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Plandemic and Flat Earth: Brief Thoughts on Law, Policy, and Discourse

The Plandemic video is an “alternative perspective” in the same way that flat earth is an alternative perspective.

Some initial thoughts…

The Plandemic video is an “alternative perspective” in the same way that flat earth is an alternative perspective. It’s not.

Yes, I’ll be respectful to Flat Earthers who stand outside the Minnesota State Fair with their signs every year. But I won’t take a flyer. Or defend them. Or argue that they deserve a place in scientific or cultural discourse. I might include them in a Southern gothic novel.

If Flat Earthers made claims undermining the public health, I might argue that private companies should ban those claims on their platforms. Some social media platforms have done this already.

Yes, free speech is constitutionally protected in this country. But those protections are limited. Just because pornography falls under the umbrella of constitutionally protected speech doesn’t mean YouTube has to publish it. And in the present situation, conspiracy theorists telling people not to socially distance or wear masks are putting people in actual danger.

With regards to companies like YouTube, the “free speech” concerns don’t really apply. The United States Constitution prevents the government (not private companies such as YouTube or Facebook) from abridging free speech. The claim that social media censorship violates the First Amendment is (from a legal perspective) nonsense. [1]

None of this is to say that we should placidly accept all censorship from large private companies. In our world, we see an increasing centralization in the dissemination of information. Even small local publications find new ownership in national corporations. And alternative perspectives, which are needed to keep the mind of America sharp and discerning, risk being filtered out. We need a multiplicity of viewpoints and perspectives. But let’s not rest our defense of them on falsehoods and incoherences.

There is a difference between an alternative viewpoint and a demonstrable falsity. It does not benefit the pursuit of truth to pretend otherwise. If we defend false information as necessary “minority narratives,” we risk nourishing a belief that the two are synonymous.

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[1] For more information on this, see Prager University v Google LLC et al, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 17-06064.


Chris Damian is a writer, speaker, attorney, and business professional living in the Twin Cities. He received his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and his J.D. and M.A. in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas. He is the author of “I Desired You: Intellectual Journals on Faith and (Homo)sexuality” (volumes I and II). He is also the co-founder of YArespond, a group of Catholic young adults seeking informed and holistic responses to the clergy abuse crisis. In his free time, he enjoys hosting dinner parties and creative writing workshops. 

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