The surgeon general calls on Big Tech to turn over Covid-19 misinformation data/ NY Times

This is truly frightening.  Misinformation (to be controlled via tech companies) is being treated as a crime, though never defined.  A bill has been introduced to give the tech companies cover to censor and turn over private data to government.  In other words, Congress may ‘legalize’ censorship and criminalize first amendment rights to freedom of speech.

U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), both members of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, on Wednesday introduced legislation to counter the threat that misinformation and disinformation pose to public health as evidenced by the widespread false narratives throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The Promoting Public Health Information Act would support efforts across the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and with outside stakeholders to communicate effectively during a public health emergency and address health misinformation.

Here is what Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) had to say about the bill:

“Throughout this pandemic, the impact of misinformation has been devastating. Rumors and conspiracy theories about the efficacy of masking or the safety of vaccines still run rampant on social media and have caused thousands of deaths that could have been prevented. This legislation will help us get smart about how to tackle misinformation and effectively promote science-based health information, especially as we continue fighting COVID-19 and prepare for future public health emergencies.”  

The feds are asking for detailed information about the demographics ‘exposed to misinformation.’  You know that obtaining the names of who is reading what is their next step. 

Furthermore, read the last paragraph in the NY Times article below, closely.  The feds want citizens to start ‘sharing’ information on misinformation.  Isn’t that sweet?  This is how they dress up the Stasi in 21st century euphemism to encourage ratting out your friends and neighbors.  Please share with the feds.  They care what you think.  

Really?  All they want is the names. You caught that, right?    

Dr. Vivek Murthy also demanded information from the platforms about the major sources of Covid-19 misinformation. Companies have until May 2 to submit the data.

President Biden’s surgeon general on Thursday formally requested that the major tech platforms submit information about the scale of Covid-19 misinformation on social networks, search engines, crowdsourced platforms, e-commerce platforms and instant messaging systems.

A request for information from the surgeon general’s office demanded that tech platforms send data and analysis on the prevalence of Covid-19 misinformation on their sites, starting with common examples of vaccine misinformation documented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The notice asks the companies to submit “exactly how many users saw or may have been exposed to instances of Covid-19 misinformation,” as well as aggregate data on demographics that may have been disproportionately exposed to or affected by the misinformation.

The surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, also demanded information from the platforms about the major sources of Covid-19 misinformation, including those that engaged in the sale of unproven Covid-19 products, services and treatments.

“Technology companies now have the opportunity to be open and transparent with the American people about the misinformation on their platforms,” Dr. Murthy said in an emailed statement. He added: “This is about protecting the nation’s health.

“Companies have until May 2 to submit the data. Denying requests for information does not carry a penalty, but the notice is the first formal request from the Biden administration of the tech companies to submit Covid-19 misinformation data, according to the surgeon general’s office.

Six months ago, Dr. Murthy used his first formal advisory to the United States to deliver a broadside against tech and social media companies, which he accused of not doing enough to stop the spread of dangerous health misinformation — especially about Covid-19. He called the misinformation “an urgent threat to public health.”

The request for information is part of President Biden’s Covid National Preparedness Plan, which the White House detailed on Wednesday and which is a road map for a new stage of the pandemic where Covid-19 causes “minimal disruption,” according to the White House. Mr. Biden first revealed details of the plan during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

In addition to demanding misinformation data from the tech platforms, the surgeon general called on health care providers and the public to submit information about how Covid-19 misinformation has negatively influenced patients and communities.

“We’re asking anyone with relevant insights — from original research and data sets to personal stories that speak to the role of misinformation in public health — to share them with us,” Dr. Murthy said.

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10 months ago

I suspect this is motivated in part by their desire to thwart future revelations and criticism of the administation's COVID policy and vaccination programs. The evidence that available is quiet damning and it's only going to get worse going forward.

So expect revelations about the actual scale of adverse events to be 'misinformation', criticism by international health authorities concerning the CDC's habit of lying and publishing dubious studies will be 'conspiracy theories', warnings against applying the same measures in the future will be 'misleading narratives', etc..

10 months ago

Dr. Nass, a compelling speech by Tulsi Gabbard recently at the CPAC convention(!), on this very topic:

I don't quite understand where Tulsi finds a political "home" at this point. But certainly her message is one that may resonate broadly and deserves to be shared widely.

10 months ago

Misinformation is simply anything that goes against a manufactured narrative.