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Dr. Vivek Murthy's advisory -- the first under the Biden administration -- addresses an epidemic of misinformation and disinformation, and its pernicious impact on public health -- specifically threatening the U.S. response to COVID-19. It frames misinformation as having hindered vaccination efforts, sown mistrust, caused people to reject public health measures, use unproven treatments, prolonged the pandemic and put lives at risk.
The decision to elevate this issue in his first official advisory comes as some Republicans have used the government's coronavirus response and vaccine messaging as a political wedge.
While Murthy doesn't call out by name any of the Republican elected officials who have criticized a distorted interpretation of Biden administration's vaccine push, he does suggest accountable "stakeholders" in the fight against misinformation include public officeholders as important public messengers.
"Misinformation tends to flourish in environments of significant societal division, animosity, and distrust," the advisory says. "Distrust of the health care system due to experiences with racism and other inequities may make it easier for misinformation to spread in some communities. Growing polarization, including in the political sphere, may also contribute to the spread of misinformation."
The advisory also digs into social media platforms as having greatly contributed to the "unprecedented speed and scale" of misinformation's spread and Murthy calls on technology and social media companies to "take more responsibility to stop online spread of health misinformation."
"Health misinformation is an urgent threat to public health. It can cause confusion, sow mistrust, and undermine public health efforts, including our ongoing work to end the COVID-19 pandemic," Murthy said in a statement. "As Surgeon General, my job is to help people stay safe and healthy, and without limiting the spread of health misinformation, American lives are at risk ... tackling this challenge will require an all-of-society approach, but it is critical for the long-term health of our nation."
The advisory lays out how to better identify and avoid sharing health misinformation, engage with the community on the issue and develop local strategies against misinformation.
• Health professionals and health organizations can proactively engage with patients and the public by listening with empathy and correcting misinformation in personalized ways. The advisory suggests using social media and partnering with community groups to get out accurate information.
• Governments can prevent and address misinformation by finding "common ground on difficult questions," increasing investment in research, fact checking and engaging in rumor control. Murthy advised partnering with trusted messengers, using proactive messaging and community engagement strategies. Health teams should identify local misinformation patterns and train public health misinformation researchers.
• Technology platforms can assess benefits and harms of how their products are built and "take responsibility for addressing the harms;" strengthen their monitoring of misinformation and improve transparency; and proactively address information deficits. The companies could also prioritize early detection of misinformation "super-spreaders" or repeat offenders, and amplify trusted messenger, prioritizing protecting health professionals, journalists and others from online harassment.
• Journalists and media organizations can make sure their teams are trained in recognizing, debunking and avoiding amplification of misinformation by carefully reviewing materials that have not been peer reviewed.
• Educators and schools can shore up evidence-based programs that build a "resilience" to misinformation by teaching people how to be more discerning about it and talk to friends and family who are sharing misinformation.
• Foundations can provide training and resources for grantees working in communities that are disproportionately affected by misinformation, including areas with lower vaccine confidence, and monitoring health misinformation across multiple languages.
• Researchers and research institutions can strengthen their monitoring of health questions and concerns, assess the impact that misinformation might be having and tailor interventions to the needs of specific populations, with an understanding of how people are exposed to and affected by misinformation.
Surgeon general warns misinformation an 'urgent threat' to public health
As the ruling class went to absurd lengths to try and dismantle Donald Trump, pissed off supporters watched in horror as a captured media peddled lie after lie - typically based on anonymous leaks from deep state bureaucrats, and as powerful agents within America's intelligence apparatus falsified evidence and collaborated with foreign operatives paid by Trump's political opponents.
In doing so, they exposed themselves to anyone not already paying attention.....
originally posted by: network dude
Is there any chance at all, that the natural immunity you get when you have covid and recover from it plays any part at all in the big picture here?
originally posted by: TritonTaranis
Misinformation at this point means a propaganda and narratives which failed to penetrate the none stupids of society
The government hasn’t been honest about COVID19 since the beginning, still isn’t, the fact they think the whole country ages groups world need the vaccines is the most insane thing I’ve ever experienced in life to date
This is the environment they themselves have created with now many years of lies lies lies and propaganda, tbh I think at this point it’s probably impacted me personally so much I’d never trust them ever again, unless they come out with a good excuse to have lied for so long