Twitter Allowing COVID “Misinformation” Is A Grave Risk Or Something

As we’ve seen, most of what they called misinformation turned out to be factually correct. Like when health professionals said masking most people, including kids, was unnecessary. That the vaccines wouldn’t stop people from getting COVID. That there was no reason to have anyone other than the elderly and with pre=existing conditions from isolating. And so much more. But, this is not the first time the authoritarian nags have gotten upset. They’ve been saying that allowing people their free speech is Dangerous since 2020

Twitter lifted its ban on COVID misinformation – research shows this is a grave risk to public health

Twitter’s decision to no longer enforce its COVID-19 misinformation policy, quietly posted on the site’s rules page and listed as effective Nov. 23, 2022, has researchers and experts in public health seriously concerned about the possible repercussions.

These would be the same people who initially said that masks were unnecessary unless you were sick, then said wear a mask if you were inside and going to be near people, then wear them all the time inside even if you are nowhere near anyone else, then wear them outside, then double mask, then wear an N95. All while so often getting caught not wearing one themselves. And that the vaccines were totally safe. And that they stopped people from getting COVID. And that buying seeds to garden was dangerous

As a researcher who studies social media, I believe that reducing content moderation is a significant step in the wrong direction, especially in light of the uphill battle social media platforms face in combating misinformation and disinformation. And the stakes are especially high in combating medical misinformation.

Then buy Twitter yourself. Or, debunk what people are putting out. Prove your case. Shutting people down is wrong.

There are three key differences between earlier forms of misinformation and misinformation spread on social media.

First, social media enables misinformation to spread at a much greater scale, speed and scope.

Second, content that is sensational and likely to trigger emotions is more likely to go viral on social media, making falsehoods easier to spread than the truth.

Third, digital platforms such as Twitter play a gatekeeping role in the way they aggregate, curate and amplify content. This means that misinformation on emotionally triggering topics such as vaccines can readily gain attention.

Funny, the same people demanding that everyone be censored now had no problem with all the 9/11 Truther stuff, as well as the proven fake Russian collusion garbage.

In 2021, a U.S. Surgeon General’s advisory identified that social media platforms’ content moderation policies need to:

  • pay attention to the design of recommendation algorithms.
  • prioritize early detection of misinformation.
  • amplify information from credible sources of online health information.

These priorities require partnerships between healthcare organizations and social media platforms to develop best practice guidelines to address healthcare misinformation. Developing and enforcing effective content moderation policies takes planning and resources.

Let them buy social media companies. And that looks like the government attempting to censor citizen’s voices. The very fact is is that people spread misinformation well before social media, and we do not need government, companies, or powerful entities dictating what we can say or think. Even if wrong.

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27 Responses to “Twitter Allowing COVID “Misinformation” Is A Grave Risk Or Something”

  1. Now that Elon Musk has hopped in bed with the Trumpsters, (what timing, right as the wheels are coming off), are you still going to goof on his cars, or are they cool now?

    Doesn’t purporting all this disingenuous BS give you a headache?

    Enjoy the ride down

  2. Dana says:

    Our distinguished host got the date wrong:

    But, this is not the first time the authoritarian nags have gotten upset. They’ve been saying that allowing people their free speech is Dangerous since 2020

    Try 2016, or earlier, instead.

    Freedom of Speech and of the Press was fine, right up until 2004, when independent bloggers spotted CBS News using forged, obviously forged, documents to try and take down President Bush. Suddenly, Powerline and Little Green Footballs were publishing on their own, as independent sites, and out of the reach of the “gatekeepers”, the editors who could determine what would, and would not, be published.

    Or perhaps as far back as 1988, when Rush Limbaugh began his syndicated broadcast, and helped the GOP to take control of Congress following the 1994 elections.

    I’m old enough to remember the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, when the left was saying that Freedom of Speech should be absolute . . . when they weren’t in power. Now that the left control so much of publishing, their support for freedom of speech, at least as it pertains to other people, isn’t so strong.

    • Elwood P. Dowd says:

      Freedom of speech was never absolute. In general, censorship is a government tool. The courts have backed that private entities, e.g., businesses, schools, kids, moms and dads, newspapers, blogs, websites, can make editorial decisions.

      As a nation, we censor some speech. Fighting words, defamation, child porn, threats, criminal behavior (perjury, harassment, extortion), violations of copyrights/trademarks, noise violations, where and when protestors can congregate, commercial speech.

      Every news source makes honest mistakes, dishonest claims, exaggerations, lies, biased slants etc. The answer is not government censorship but criticism to counter the misinformation and disinformation.

      Of course, it would be better if people didn’t lie, exaggerate or slant, but that’s not how humans operate – especially when there are differences of opinion. But the answer is NOT Iran- Russia- or China-style control of information.

      So, what is different today than when thoughts were posted on lampposts or shouted from the soapboxes in the town square? Technology. twitter, facebook, blog after blog, 24 hr cable/streaming television, podcasts, cell phones…

      There is a legitimate and important argument to be made regarding the impact of these new technologies on society. Should ‘free speech’ depend on the whims of what billionaire owns a platform? Is a twitter so powerful an influence that it should be nationalized and no longer able to exercise editorial control? Conservatives said Yes! BM (Before Musk) and libs said no.

      Mr Dana’s noting of the now rather quaint kerfuffle involving CBS’s Dan Rather used likely forged documents. Rather and his producer were fired and CBS issued an admission and apology.

      Has the leader of right-wing media, The Gateway Pundit, ever printed a retraction, ever fired a “journalist”, ever apologized for using forged documents? LOL.

      The government did not fire Rather just as they shouldn’t close the odious Gateway Pundit.

      CBS is an order of magnitude more reliable than Gateway, Daily Stormer or InfoWars combined. Note too that InfoWars was found liable over $1 billion in damages to the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook child massacre. Gateway is fighting lawsuits over their lies.

      Did the odious Larry Johnson (noquarter) or jimhoft ever apologize for the hoax around Michelle Obama’s so-called ‘whitey tape”? Almost 15 years later?

      White wingers promote their lies and BS without consequence other than mockery. And that’s the way it should be!

      Teach considers twitter blocking abusers of their terms to be an attack on free speech, LOL. What does he think of billionaire Musk banning trump friend Kanye (now Ye) for his anti-Semitic rants? How dare Musk keep patriots from hearing the wisdom of Ye? Freedom!!

      BTW, Teach has blocked commenters here. Hypocrite.

      • drowningpuppies says:

        Rimjob:Of course, it would be better if people didn’t lie (along with the rest of your insincere copy&paste)…

        You’re right. We’ve all had enough of the bullshit from the illegitimate Biden regime.

        Bwaha! Lolgf

        • Elwood P. Dowd says:

          Dickbreath (aka Teach’s lappuppy): Please point out what was copied and pasted, dickbreath, and while you’re at it please cite your own copy&paste jobs.

          Read Newt Gingrich‘s latest on Biden. He’s tired of Biden kicking Republican ass up and down main street. He compares Biden to Eisenhower and Reagan!! LOL. His main point is the right needs to pull their heads out of trump’s fat ass (without once mentioning trump by name) and concentrate on what’s important. Newt is scared the reasonable Dems will swamp the crazy wingers.


          However, conservatives’ hostility to the Biden administration on our terms tends to blind us to just how effective Biden has been on his terms. He has only built upon and fortified the left-wing Big Government Socialist woke culture system.

          We dislike Biden so much, we pettily focus on his speaking difficulties, sometimes strange behavior, clear lapses of memory, and other personal flaws. Our aversion to him and his policies makes us underestimate him and the Democrats.

          But remember: Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan both preferred to be underestimated. Both wanted people to think of them as pleasant – but not dangerous. They found being underestimated was a major asset. While people laughed at them, they were busy achieving their goals and getting their programs implemented.

          Biden has achieved something similar.

          We’ve noticed your fascination with child sexual abuse. Who abused you? Uncle david? A Teacher? Priest Dana? Daddy Donald? Did you ever seek counseling?

      • CarolAnn says:

        I haven’t been here long so please list those who Teach blocked, for how long and why. Keep in mind this is a blog not a social media site, it’s costs are completely born by Teach and you are here at his discretion. You are lucky he believes in free speech. Name a leftist site that tolerates as much crap from patriots as Teach does from you.

        • Elwood P. Dowd says:

          It was a progressive commenter who went by ‘Bear’ or similar. He didn’t violate Teach’s ‘The Code’. They haven’t been back since, so it was either permanent or they gave up.

          Ye can rant and rave at me but be mostly polite to any other commentors. I will put up with quite a bit but be mostly respectful to others.

          He may have been one progressive too many.

          I have often complimented Teach on his allowances. I have no idea what happens on leftist sites. I do know that the Gateway Pundit blocks anyone who criticizes him. Ask the odious jimhoft whatever happened to Michelle Obama’s infamous ‘whitey tape’?

        • david7134 says:

          he blocked the bear. Really a bad guy.

          • Elwood P. Dowd says:

            The Bear was not nasty or abusive, except to winger ideas! As I recall he was quite mocking of you.

            Wingers like daffy consider anyone who shows them up to be “really a bad guy”.

            Some con-mentors here are adept at finding previous comments. Perhaps they can find the worst of his comments.

          • david7134 says:

            Carol Ann,
            As you can see, Jeff will take the opposite view on anything. Many thought that bear was actually Jeff as the had the same world view of totalitarian government and destruction of our wealth and well being. Bear was just extremely abrasive and crude. I don’t think many of the same people are here now. Bear did try to drive people away just like Jeff.

          • Elwood P. Dowd says:

            daffy is lying again, but it’s what he/she does.

  3. H says:

    All media companies are in business to make profits.
    Musk thinks that by owning Twitter he will be able to “cram EVs down the throats of Americans” the value of Tesla shares has dropped 50% even as sales go up.
    Should all speech be free?
    Military and atomic secrets?
    All pornography?
    Speech that violates intellectual or property rights?
    True threats?
    Incitement to violence?
    Fraud through medical misinformation?

    • drowningpuppies says:

      Fraud through medical misinformation?
      Kinda like this, Johnnie boy?

      “When people are vaccinated they’re not going to get infected.”
      — Dr.(?)Anthony Fauci (NIAID Director)

      “You’re not going to get Covid if you have these vaccinations.”
      — Joe Biden (*POTUS)

      “Vaccinated people do not carry the virus and don’t get sick.”
      — Rochelle Walensky, MD (CDC Director)

      “There is no variant that escapes the protection of our vaccines.”
      — Albert Bourla (Pfizer CEO)

      Bwaha! Lolgf

  4. Hairy says:

    Free speech?
    Why use kismet?
    We demand un restricted access to fake Rolex watches!!
    Don’t restrict our access ! Free speech
    rolexes for all not just the elites

    • L.G.Brandon!, L.G.Brandon! says:

      H, you do realize you have unrestricted access to fake Rolexes? And as far as authentic Rolex watches are concerned you are only restricted by how much you can afford.

      It’s amazing how you commies worry about Rolexes when working people are worried over the price of food, fuel and heat.

      Trump’24. Overturn the steal.

      • Elwood P. Dowd says:

        Trump/Ye ’24


        Do you STILL believe that the election was stolen? Are you that dense?

        • david7134 says:

          No, the election was definitely stolen. Only an absolute idiot would feel different.

          • Elwood P. Dowd says:

            Only a mentally ill person would still claim the election was stolen.

            tRump-Fuentes ’24

          • drowningpuppies says:

            Speaking of the mentally ill.
            Yeah, Rimjob, tell us once again how Trump colluded with Putin to win the Presidency in 2016.
            You really are funny.

            Bwaha! Lolgf

  5. James Lewis says:

    Dear Elwood:

    You wrote: “The courts have backed that private entities, e.g., businesses, schools, kids, moms and dads, newspapers, blogs, websites, can make editorial decisions.”

    The difference between the so-called social media and your examples is that the examples can easily be sued. Social media? Not so much. In fact, Congress passed a law protecting them.

    “There is a legitimate and important argument to be made regarding the impact of these new technologies on society. Should ‘free speech’ depend on the whims of what billionaire owns a platform? Is a twitter so powerful an influence that it should be nationalized and no longer able to exercise editorial control? Conservatives said Yes! BM (Before Musk) and libs said no.”

    There should be no argument. If the owners of the platforms allow them to violate constitutional law they should be shut down AFTER THE USSC reviews the decision. But there should be no government employee deciding what can be published or who can post.

    Truth be told, I’ve seen as much misinformation from people opposed to the vaccines/masks, etc., as I have from the government.

    Fauci lied for “our own good.” That was and is not acceptable. Nor was shutting down the country based on bad information. Guessing that your parachute will open is not a good plan. Neither was ignoring factual information that the disease was highly deadly for the elderly and immune compromised but not for the healthy and young and then trying to push the vaccines on the young and healthy.

    But that doesn’t mean that your girlfriend’s hairdresser’s boyfriend’s second cousin who failed 10th grade biology should be influencing your health care decisions. We do have these people called “Doctors.”

    However, freedom is not without perils, especially to the stupid, and if individuals want to ignore good advice, then they should be allowed to do so.

    The rub comes in when those demanding 100% freedom suffer from their actions and potentially harm others. And anger flares when the government, based on poor and often wrong information decides to influence, and sometimes force, the individual’s actions.

    The Left wants to control. The Right does not.

    There isn’t much room for compromise. And that’s scary.

    Our country was founded based on the assumption that the populace would have common sense.

    We have lost that.

    And that is really really really scary.

  6. James Lewis says:

    Dear H:

    Telsa stock has increased in price 837% in the past 5 years.

    The Constitution protects “political” speech, not “commercial” speech.

    Your problem is that you don’t understand the difference.

  7. James Lewis says:

    Dear dp:

    ““Vaccinated people do not carry the virus and don’t get sick.”
    — Rochelle Walensky, MD (CDC Director)”

    The problem with these off the cuff comments amplified by the media’s desire for 20 second sound bites giving then click bites is that part of it was right. Part wrong.

    People vaccinated with mRNA vaccines do not carry the virus because neither live nor dead viruses are in the vaccine. Live virsuses were carried in the early polio and flu vaccines. That should have been explained by Walensky.

    In 12/2020 the CDC/FDA explained that the vaccines’ efficacy was around 90%, less in the real world.
    That meant that a certain number of people would not be immunized and could become infected.
    That also should have been explained.

    Why did the CDC/FDA et al not explain this over and over and over I do not know. But I have theories.

    Some people would use this as reasons to not take the vaccine and they wanted to push the vaccine.

    So it was for our “own good.”

    Same excuse Fauci used for lying about masks not being needed… He claimed to believe we wouldn’t have enough to be used to protect healthcare and first responders…. He was wrong and finally admitted it.

    • Professor Hale says:

      He was wrong and finally admitted it.

      He wasn’t wrong. He was lying. He was deliberately misleading the public about critical health information because he felt no loyalty or empathy for the American People.

    • drowningpuppies says:

      The problem with these off the cuff comments… is that part of it was right. Part wrong.

      Yes, but she did say that.
      As did the others who were quoted.

      Bwaha! Lolgf
      Bwaha! Lolgf

  8. L.G.Brandon!, L.G.Brandon! says:

    The problem with these off the cuff comments… is that part of it was right. Part wrong.

    You don’t see the irony in that statement, drowningpuppies?

    Looks like dowd is rooting for Trump ’24. Cool!

    • James Lewis says:


      That was my comment, not dowd’s

      My intent was to point out that we had all these conflicting statements, some right and some wrong.

      Were all of them deliberate lies? Some were. Others were just people answering questions that required complex answers with simple answers that misled.

      I don’t have a list of people I would like to see punished for their actions but if I did Fauci would be on the top. And followed by a cast of media and politicians and yes, some doctors and other individuals who made false claims.

  9. L.G.Brandon!, L.G.Brandon! says:

    I was referring to this comment, James Lewis.

    Elwood P. Dowd says:
    December 2, 2022 at 5:43 pm
    Only a mentally ill person would still claim the election was stolen.

    tRump-Fuentes ’24

    It’s nice to have even a knucklehead like dowd on board.

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