Peter something starting with T but I could quite hear who.

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  11. Malinformation is a new concept to me. I assume, without knowing, that all this determination to label information that some in authority don’t like, as misinformation, disinformation or malinformation, is because of the amazing accessibility (and, to be fair, potential danger) of the internet. However, I think such attempts need to be watched very closely indeed. It’s so easy to slide from disagreeing with something to labelling it with a word which turns your dislike or disagreement into something more profound and authoritative – especially if you are a government or a national (and widely-trusted) broadcaster.

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  12. Richard,

    I had not heard of the term before, but a quick Google confirmed that it has been an established term alongside mis- and disinformation. The interesting thing is that information does not have to be inaccurate for it to be labelled as malinformation. Revenge porn and unauthorised disclosures are listed as examples but I suspect anything that embarrasses the authorities or thwarts their intentions is at risk of such labelling.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Ian: Thanks for the reminder. You understood the power of the long-form podcast earlier than anyone around here, certainly before me. I now think I get it – as do the old lamestream media. The Koonin instance does stand out as extremely significant.

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  14. Snowing here, and instantly turning into slush

    No big evidence of wind damage yesterday, except for a rotten tree fallen down in a horse paddock.

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  15. The documents show that vaccine recipients were much more likely to suffer severe adverse events than placebo recipients – anywhere from twice to 25 or more times as likely to have severe systemic events compared with the placebo group.””

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  16. Thanks Beth. Knowing John Campbell’s carefulness and track record, I will listen to and watch this carefully.

    However, on the other side, one has to remember this fact-check from Reuters in June last year, Reuters being one of the august bodies chosen by the BBC and Big Tech as authorative in this area:

    Posts are sharing the false statement that the spike protein in COVID-19 vaccines is cytotoxic, suggesting that it kills or damages cells. There is no evidence to support this.

    The fact that Reuters’ parent company shares a board member with Pfizer is of couse Malinformation of the worst kind. In other words. true but ever so damaging to the narrative.

    You chose the right thread here.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. That was irony of course. We are following the US and the BBC’s laughable treatment of Creative Society, highlighted by John, shows clearly how the disinformation label will be used against climate scepticism. We have skin in the game.

    Rand Paul makes the crucial point here: CNN got the Trump collusion with Russia story totally wrong for years, not realising it was itself disinformation from Russians. So they’re not the kind of people to police such matters. But he would never try to shut CNN down. It’s not the job of the government to decide what is disinformation and what isn’t. It’s a complex world and free debate is crucial to making sense of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I think what the world needs just at the moment is a “Disinformation™” emoji that anyone can use to mark the dodgy output of any politician.

    Like

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