Speech and Censorship in the Internet Age

July 24, 2019

Monopolists are closing the gate on free speech. It’s time to fight back. Action Alert!

Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media sites are aggressively clamping down on free speech, and those who seek to educate the public about natural health are paying the price. Powerful organizations determining the “quality” of information—and throttling access to information and/or experts deemed “low quality”—is the stuff of dystopian nightmares, but is in fact the reality we are living in. We must fight back against this wave of censorship.

This censorship comes in several different forms. We at ANH, for instance, raised the ire of Pinterest when we posted truthful information about the HPV vaccine. Those posts were removed by Pinterest because they were deemed to violate the site’s “misinformation policy.” Pinterest went on to explain that it relies on information from the CDC and WHO to help determine if content violates their guidelines, but if government health authorities become the sole arbiter of what a “false cure” is, then we’re in big trouble. The implications should be obvious: is any treatment that isn’t FDA-approved a “false cure”? Is a doctor who doesn’t toe the line of mainstream medicine and the orthodoxy of the American Medical Association pedaling “false cures”?

Google, which controls 90% of the market for online searches, is also aggressively censoring content. Google used to rank pages primarily by popularity; for the most part, the more clicks your site got, the higher your Google ranking—that is, the higher your site showed up on a relevant Google search. But in this age of censorship, all that has changed. Google is now manually lowering the rankings of undesirable content with the help of third party “quality raters.” These quality raters visit websites and, as their name suggests, evaluate the quality of a website. Raters then send this information to Google engineers who update their algorithm to throttle content that is deemed of low quality.

The changes to Google’s core algorithm are having dramatic results. Google traffic to Mercola.com, the site of famed natural health advocate Joseph Mercola, MD, fell an astonishing 99% over the span of a few weeks after the algorithm changed.

Censorship of natural health is also occurring on Wikipedia, the free internet encyclopedia. Our friends at ANH-International point out that Wikipedia articles promoting natural, non-drug therapies have been targeted for deletion or manipulation. Scottish diabetes expert Dr. Malcolm Kendrick’s Wiki page has been deleted because his views on cholesterol and heart disease don’t match up with mainstream narrative. Visit the diabetes page on Wikipedia, and you won’t find any information on the efficacy of certain diets in tackling type 2 diabetes because those references have been removed by skeptics lest the public learn about non-drug interventions for that illness.

What does all of this mean? Those who challenge established medical orthodoxies are targets for censorship. It will be much, much harder to educate the public about important scientific information relating to our health. It means that monopolistic organizations like Google have a stranglehold on what information can reach the public and what gets buried. It is far too much power for a handful of executives at Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and other sites to wield.

Every totalitarian dictator throughout history is a testament to the fact that the unrestricted flow of information is paramount in a free society, and we relinquish this freedom at our own peril.

Action Alert! Write to Congress and urge them to protect free speech and to curb the rampant censorship that is occurring at the hands of a few monopolists. Please send your message immediately.

62 responses to “Speech and Censorship in the Internet Age”

  1. Candace Volz says:

    Restricting free speech is characteristic of fascism. America is a democracy- please help to keep it that way!

  2. Jon Nelson says:

    End Internet censorship. Let people make their own decisions about what to read.

  3. Betty Standley says:

    THE WORD IS SPREADING RAPIDLY THAT GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, PINTEREST, ETC. ARE TRYING TO TAKE AWAY FREE SPEECH. THIS IS FRIGHTENING AND WE ALL SHOULD BE REMINDED OF THE HISTORY OF NAZI GERMANY.

    MANY ARE CHOOSING OTHER SEARCH ENGINES AND LEAVING PINTEREST AS WELL AS FACEBOOK. AMERICANS WILL NOT STAND TO BE DICTATED TO, OR BE TOLD WHAT THEY CAN OR CAN’T SAY.

  4. Yvonne Segal says:

    It’s not only health topics being attacked but also candidates running for president that google doesn’t like. Tulsi Gabbards google account suddenly disappeared after the debates. She was the most googled candidate after the debates. She is suing google. The natural health community including “anti-vaxxers” need to combine resources and go after google, facebook and pinterest.
    Our power is in our numbers.

  5. Mimsie Redmayne says:

    There appears to be a need to start a website that is non-google (or other) controlled as well as a search engine not controlled by big tech.

  6. Mary says:

    It seems that there are groups which violate the constitutional promise of free speech for the profit of other groups (or perhaps their own). There are also snake oil salesmen who prey on the public distrust of conventional medicine. It would be fair to publish a notice that certain information has not been sanctioned by conventional medicine but it is not legal to limit the distribution of opinions which differ. Do we need a lawsuit?

  7. Nicolette Bailly says:

    I am increasing troubled by the continued and increased restrictions on access to information and ideology that is deemed outside that of mainstream medial opinion. It seems that we are witnessing, at an ever increasing pace, Americans are being told what to believe rather that allowing and providing for the free flow of research, opinion and ideology, a cornerstone of our democracy, which seems to be rapidly eroding from a myriad of assaults by special interests. Please protect choice and do more that what lobbyists tell you (or pay you) to do. Please.

  8. Joe Marcinkowski says:

    Hey Gatekeeper nobody appointed nor anointed you to watch over our websites.

    We do not need you, if we stop using your site, it becomes irrelevant.

  9. Lester Hemphill says:

    This issue raises a good question. Obviously, misinformation is bad. Is the monopolist necessarily the only source of information? Another question is how is the uneducated layman supposed to tell the difference between information and misinformation? Another issue is that the censureship could shut out innovators who might have breakthroughs that would be of great benefit to society. The Wright Brothers were opposed by that day’s wisdom that it is impossible for people to fly.

  10. Karen Effenberger says:

    Please protect free speech and eliminate censorship that is occuring at the hands of a few monopolists.

  11. Ronald Thurman says:

    The one truth that everyone should realize is:

    AS LONG AS THERE IS A PROFIT MOTIVE IN HEALTH CARE, NOBODY WILL GET WELL!

  12. sirs/madams this censor ship of natural medicines , practiced for thousands of years is anti feminine. before “modern” medicine mostly women were the doctors and their medicine cabinet was the fields and woods..many of those remedys are now in “modern” medicine i.e. willow bark for fever= asprin. fox glove for heart problms=digitalis ,. ok so you don’t want the information out there fine , but I am writing from u.s.a. and I have the right to obtain information and to share if I want
    thank you

  13. Larry Hanus says:

    Protect my right to free speech. Stop Google, FaceBook Pinterest, Amazon, etc from censoring my right to speak and get information.
    Our country is at risk

  14. Added a paragraph to prepared letter. Hope this is successful.

  15. John Schmidt says:

    Censorship by Google, Facebook, and other large entities is illegal and un-American. Exchange of ideas and information is extremely important in a democratic society. STOP CENSORSHIP!!

  16. Gopal Pandey says:

    Why are the Big Pharma enable to control free speech when it comes to facts of natural medicines?
    Natural medicines has been the main stay of the health industry for millennia.
    The user should be free to decide what he wants to use for his good health.
    It should not be regimented by the Big Pharma Lobby.
    July 25,2019

  17. Lynn M Loomis says:

    The internet was created by the military and paid for by US taxpayers. I do not begrudge success and innovation. However the internet has become the modern day soapbox. Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Apple, Twitter, and Amazon have no right to censor us on our platform. They may use it. They may profit from it but they must not be allowed to control it or censor it. You have stood silent as these monopolies and trusts formed and took power away from those who funded the creation of their cash cow. It is time to use the anti-monopoly, anti-trust and rico laws to force them to stop. We do not want regulation from government or from these businesses. In the case of Google it must be forced to break into smaller companies. They wield far too much power over business, public opinion, and what is said and read or viewed. Any start up that threatens their complete control is either quickly bought or simply crushed. We have learned that Google meddled in the 2016 election for more than Russia or any other enemy meddled and their success was almost enough to steal the election for one of the most criminal women to ever enter politics. This cannot be tolerated. The hammer of government must land on Google. They have been allowed to buy for to many congress critters. Congress must act now.

  18. Stephanie Shan Russell [friends call me "Shan". ] says:

    How about something like this for Canadians too???????

  19. Krofter says:

    While it’s true that the free speech of proponents of natural medicine (NM) is being curtailed by the hubris of the social media giants (smug’s), NM is not alone. There are vast sweeps of folks on both the right and left whose free speech is also being strangled by the smug’s. But I’m not sure writing congress is the only solution. There are alternatives that can be used today and more are on the way. The dweb (distributed – as in decentralized – web) is under development. I’ve been using duckduckgo as an alternative to google for some years now. Everipedia is an up and coming alternative to the highly biased wikipedia. Mastadon is a decentralized twitter. Peertube is a decentralized version of youtube. If we all engage with these alternatives the social media giants will either be forced to become real again, or risk becoming irrelevant.

  20. Rebecca Em Campbell says:

    Not only are many medical remedies being suppressed — now also any account of them and crimes perpetrated by the medical mafia in doing so are also being suppressed — as is the human race by Big Tech. We need you to act now to end this, or also be accountable for these crimes.

  21. Alicia Orr says:

    Please curb the rampant censorship that is occurring at the hands of a few monopolists.

  22. Rich Moser says:

    People over Craporations!

  23. Keith Manning says:

    I support your efforts to fight internet censorship but telling us to contact Congress is a non-starter and a waste of our time. Congress is blocking the restoration of net neutrality. Congress is the reason there is internet censorship. Rep. Adam Schiff from California is a high-profile advocate of censoring “misinformation” on alternative medicine and vaccine skepticism on social media. His public letters to the major SM platforms as well as amazon.com are a large part of the reason internet censorship has intensified.

  24. Benjamin Bernhardt says:

    Freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment. In the modern age, our communications and education rely on technology produced by big companies such as Google, Facebook, etc. Therefore, regulations must be put in place to guarantee that corporations cannot control our free speech or the free flow of information.

  25. Rob Kar says:

    Investigate the tech companies that block free speech.

  26. JEANNE BRANNIGAN says:

    How surprising that Congress is Asleep at the Wheel! Senator Hatch does not seem to have been replaced with anyone who has the interest of the public at heart.
    We are living in scary times!

  27. Lynn Ryan says:

    Censorship is wrong, please do not censor..

  28. Drew says:

    We of EMF Aware in Santa Cruz, CA are going back to using printed leaflets that we hand out to the public to get around Internet Censorship. We must be creative and use every possible means of communication; banners, posters, highway overpass signs, leaflets, etc. to get the word out and educate.
    George Orwell’s “1984” is now here.

  29. Glenis Batley says:

    I haven’t been searching that much online but I do spend a lot of time on facebook. My and my friends’ post are constantly being censored by facebook. Most recently there was a photo of 4 donkeys with a caption comparing them to the 4 Demopcrats AOC & the other 3. Facebook took it down. I’m tired of their suppression of my first amendment and Conservative views.

  30. Thomas Mueller says:

    Our Founding Fathers from the era of the American Revolution would roll over in their graves if they knew about this censorship! Even Wikipedia seems to be excessively influenced by the medical establishment, for instance in what they say about coconut oil.

  31. Jill B. says:

    Stop the Social Media Attack on Natural Health!

    The Internet has profoundly changed how humans communicate and receive information. It allows disparate individuals to form communities around shared interests. It is a new kind of forum where ideas can be disseminated freely and openly. At least, that’s what sites like Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Wikipedia, and other titans of the Internet would have us believe. But the current reality of the Internet is less an open sandbox and more a story of the dominance of a few powerful gatekeepers increasingly exerting control over what kind of information can be shared.

    As far as we can tell, the issue of vaccination is particularly susceptible to censorship. This isn’t surprising, as vaccination is a controversial issue. However, reasonable people can ask reasonable questions about the safety and efficacy of vaccines—indeed they should, since it is undeniable that vaccines are not without risk. One only need consult the government’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and the millions it has paid out to victims of vaccines to verify this fact. Yet organizations that post information about the dangers of vaccination are singled out as “fake news” purveyors and censored.

    Write to Congress and ask your elected officals to write to their colleagues on the appropriate committees to convene a hearing exploring the issue of Internet censorship.

  32. Deirdre Ryan says:

    STOP the NANNY-STATE/DUMBING down of THE Human Race.

    WHEN are people going to vote with their $$$$? and take direct action?

    But here is another example of control of human beings for greed and power by the few.

    Big Business reacts to that. If a café in Japan has inferior product, people simply go to a quality supplier. Café closes!

    There are a number of Search Engine companies Dick Duck Go Go is one I use and are most satisfactory and they respect ones PRIVACY.

    Twitter is for twats and Facebook for fools – beats me how people have precious time to waste on these sites, and the damage to social structure that their “model” has in Society!!!

    I do not have a Business that needs to advertise on these sites. and therefore have never Pinter-ested or Instagram-med and I survive quite well, as do many others. Wiki has lost their credibility with their stand here. Emails do the job, and I do not have to look at the ceaseless advertising that blocks the information I am trying to read.

    America has too much influence in the World in general. Look at Microsoft and the pro vaccine stance of the owner.

    One wonders how much the back-handers are to Executives of these monoliths? be it cash or “favours”

    It is CRUCIAL that the World has FREE SPEECH – this is enshrined in your USA Constitution. The experiment on human beings must stop, food interference, Big Pharma being the 3rd highest killer of people, untested Metals and toxins in everyone now, that LITERALLY interferes with body processes, and is making humans so ill. Big Medicine no longer knows what to do and causes so much grief and devastation in their “curing” efforts in peoples lives. The local Dr is genuine in wanting to help, but their system is now by influenced non-medical influences and has been for many years, and they are so over regulated and SCARED of the powers that be.

    WE no longer fight the Armies on foot

  33. Wendi says:

    All natural for my puppy’s only

  34. Dianne Murphy says:

    Take action
    Government out of our health business

  35. Mary Lennox says:

    1984 begins now! Fight back before it’s too late.

  36. Marisa Choguill says:

    The people will win!

  37. Brett Kengor says:

    Stop the war on our first amendment! Free speech is a fundamental American right!

  38. Peggy Gannon says:

    When I try to post the letter I get an error msg: the email address I use is “being used by another account.” Well yes, I respond often to your petitions to politicians. This is one issue about which I am passionate and I WANT ANH TO ACCEPT MY EMAIL ADDY!
    Thank you for your prompt attention to this situation.
    Peggy Gannon

  39. JOYCE SHIFFRIN says:

    BECAUSE ONLY PEOPLE WHO SAY HATE SPEECH AGAINST ANYONE, REGARDLESS OF BACKGROUND, DESERVES TO BE CENSORED FOR ALWAYS AS NOBODY DESERVES TO BE
    ABUSED, INCLUDING VERBALLY/EMOTIONALLY, FOR AS LONG AS S/HE LIVES FOR ALL TIMES!!!

  40. And a surprise for all of you wealthy folks who think YOU will live forever – YOU WON’T. Not one penny will go with you. But you will have to deal with the millions of We The People that you have lied to & taken funds from.

  41. Why must our safe holistic site be eliminated? People in the United States should have all choice options available to them if they choose! It is our right as presented and protected by our constitutional rights!

  42. Wendy says:

    What I don’t understand is why Google (and others) are allowed to play both sides of the fence. “Service providers” don’t control content. “Publishers” are legally responsible for their content–they are subject to libel and defamation torts. What I’ve heard of the suits against Google aren’t attacking them as publishers, even though Google’s acting like one. Google is acting like a publisher about its content, and then claiming to be a service provider when the lawyers come knocking. Why are they letting Google get away with that?

  43. Jane Bansal says:

    The push for censoring vital health and other information is very disturbing to me. In my own way, I try to disseminate information that I have learned to the public at large on the Yahoo comments section and I am shadowbanned. It is beyond frustrating to me to have my informative comments and video links blocked from public view. Too many evil entities are exerting their power and control over the people in this country and worldwide and it’s time to stop them in their tracks. We are fast moving towards a totalitarian paradigm where only certain speech and certain information is allowed. It is contrary to our founding fathers and our fundamental rights under the Constitution. We must take back our country but the leadership in Congress must stop being the puppets of the Big Tech, Big Pharma, Big Corp, Big Banks, Big Donors and start doing what’s right for American citizens and the country as a whole. Break up Google and the other social media giants due to their curtailment of free speech in all its forms. Yahoo must also be included in this censorship problem. Many people like me do not have social media accounts but we like to express our opinions on the articles that we read on Yahoo. Yahoo has 3 billion email accounts so it is reasonable to conclude that many, if not most, of those account holders read the articles on Yahoo. Sometimes, Yahoo has no comment section for particular articles so their liberal slant and disinformation goes unchallenged. That is equally problematic to me. If you don’t fail to act to thwart Google, et. al., your sins in this matter will be recorded in the Books in Heaven.

  44. Dawn K says:

    A growing number of Americans use alternative medicine and frequent natural health web-sites each day. It is becoming more and more obvious that big pharm and conventional heath companies are limiting our access to web-sites that we count on for up to date and accurate information on natural health. Please protect our free speech and curb the censorship that is occurring more and frequently.

  45. carolyn presley says:

    Please stop the censorship of health information and other free speech on the internet. We value freedom to search all alternatives to protect our lives and our health.

  46. Jan Lowing says:

    Alternative treatment cured my cancer. This is more evidence of big Pharma’s mercenary agenda.

  47. […] Posted July 26, 2019 Monopolists are closing the gate on free speech. It’s time to fight back. Action Alert!  Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media sites are aggressively clamping down on free speech, and those who seek to educate the public about natural health are paying the price. Powerful organizations determining the “quality” of information—and throttling access to information and/or experts deemed “low quality”—is the stuff of dystopian nightmares, but is in fact the reality we are living in. We must fight back against this wave of censorship.  Read more. […]

  48. michelle Camden says:

    Fascism is here. I personally know that the pharmaceutical companies want me sick and as it trickles down our bodies are raw material for their profit. And you know that it is true.

  49. Peggy Gannon says:

    C’mon, ANH, this is over 24 hours old. I have only one email. Please fix this so it works!

  50. Jackie kilby says:

    I will support free speech we have the right to know truth and get well the way we. Chose

  51. Clark Reddick says:

    Freedom of speech is a constitutional right. Yet our government controlled by corporations and special interest groups turns a blind eye when their sponsors censor speech that effects product sales and legacy viewpoints on health, government, the environment, terrorism, etc. It is NOT the governments business to tell us what to think, say or do and there is no justification to deprive The People their right to share information and ideas to ‘protect the public’. WE NEED PROTECTION FROM AN OUT OF CONTROL GOVT RUN BY CORPORATIONS. IT IS THE GOVERNMENTS DUTY TO PROTECT FREE SPEECH ON THE INTERNET WHICH IS NOW A SPEECH UTILITY. You thought the banks were ‘too big to fail’? What about freedom of speech? Let’s not be hypocrites. If you are an American, DO THE RIGHT THING and act quickly to protect FREEDOM OF SPEECH FOR ALL and eschew the thought police who pretend to care so much about us, but have monetary interests to protect. FOLLOW THE MONEY – it will damn the censors every time.

  52. Gary Overby says:

    This is censorship at it’s worst.

  53. Centurian says:

    Maybe Elizabeth Warren is right. Google, Facebook and Pinterest need to be broken up.

  54. Nancy Simmons says:

    I am an adult and able to make informed decisions regarding my health. I don’t need big Pharma, the government, or social media to limit my continuing education of the latest information on alternative products.

  55. Beverly Eschmann says:

    Members of congress I firmly urge you all to protect free speech and to curb the rampant censorship that is occurring at the hands of a few monopolists.

  56. Peggy Gannon says:

    Screw it. It’s 3 days now. Why have comments and moderators when no one ever checks the page? I’ll send my own damn letter. Lotta help you are. And if you won’t accept my email, how will I ever use this resource again?

  57. sarah taft says:

    Pig pharma really is working to take away your voice ans your choice.

  58. Laura alvarez says:

    Stop blinding us from the truth .

  59. MELINDA HEBERT says:

    WE NEED TO BREAK UP THE MONOPOLY OF THE BIG TECH COMPANIES. THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MESS WE ARE IN NOW, BUT WON’T TAKE RESPONSIBILITY AT ALL. STOP THE CENSORSHIP

  60. This paragraph offers clear idea in support of the new visitors of blogging, that in fact how to do running a blog.|

  61. mike smith says:

    Currently, it is hard to get reliable information on male hormone replacement due to the current power play of large government, insurance, and corporate medicine. The internet spin is extremely skewed when searching for the best treatment options and any innovative information is rare as a gold nugget on a mainstreet sidewalk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *