by WorldTribune Staff, June 21, 2023
A Brown University professor with no science or medical background was given a key role in the Biden administration’s collaborative effort with social media platforms to censor content that ran counter to the Biden team’s Covid narrative, according to new revelations from the Twitter Files.
Claire Wardle, a professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice, advised the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which operates under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), according to documents publicized by investigative journalist Paul D. Thacker as part of the ongoing release of the Twitter Files.
According to Wardle’s curriculum vitae, she completed her Ph.D. in communication in 2004 at the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in political science from the same university in 2000, and a bachelor’s degree in American studies from the UK’s Hull University in 1998.
Wardle has no training or background in science, yet “she has long sought to define herself as an expert on vaccines,” Thacker said, and has “managed to stake out a position as the media’s expert on disinformation.”
The Brown University professor has taught courses and given talks on “what journalists need to know about the new and evolving field of disinformation.” In a talk in 2022 on the future of journalism, she said, “We need to think strategically about how we cover disinformation.”
Thacker noted that Wardle had played a leading role in censoring vaccine-related content on Twitter and other social media platforms that allegedly were spreading “misinformation” and “disinformation.”
In a Substack post — “Twitter Files: Brown University’s Claire Wardle Aids Censorship” — Thacker elaborated on his findings and drew connections to a web of organizations that have worked with the federal government and social media platforms to censor non-establishment narratives pertaining to the coronavirus and the Covid shots.
One such entity is CISA, which was established within DHS by Congress in 2018, to defend critical U.S. infrastructure, such as election systems, from “foreign attacks.”
Chris Krebs, the founder of CISA, was one of the co-authors of a November 2021 Aspen Institute “Information Disorder” report, whose “taxpayer-backed conclusions” included the placement of “speech offenders” in a “holding area” and the governmental restriction of “disinformation,” “even if it means losing freedom.”
Referencing prior releases of the “Twitter Files,” Thacker said researchers from Stanford University and the University of Washington worked with CISA “to fill the gap of the things the government could not do themselves.” Thacker said this is an admission “that academics served as a cutout for federal censoring of Americans.”
“Every one of these ‘disinformation experts’ harps on endlessly about vaccines like they’re an epidemiologist with a background in the FDA approval process,” Thacker wrote. “Every damn one of them.”
Thacker told The Defender he noticed that “a lot of these ‘disinfo’ researchers [who] are suddenly jumping into the conversation about vaccines … are all talking about these things as if they have double Ph.D.s in epidemiology and in statistics. They don’t.”
People like Wardle are creating “a false idea of a consensus, by simply censoring people. Not a discussion, but shutting people down, labeling them,” Thacker wrote, describing the trend as “concerning” and one that “doesn’t have to do just with vaccines.”
“They know the power of what they do by labeling,” Thacker added.
— Paul D. Thacker (@thackerpd) June 14, 2023