The study, noted by Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of the mRNA and DNA vaccines, on his substack page, was published in a relatively obscure academic journal Minerva, but was nonetheless allowed to be posted by mainstream academic publisher Springer.
"Having personally lived through what may be among the most intensive slander, defamation and derision campaigns of the COVID crisis, none of what was described in this article surprised me," he wrote as he introduced the piece. "I expected the article to bring a tear of relief at being heard and validated, but instead it just left me numb."
While the article failed to mention any of several instances of mistreatment experienced by Malone, or several other prominent researchers and academics, being censored and defamed, Malone said that the article did include enough examples to prove just how pervasive the global effort was to silence COVID critics.
An abstract of the article notes:
The emergence of COVID-19 has led to numerous controversies over COVID-related knowledge and policy. To counter the perceived threat from doctors and scientists who challenge the official position of governmental and intergovernmental health authorities, some supporters of this orthodoxy have moved to censor those who promote dissenting views.
The aim of the present study is to explore the experiences and responses of highly accomplished doctors and research scientists from different countries who have been targets of suppression and/or censorship following their publications and statements in relation to COVID-19 that challenge official views. Our findings point to the central role played by media organizations, and especially by information technology companies, in attempting to stifle debate over COVID-19 policy and measures.
In the effort to silence alternative voices, widespread use was made not only of censorship, but of tactics of suppression that damaged the reputations and careers of dissenting doctors and scientists, regardless of their academic or medical status and regardless of their stature prior to expressing a contrary position. In place of open and fair discussion, censorship and suppression of scientific dissent has deleterious and far-reaching implications for medicine, science, and public health.
So, how did the situation develop in the first place, Malone asks. "Step by step," beginning with notable left-wing political figures including Barack Obama who normalized the demonization of anyone who questions the government.
The study revealed five key areas of silencing critics and tainting information that was made available to the public (or hidden from it):
"Cover-Up—Our findings show that this tactic was very prominent, which is not surprising, since, as Jansen and Martin noted, if people aren’t aware of censorship, they are not upset about it. The cover-up tactics included various methods. For example, using third-party sources such as other doctors or 'fact-checkers' to discredit dissident scientists and doctors. Since these sources are portrayed as independent, they help mask the real sources behind the censorship."
"Devaluation—This tactic was described by our study respondents and included various aspects, such as publishing false and disparaging claims about them, dismissing them from work in academia or medical institutions, and stripping them of various senior positions — all actions that were felt by our respondents to be intended to undermine their credibility and legitimacy. The tactic of devaluation, also known as a 'negative campaign' or a 'smear campaign,' is often used by corporations, and its aim is to harm the reputation of an individual or a group."
"Reinterpretation—This tactic involves framing censorship as a means of 'protecting the public' from the dissenting doctors and scientists, portraying them as 'misinformation spreaders' endangering public health in a time of crisis."
"Official Channels—As our respondents described, the censorship actions taken against them were only part of a wider range of silencing and repressive actions, which also included formal proceedings such as investigating or withdrawing their medical licenses, suing them or ordering a police search of their homes."
"Intimidation—The respondents interpreted all the above tactics as being intended to intimidate and deter them from continuing to publish their views and criticism, and also single them out in a way that implicitly invites harassment by others and serves as an example to other doctors and scientists."
Regarding the intimidation, some respondents said they became so concerned about it that they had to resort to posting on social media and elsewhere using fake names.
Malone concluded his piece with this advice: "Vote in this upcoming election. Like your children’s lives depend on it. Because they do."