Online Censoring: Jacinda Ardern Appointed to Help “Govern” the Internet

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  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

Online censoring lives to see another day with the appointment of Jacinda Ardern as the Knight Tech Governance Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center (BKC) for Internet & Society at Harvard University. The April 25 announcement from the Center states her tenure will begin in the fall. Ardern served as New Zealand's 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 2017 to 2023, the youngest female head of state in the country's history. She resigned in January, citing burnout as the reason.

The Knight Tech Governance Leadership Fellow is a new fellowship. It is sponsored by the Knight Foundation, which promotes itself as a group of "social investors who support a more effective democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts, and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once published newspapers."

Ardern was also concurrently appointed dual fellowships at the Harvard Kennedy School, slated to begin in the fall. The fellowships are the 2023 Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow and the Hauser Leader in the School's Center for Public Leadership. Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf praised her "strong and empathetic political leadership." According to LifeSite News, Ardern will "address online harms… and violent extremism online," explaining that "Emerging technologies such as AI present huge opportunities to address online harms, but also challenges."

In 2021, the Knight Foundation announced a "$5.5 million bundle of investments to study mis- and disinformation and inform internet governance." The foundation committed $2.2 million in new funding to support "Rebooting Social Media (RSM)," a "three-year institute that will bring together diverse experts to develop tractable solutions to false information, radicalization, and harassment online."

Notably, an article posted on the RSM page laments Twitter's "New API plans" featuring pricing tiers as "devastating" to "public interest." The authors complain that "Twitter's new system to monetize and dramatically restrict access to its API will render this research and development impossible. Unless they can pay, researchers will not be able to collect any tweets at all." Rats! Foiled again. Or maybe it should be rats foiled again!

With her policies and worldview in mind, it is not surprising that Ardern hopes to further Harvard's "online governance and content moderation" work for the betterment of humankind. Ardern told reporters she hopes to support governmental efforts to "be your single source of truth" on social media. She encouraged reporters to "dismiss anything else."

Ardern's candid remarks arguably show just how tone-deaf she seems to have become to any thought of supporting the free flow of information. She also seems to want to ensure that AI-driven algorithms accurately reflect a particular point of view, not exactly the definition of free speech.

Ardern Interested in the Role of Social Media in Radicalization

Ardern committed to fighting "extremism" and alleged online radicalization after the country's deadly Christchurch terror attack on March 15, 2019. She recently "took on two new roles, a voluntary position as Special Envoy for the Christchurch Call and trustee of Prince William's Earthshot Prize.

Ardern launched the Christchurch Call in 2019, partnering with French President Emmanuel Macron. She appointed a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mosques, citing the "role of social media" as a possible factor in the attack. She also announced an initiative "to research social media algorithms" in 2022.

Much like measures taken by the U.S. government during the 2020 elections and beyond, the Royal Commission recommended, among other things, a more "coordinated" identification and monitoring of "emerging threats of violent terrorism." The Royal Commission's final report mentions recommendations to coordinate between the government and the private sector, much like what has been revealed in U.S. hearings, the Twitter files, and from independent reporting.

For example, "Recommendation 17" suggests annual coordination among "relevant central and local government agencies, communities, civil society, the private sector, and researchers to create opportunities to build relationships and share understanding of countering violent extremism and terrorism."

Many universities are censoring content in the name of "acute societal and public health harms." The "Rebooting Social Media (RSM)" page, a project of Harvard's Berkman Klein Center, features a fellow and author from Cornell and visiting scholars from other institutions of "higher learning," all working to ensure the unwashed masses don't stray too far from approved narratives.

Visiting scholars from the University of Toronto, Georgetown, Northeastern University, USC, University of Kansas, Purdue, and UC Santa Barbara are featured on the RSM page. UncoverDC's reporting shows that Stanford (Renée DiResta) and Washington University (Kate Starbird) are also heavily invested in the censorship and "cognitive infrastructure" game, partnering with our government because it is unconstitutional for our government to do this stuff directly.

Ardern's progressive policies during the "pandemic" were some of the most draconian imposed worldwide. Ardern advocated for vaccine mandates and strict lockdowns, which caused division and mass protests. When confronted about her vaccine mandates, she seemed unphased by the idea of "class division" between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. Diversity and inclusion are only important when she says so, guys.

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