For one, you cannot fairly compare the raw numbers of deaths for something that has only been around for 3 years to something that has existed for centuries if not millennia. There is no way in which either of these drugs is more deadly than COVID-19. Just looking at the numbers, we have 480,000 deaths from smoking in 2021, but more than 771,000 deaths from COVID-19. And, even then, they had to smoke for a long time for it to be that deadly for them.
But, even if this weren’t true, the stuff that was banned on Twitter was medical misinformation. Why would it be a problem if medical misinformation about tobacco and marijuana was banned from the platform? You’re the one who turned it into a requirement to portray those drugs negatively.
I could also see banning talk about smoking inside, blowing smoke into people’s faces, etc. which would be more akin to what antivaxxers and antimaskers are advocating. There is a moral difference between what risks you decide to take for yourself, and what risks are forced upon you. The main reason smoking ever got banned anywhere was its effects on others.
But, again, these things are far less deadly than COVID-19. I would suspect the reason this wasn’t obvious is the misinformation people spread about it.
To be sure, humans and our medical technology are both adapting. We’re trying to create cures for Covid, where we aren’t making for lung health, so we should expect the numbers to move around as time goes on.
But we could say that we’re going to just look at the two values during the time that they were at their worst - i.e., minus all outside intervention. There was some point where we didn’t have any medicines and where people were smoking freely and telling their friends to do the same.
From that, we could compute the average years of life that we would expect to lose across society. We could model how the disease spreads through physical proximity and we could model how the habit spreads through social interaction.
Well so, if someone says, “Nah, marijuana is safe. They’re lying to you, man.” Is that medical misinformation? I would say, “Yes.” And that is, as I understand it, the sort of thing that people have been blocked from saying and posting on these platforms. Likewise, the medical world would probably say that video games are unhealthy, that gambling is unhealthy, eating saturated fats is unhealthy, etc. Humans do lots of things that are bad ideas from a purely logical, scientific, medical view. Should I get banned for posting a recipe with butter in it? When I say that the doctors are scare mongering with their numbers about a 1% shorter expected lifespan, from a butter heavy diet, am I spreading medical misinformation? Should I be blocked for recommending salt lamps or aloe body treatments?
Now, note, I’m not saying that one of these answers is right or wrong. I’m saying that the cut-off point between personal lifestyle choices and getting people killed is not a clear and unambiguous thing.
Should people be swapping around information on how to construct nuclear weapons? Probably not. Should people be able to say that saturated fats are fine? So long as the information is out there, it’s up to the individual to evaluate it and we shouldn’t be heavy-handing them into the decision. Between those points, where to draw the line, is not a clear-cut answer.
The elderly are still dying of diseases that can be spread, today. Social isolation would save lives, if continued indefinitely, if we look at the question purely from the standpoint of saving at-risk people from spreadable diseases. But is it reasonable to only look at things from that one, single lens? We should also consider quality of life, personal freedoms, the health effects of isolation, etc.
And remember here that we’re not talking about the question of whether the government should do practical, preventative things like shutting down sports games and concerts, we’re simply talking about the right for people to complain, bitch, and BS on the internet.
For a disease with, say, a 2% death rate among the infirm, in a world where everyone is aware of the risks of interacting with the infirm, is it unreasonable for a business owner to decide that - if there’s no law saying otherwise - he’s free to treat his customers like adults, free to engage in nonsense.
If we’re not free to engage in nonsense, that probably gets rid of 99%+ of everything that everyone says.
No, we’re not. We’re talking about spreading medical misinformation that has killed over a million Americans in a couple years. We’re talking about the people who claimed that masks were dangerous, that vaccines are the real killers, that drugs like ivermectin help, that you deliberately catch COVID.
We are not talking about people who are merely complaining about the situation. No one on Twitter has been banned for saying it sucks they had to wear a mask or felt bad after their shot.
I don’t know where you got your information that leads you to believe that Twitter banned complaining or “bitching” about the pandemic and what we had to do to fight it. But you should very much question that source.
It doesn’t even make sense to think this. If it were true, then it wouldn’t just be the anti-vax, anti-mask side that were affected. All of us who were pro-vax but wanted to complain would be affected, to.
It’s always been about medical misinformation. Not people complaining.
Oh, and the rhetoric where you mention “only 2%” doesn’t make a lot of sense, either. That’s 7million Americans and 120 million people worldwide. We very much do try to prevent deaths for things at much lower rates than that. If 1 in 50 people you knew died, surely you wouldn’t act like it was no big deal.
I really hate that we’re still having to debunk antivax talking points like in the above paragraph.