Majority Of COVID Misinformation Came From Just 12 People

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Published on 24 Jul 2021, 16:57
According to new reporting, the majority of COVID misinformation in the United States came from just 12 people. This misinformation has spread like wildfire on social media, prompting President Biden to come out this past week and say that these media outlets are now killing people with misinformation. There's a split about how to handle the misinformation on these platforms, but it is clear that something needs to be done about it. Ring of Fire's Farron Cousins discusses this.

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*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

According to a recent report from the center for countering digital hate, the majority, majority of COVID misinformation here in the United States has come from just 12 individuals, 12 people as they call the disinformation dozen are responsible for most of the COVID misinformation, both about the disease and the vaccine here in the United States. It's being shared on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, other social media platforms. And here's just a taste of what's happening. On Facebook alone, the dozen are responsible for 73% of all anti-vaccine content though the vaccines have been deemed safe and effective by the US government and its regulatory agencies. And 95% of the COVID misinformation reported on these platforms was not removed. So even though it was misinformation, 95% of it got to stay, and that kind of ties into what Joe Biden said this past weekend about social media platforms being responsible for all this death.

And I'll get to that in just a little bit. But, but here's the thing among the dozen are physicians that have embraced pseudoscience, a bodybuilder, a wellness blogger, a religious zealot, and most notably Robert F. Kennedy Jr. the nephew of John F. Kennedy, who also, I'm sure long-term Ring of Fire fans know used to be the co-host of Ring of Fire radio. In fact, Bobby founded Ring of Fire with Mike Papantonio. I fundamentally, by the way, disagree with Bobby's complete take on vaccines. You Know, I, I do not believe that any of the science is actually out there to back these things up. This is something he and I have disagreed on many times in the past. He is no longer affiliated, by the way, with Ring of Fire, he left us many years ago. Hold no ill will towards him, but this is dangerous. I do believe what he is saying out there is very dangerous. And I do believe based on the available evidence that it's also not true.

But back to the other point, right, Biden came out this past weekend, tells us that social media platforms are out there actively killing people, effectively, by allowing this misinformation to live out there. And then the administration, you know, Jen Psaki, I believe it was, you know, said, maybe we gotta remove this. And that's, that's where things got a little iffy, right? When the government is openly considering like maybe we need to crack down and force these social media companies to remove these posts. That's the slippery slope, right? That's the thing we have to avoid. No, the government cannot come in and tell these platforms, you have to remove these posts. That's when you do get into the government censorship part of it. But something also does have to be done. So what's the solution here because we can't have the government censoring social media platforms. We cannot. That is absolutely, that's not even a slippery slope.

That's a straight cliff that we would all be jumping off of if we allowed that to happen. So that's not a viable option. That's a terrifying option that would result in mass censorship, that would basically sway depending on which party controls the government. So we can't have that, but at the same time, we can't have people like the disinformation dozen, as the report calls them, out there spreading this kind of misinformation.