The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), through its Rumor Control Hub (RCH), is encouraging Americans to snitch on individuals purportedly spreading "misinformation" online.
Children's Health Defense (CHD) reported in a June 6 post on its Defendernewsletter that the FDA updated its RCH, which was first launched in August 2022. The updated hub included a new video that defines misinformation as information that is "false, inaccurate, or misleading … spreading intentionally and unintentionally."
"Some individuals and organizations promote opinions online disguised as fact," the regulator claimed, adding that misinformation spreads "six times faster than facts." It also expressed concern that "'health misinformation' is negatively impacting the public's health." Given this, the FDA said the new RCH provides the public with tools to identify and report misinformation they see.
The video on the RCH warned that people may be misled by headlines or out-of-context statements, particularly when a trusted person statement. It noted three types of "authoritative" sources – medical journals, a non-profit "fact checker" or a government website – that the public can turn to to verify if a statement is true or not.
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CHD also mentioned that the RCH includes links for reporting misinformation on all major social media platforms. Users who follow the links can find instructions on how to mark posts as "false news," "false information" or "inappropriate content" depending on the website. (Related: FDA commissioners demand new tools to fight online "misinformation.")
However, some users denounced the hub as a platform for snitching – among them British anti-lockdown activist Bernie Spofforth. She tweeted: "Those following the narrative can snitch to the [U.S.] government about all those who question or disagree with them."
Board-certified internist Dr. Meryl Nass also denounced the RCH. "Misinformation is whatever the government does not want you to know," she wrote on her Substack.
"The federal government continues to try and fool the public into thinking misinformation is a dire problem and a crime. Clearly, the feds are getting nervous that their cons on the people are being recognized."
FDA head claims misinformation is a leading cause of preventable death in America
According to CHD, the anti-misinformation hub is part of a bigger effort spearheaded by incumbent FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf. He served as the regulator's head during the Obama administration from 2016 to 2017. President Joe Biden reappointed him for a second time in February 2022.
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Califf has made combating "misinformation" one of his top priorities, arguing that it is "a leading cause of preventable death in America now." But the FDA commissioner later said this claim "cannot be proved."
In an August 2022 article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Califf lamented the impact of misinformation on public health at large. He wrote: "One immediate result of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is greatly expanded access to digital information. However, the global information environment has been contaminated by mis- and disinformation."
The commissioner ultimately urged the FDA to "be more proactive in preempting and countering misinformation." CHD noted that in line with this, Califf remarked that he believes "in the power of social media being used for good."
The health freedom group cited social media efforts by the regulator. According to CHD, the FDA "uses Twitter to tweet about misinformation, and Instagram to post memes encouraging vaccination." The regulator also created a series of fact-checking YouTube videos titled "Just a Minute." The clips featured Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, addressing several "myths" about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).
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This article was written by Ramon Tomey and reposted from NewsTarget.
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