Hochul Weaponizes ‘Media Literacy’ to Throttle Free Speech… Here’s How

November 28th, 2023 10:15 AM

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s newly released plan to fight so-called misinformation, disinformation and malinformation (“MDM”) came under quick condemnation from various quarters on social media over concerns that the plan marked the creation of a “Ministry of Truth.” However, the plan represents an even more draconian tool to silence free speech, all under the guise of “media literacy.” But what exactly is “media literacy”?

Announced as a plan to fight an alleged increase in islamophobia and anti-Semitism, Hochul deployed the state government to birth a “Media Literacy Tool Kit for K-12 Schools” aimed at teaching students and educators how to “spot conspiracy theories” online. “Media literacy,” as unveiled by MRC Free Speech America, is the latest buzzword in the left’s toolkit to thwart media critical of the Biden agenda and the Democratic Party. Outlets that pass left-wing rubrics are deemed reliable or credible, while those that break away from the left and legacy media narrative are slapped down as unreliable or lacking in credibility.

Related: MRC ORIGINAL: Media Literacy Firm Rigged to Favor Left-Wing Media

Hochul’s plan sounds eerily similar to the language used by leftist media ratings firms like NewsGuard and Ad Fontes, and blacklisting entities, like the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), all of which have been exposed for their extremist left-wing biases. Hochul even suggested that molding children to their agenda is the goal of the infamous “Media Literacy Tool Kit.”

“By teaching younger New Yorkers about how to discern between digital fact and digital fiction, we can better inoculate them from hatred and the spread of it,” Hochul claimed in her Nov. 21 press conference, before directing Jackie Bray, the commissioner of the state’s Homeland Security and Emergency Services to implement such tool. Echoing Hochul’s opening remarks, Bray claimed that “media literacy” will be used as a pre-law enforcement tool, aimed at making children less “susceptible” to so-called online disinformation. 

“It's about helping them recognize how to be smart about sources of information, about what's a primary source versus secondary source; what maybe does the person providing that content want you to think; what might be the agenda behind that; and how you can seek out trusted

Information,” Bray declared. When pressed about who will participate in the creation of such a “media literacy” plan, Bray hinted at the role of “academics” and alleged that New York will duplicate other states’ media literacy plans. 

Some of the companies taking a leading role in promoting media literacy requirements include Ad Fontes and NewsGuards, both of which became subject to MRC Free Speech America exposes. Take Ad Fontes, for example — the self-anointed arbiter of truth and facts which was found to cheerlead left-wing media while thrashing right-leaning media with scathingly low ratings. Notably, as shown in the testimonial page, Ad Fontes has successfully pushed its anti-conservative, anti-free speech ratings to some of the nation’s schools, including Chicago Public Schools, Kentridge High School and Lancaster High School.

Related: STUDY: NewsGuard Ratings System STILL Heavily Biased in Favor of Left-Wing Media Outlets

NewsGuard, the government-funded internet traffic cop, has been exposed — not once but twice — for disproportionately having skewed its ratings in favor of left-wing media outlets while consistently choking right-leaning outlets with negative scores for reliability.   

But wait, there’s more. As detailed by the Washington Examiner, GDI faced its share of disturbing allegations, reportedly publishing blacklists and advocating for the defunding of outlets such as the New York Post, The Daily Wire, Real Clear Politics and The Federalist.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.