In a new report titled, “Confronting Health Misinformation,” President Biden’s U.S. Surgeon General has recommended that Big Tech companies — such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube — impose consequences for accounts that violate the private companies’ own policies.
In a section titled “What Technology Platforms Can Do,” Surgeon General Vivek Murthy outlined a list of suggested “product design and policy changes” technology platforms should focus upon to “slow the spread of misinformation.” According to the office of the surgeon general, health misinformation can be defined as “information that is false, inaccurate, or misleading according to the best available evidence.”
“Health misinformation is an urgent threat to public health. It can cause confusion, sow mistrust, and undermine public health efforts, including our ongoing work to end the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Murthy in a statement Thursday. “As Surgeon General, my job is to help people stay safe and healthy, and without limiting the spread of health misinformation, American lives are at risk. From