In their push to cancel unapproved content, out-of-control governments are seeking to penalise what George Orwell called “thought crimes.” But they will never be able to truly stop people thinking for themselves, nor will they ever definitively know either the writer’s intent or what meaning people will ultimately derive. It is bad law, and it will eventually fail because it is, in itself, predicated on disinformation.
The professional liars have won. Newsrooms have been eviscerated because Google and Facebook took all the advertising revenue, and the spin merchants in business, government and nonprofits have almost limitless resources. If journalism – as opposed to commentary in blogs, websites, social media, and online channels – is to have a future, a new approach is needed.