The World Economic Forum has an innocuous name for a sinister new initiative designed to give radical globalist bureaucrats control over what people can say and see on social media, Daily Wire host Michael Knowles warned in an illuminating tweet thread Wednesday.
Called “Safety by Design,” the new scheme seeks to regulate social media by having prohibitions against “harmful” content built into the technology behind their platforms. But it looks like yet another bid by the Left to control speech it doesn’t like by deeming it dangerous, Knowles said.
“If you thought the Twitter Files were as bad as it gets for the “Trust & Safety” of Big Tech merging with government, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” Knowles tweeted.
🧵If you thought the Twitter Files were as bad as it gets for the “Trust & Safety” of Big Tech merging with government, you ain't seen nothin' yet.
— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) January 18, 2023
While the efforts began under the banner of protecting children, Knowles warned that, for the WEF, which is meeting in Davos this week, the stated purpose is more likely to be the proverbial camel’s nose in the tent. In this year’s promotional literature, the WEF includes the Safety by Design project as part of its larger plan for “Shaping the Future of Media, Entertainment and Sport Platform.”
“Does that sound like something that exists merely to deplatform child pornography?” Knowles mused on Twitter. “No. Because it isn’t.”
Safety by Design’s leading champion is a radical Australian official (and dual US Citizen) named Julie Inman Grant, who has helped put it in place Down Under, according to Knowles. During last year’s annual WEF meeting, a clip of the Australian eSafety commissioner suggesting a “recalibration” of free speech went viral. Knowles said Grant, who spoke again Wednesday at a WEF panel, has a resume steeped in tech censorship.
“After beginning her career in DC, Grant tried to become a ‘safety antagonist’—her words—at Microsoft, Adobe, and pre-Elon Twitter,” Knowles tweeted. “She left Big Tech after her push for ‘Safety by Design’ fell flat and went where her scheme for control was welcome: the Australian Gov & WEF.”
Grant’s own interview history includes mocking “middle-aged Caucasian men” and advocating the role app stores can play, citing the deplatforming of Parler following January 6. But with “Safety by Design,” she seems to have finally latched onto an effective – and frightening – tool for controlling the speech of people she disagrees with, according to Knowles. The basic idea behind it is that since government regulators can’t possibly keep up with innovation, regulatory preferences should be built into technology.
“In order to operate in Australia and many more countries soon if the WEF has its way… a company would have to abide by these “basic online safety expectations” and lean into the “safety” pushed by the eSafety Commissioner and the WEF,” Knowles wrote.
The Australian agency offers an “enterprise” training course for tech companies and lists hate speech, individual identity attacks, disinformation/misinformation, and conspiracy content as items for the companies to target. In recent years, and especially with newly revealed communications between the U.S. government and Twitter, conservatives have come to believe that their beliefs on politics, public health, and other issues have been branded as “misinformation” simply as a pretext to silence them.
Safety by Design could soon be coming to a government near you, Knowles warned. That’s because Grant also serves on the WEF’s Global Coalition for Digital Safety and something called its “XR Ecosystem Governance Steering Committee on Building and Defining the Metaverse.”
“At this point, you might be thinking, ‘Thank goodness I don’t live in Australia,’ or perhaps, ‘Uh oh, I live in Australia,’” he tweeted. “But it turns out it doesn’t matter. Thanks to the World Economic Forum, ‘Safety by Design’ is being exported globally.”