Flat White

Empty Space: Silicon Valley’s war against victims

5 August 2022

4:00 AM

5 August 2022

4:00 AM

The third world is full of silent victims. Impoverished nations ruled by dictators, or those left to fend for themselves beneath the smoke of proxy wars, are often targeted by drug companies looking for a lawless testing environment.

Rarely, they get caught, and when it happens the story is usually printed in some sort of World magazine as a four-page human interest piece to momentarily entertain a Westerner on their way to work – flicked over and forgotten by the next train station.

Pfizer may have a shiny halo in the Covid era, but in the 90s eleven Nigerian children died during the trial of Trovan while others were rendered blind or brain damaged sparking a court case from the Nigerian government over ‘informed consent’. Informed consent is a topic the CDC, WHO, and NIH also struggled with when the notorious AZT trials began in Zimbabwe where 1,000 children contracted HIV/AIDS despite an effective treatment existing.

Carl Elliott, author of White Coat, Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine said of similar controversies for small private trials in the West:

‘Many of these trials – especially Phase I clinical trials, which are early-stage studies done primarily to determine whether a drug is safe – exploit impoverished, vulnerable people, especially the mentally ill. Few people realise how little oversight the [US] federal government provides for the protection of subjects in privately sponsored studies.’

There’s a reason large drug trials aren’t done on the rich. In the third world – loose change is used as bait and the consequences for failure are limited to the mourning of a local family. Without global communication, victims cannot alert the world to their situation.

In 2020, the status quo flipped. Wealthy, highly educated Western nations found themselves as the testing ground for mRNA vaccines while the third world remained largely untouched. These trials were conducted without compensation, under duress, and often participation was mandated by governments either through coercive vaccine passport systems, direct fines, or by ‘locking citizens out of the vaccine economy’. This was called ‘an emergency rollout’ but in a strictly technical sense, it was a trial.

It doesn’t take an expert to correctly guess that there would be a range of terrible – and in some cases fatal – side effects from a new vaccine technology with 12.4 billion doses in two years.

Preparations were made by governments and pharmaceutical companies to protect themselves from the legal ramifications of angry citizens seeking a hell of a lot more than an apology and the odd human interest story. Early on in the rollout, it was this panicky level of preemptive legal work that worried the vaccine-hesitant. They were right to worry. While authorities repeated the mantra ‘safe and effective’ in the absence of long-term data, the statistical reality began to mount that Covid vaccines were returning the highest level of adverse effects seen in current use. The situation is likely worse than recorded, given how difficult some countries like Australia make it to record vaccine injuries. The safety profile of Covid vaccines do not compare to childhood vaccines, whose side effects look like a pebble next to Everest. Ordinarily, they would have been pulled off the shelf after the first death and sent back for further testing.

This situation is only a problem for governments and drug companies if the wider community is made aware. Hushing up the press or advising governments and their medical bureaucrats to walk the line of silence for ‘the greater good’ is not only possible – it was laid out in some of the leaked contracts. Nations like Argentina and Brazil were forced to go even further after being asked to back a pharmaceutical company’s legal protection with sovereign assets.

Social media is the weak link – the crack through which tales of adverse reactions leak.

It becomes difficult to keep chanting ‘safe and effective’ when hundreds – if not thousands – of stories make it onto social media detailing the horror that some people and their families have faced as a consequence of the vaccine trial. No matter how strong the contracts were between governments and pharmaceutical companies, there is a tipping point in public outrage where the desire for justice in the courts becomes unstoppable. Dare we call it, ‘social justice’. And it only takes one victory to set a precedent.

The natural reaction of those with something to lose (be it money or political power) is to immediately censor victims trying to share their stories. Australia is lagging a year behind the rest of the world thanks to a period in our history that will forever be known as ‘the hermit kingdom’, so we must look to the UK for a glimpse of our future.


While the BBC used public money to make a documentary attempting to shame the unvaccinated out of their decision, Mark Steyn of GB News gave those who were harmed by government vaccine directives the voice they were denied by Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

Aside from the injuries and deaths inflicted on otherwise healthy young people who had a near-zero risk from a Covid infection, the most striking part of the discussion was the behaviour of Silicon Valley, which routinely suspended and banned accounts belonging to victims.

The empty space created by their deletion sits as a scar on social media.

Many fully-vaccinated individuals in the media scoff or cheer at the censorship these people face, slurring them as ‘anti-vaxxers’ (despite the contradiction that it was their vaccination that harmed them). Others do not want to listen to first-hand evidence that a vaccine most people have taken might result in lifelong complications, especially if they have already given it to their children.

‘If you watch other TV stations, if you listen to other radio stations, if you go on social media, the people in this room with me tonight do not exist. In fact, as you can see they’re real, they’re flesh and blood, and they are your fellow citizens. They represent hundreds of thousands of other people in every corner of these islands [UK] and millions more around the globe. Yet if they post on Twitter, if they post on Facebook, they are labelled as misleading – as disinformation – and as fake news. These people are not in the least bit fake. They are victims of the Covid vaccine,’ said Mark Steyn.

It has escaped mainstream media’s notice that we live in an age where social media giants erase victims of the pharmaceutical industry and government edicts.

At what other point in modern history has it been acceptable for the personal recollections of victims to be deemed ‘misleading’ or ‘harmful’?

How can the likes of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram claim to be acting in the interest of ‘the greater good’ and ‘public health’ by hiding stories of adverse reactions, or the death of loved ones, from public view?

The truth is in the public interest, even if it is harmful to public health policy or the profits of Big Pharma. Informed consent requires an accurate assessment of risk. Would any publication turn a blind eye if Twitter deleted cancer sufferers complaining about Big Tobacco? What about if Facebook banned users who complained about mistreatment from police over concerns it would ‘erode trust in authority’?

If a new medical treatment is dangerous, even to a minority of healthy people, the public needs to know.

Silicon Valley does not only remove people who deviate from the ‘safe and effective’ narrative on vaccines. The community guidelines of some sites have expanded to cover ‘Climate Change’, gender, and sexuality in what appears to be an attempt to manipulate the direction of social ethics.

This is a system of political censorship more commonly seen in collectivist dictatorships. Perhaps this is the direction Western society is headed.

Surely, say the supporters of global gag orders, social media is a private entity. Unethical or not, it can do what it likes…

Although social media is perceived to be a public forum, that is not its legal status. However, those who claim that ‘private companies can do what they like’ are also incorrect. Setting aside the realty that all private companies are bound by various laws, Twitter, Facebook, and others are platforms. Platforms exist as a strange legal entity that arose in the early years of the internet where third parties began publishing content directly to the public via a company like Twitter.

These online sites look a bit like ‘publishers’ – who are legally responsible for every word set to print – but a publishing model is impossible to uphold in a live-post scenario where a billion people are chatting with each other. Instead, ‘platforms’ were given special legal exemption from liability toward their content. This protection came with a caveat. Because platforms are not publishers, they are not allowed to engage in editorial behaviour.

In other words, the community guidelines laid out by social media companies are being misused to censor political speech in direct violation of their legal structure.

The only ‘editorial’ behaviour platforms are permitted to engage in relates to the Good Samaritan Clause tagged onto Section 230 Immunity that essentially covers clear-cut cases of bullying, threats, intimidation, stalking, or otherwise illegal activity such as sex trafficking. It does not include scope for ‘hurt feelings’ or ‘the protection of Big Pharma from product failures’.

There is no need to tangle social media up in new legislation. The rules that were written to cover platforms were clear, simple, and sufficient. Instead, the problem sits in America’s political class who refuse to bring social media companies to court over abuses of power because they are using Silicon Valley censorship to advance their political careers, manipulate social trends, and protect their financial interests.

Where is the moral outrage from human rights lawyers about this cabal of elite entities working together to silence victims of billion-dollar corporations?

Worse, why are so many Australians occupying positions of privilege in the media happy to go along with the erasure of victims and the silencing of their suffering?

You can make the case that keeping the side effects of vaccines quiet will ‘serve the greater good’ by ensuring more people get vaccinated, but that ignores the ethical reality that human beings deserve to know the extent of true risk and make an informed decision for themselves. It is not up to strangers to judge what is ‘in the best interest’ for others.

Nor is it right to describe those who see excessive risk in Covid vaccines as ‘anti-vaxxers’. The percentage of people who reject the concept of vaccination (which is a valid position if we continue to support body autonomy) has not changed during the Covid years. What we are seeing instead is hesitation about a particular drug – a drug that has never been on the market before and was previously held back due to safety concerns that were estimated to take ‘a decade’ to resolve. Yet here they are, rolled out to the entire population of the world a year later.

Regardless of your opinion on Covid vaccination itself, deleting victims from the conversation is at best, immoral and at worst – criminal.

Alexandra Marshall is an independent writer. If you would like to support her work, shout her a coffee over at donor-box.

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