Great article by Matt Taibbi on the dangers of censorship and the illusion that consensus on an issue leads to better results. While it is in the context of our current political climate and, of course, COVID-19, the message is no different than the findings of the Harvard Business Review when they conducted their study of the elements of an effective internal accountability system (discussed here): information is power. The Harvard study found that companies with fewer internal reports actually tended to have worse outcomes in terms of litigation and fines than those with more reported complaints. That study found that even reports that are secondhand or short on details have value and should be encouraged, as they can challenge internal assumptions about firm practices that may not be apparent to management.
In essence, this article takes a similar position with respect to the urge of some in the media to dismiss off-hand and, in some instances, remove contrary opinions from their platforms entirely with respect to the best way to handle COVID-19 - the problem with "elevating 'authoritative' news over less reputable sources" and, more recently, with removing those sources altogether from the public forum, is that it can create "exclusive ignorance, forced ignorance, ignorance with staying power." This is one of the many benefits of the First Amendment in this country - the creation of a marketplace of ideas where assumptions can be challenged to improve our understanding of complex issues.
Good ideas can withstand critical analysis and contrary opinions - not even COVID-19 can change that universal truth.
“Experts” get things wrong for reasons that are innocent (they’ve all been taught the same incorrect thing in school) and less so (they have a financial or professional interest in denying the truth). On the less nefarious side, the entire community of pollsters in 2016 denounced as infamous the idea that Donald Trump could win the Republican nomination, let alone the general election. They believed that because they weren’t paying attention, but also because they’d never seen anything similar. In a more suspicious example, if you asked a hundred Wall Street analysts in September 2008 what caused the financial crisis, probably no more than a handful would have mentioned fraud or malfeasance.