Herring calls on Facebook, Twitter to halt spread of COVID ‘disinformation’
There’s a fine line between “disinformation” and vigorous and ethical debate presenting competing viewpoints.
A coalition of 12 state attorneys general that includes Virginia AG Mark Herring is erring on the side of labeling questions raised about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines as blanket “disinformation.”
The group is touting its effort to get Facebook and Twitter to take stronger measures to stop the spread of what it labels “disinformation” on the COVID-19 vaccines on their social media platforms.
In letters to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Herring and his colleagues urge both CEOs to immediately and fully enforce company guidelines against vaccine misinformation to prevent needless infection and death and to hasten our road to recovery.
“The only way that we will be able to get back to normal as a country is through widespread use of safe, effective vaccinations, which is why it’s so important that everyone who can be vaccinated is,” Herring said. “The spread of misinformation about COVID vaccines over social media sites like Facebook and Twitter could be detrimental to the national effort to end the coronavirus pandemic.
“Facebook, Twitter and other platforms must take this seriously and enforce their guidelines for restricting or removing disinformation about the COVID vaccine so we can return to normal life as quickly and safely as possible,” Herring said.
No doubt: the path to normal is through the vaccines, if even that is the path to normal, considering what you could term “disinformation” being highlighted by pseudo-scientists on Facebook and Twitter who claim that we should still be on lockdown into 2022 once we’ve reached herd immunity through vaccinations.
But that said, the reasonable among us seem to agree: the more we vaccinate, the quicker we can get to normal.
Honestly, it does feel a tad bit political to only go after the anti-vaxxers, and leave the Dr. Eric Feigl-Dings of the world out of the crosshairs.
The presser touting the coalition’s letter cites specific examples where Facebook and Twitter have failed to enforce their existing guidelines that includes near the top of the list a guy named Larry Cook, who I only know now after having done a Google search that tells me that he had created a Facebook group that had amassed 195,000 followers before being taken down in November.
Feigl-Ding, fond of ALL CAPS dire warnings and proclamations, grew his Twitter following from 2,000 pre-pandemic to nearly half a million today, despite not really being an expert in infectious disease, as his infectious disease-credentialed critics constantly point out.
Point being not to pick on Feigl-Ding. You almost want to feel sorry for him and for whoever this Larry Cook guy is that they’ve reduced themselves to schlepping their pseudo-intellectualism for clicks, for influence – and it all comes down to being able to monetize those things down the road.
There’s value to limiting the influence of these charlatans.
It’s just that, there are so damn many of them.
Story by Chris Graham