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U.S. Surgeon General Assails Tech Companies Over Misinformation on COVID-19


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Key Points


On Thursday, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory which calls upon social media users and big tech companies to essentially keep doing what they’re doing: censorship under the guise of “misinformation.”

Murthy told reporters, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, health misinformation has led people to resist wearing masks in high-risk settings. It’s led them to turn down proven treatment and to choose not to get vaccinated. This has led to avoidable illnesses and deaths.”

While touting danger in “misinformation” Murthy uses the incredibly dangerous and manipulative words “proven” and “avoidable.” Nonetheless, despite his own pointed rhetoric, he says misinformation on social media is “one of the biggest obstacles that’s preventing us from ending this pandemic.”

In his 22-page advisory, titled “Confronting Health Misinformation: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on Building a Healthy Information Environment”, Murthy rallies the science seeking warriors. “Together, we have the power to build a healthier information environment” the advisory states.

Murthy gives a few examples of efforts which he believes have addressed health misinformation such as “some technology platforms have improved efforts to monitor and address misinformation by reducing the distribution of false or misleading posts and directing users to health information from credible sources.”

The extensive censorship of conservative thought by big tech companies has not gone far enough, demands Murthy. “But there is much more to be done, and each of us has a role to play. Before posting or sharing an item on social media, for example, we can take a moment to verify whether the information is accurate and whether the original source is trustworthy” states page six of the advisory.

Sure, we’ll just call up the Wuhan Institute of Virology and ask for some clarification. Murthy goes on, and “If we’re not sure, we can choose not to share. When talking to friends and family who have misperceptions, we can ask questions to understand their concerns, listen with empathy, and offer guidance on finding sources of accurate information.”

Murthy, who also served as surgeon general under former President Barack Obama, has made a fortune in the past year alone spreading his non-misinformation. The Washington Post reported Murthy was paid over $2 million last year for speeches and consulting related to the coronavirus. Some of his high-profile clients included Netflix who paid him over $540,000 in consulting fees, as well as $410,000 from Airbnb and $400,000 from Carnival. Airbnb publicized that it had hired Murthy and other health experts to assist in developing the company’s “Enhanced Cleaning Initiative” during the pandemic.