The Biden administration is demanding to know everything that Big Tech knows about the spread of COVID-19 information of which it disapproves.
Surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy issued a formal request to tech companies to give the government what it wants by May 2, according to The New York Times.
In January, Murthy had said in an MSNBC appearance that it was vital to “use the power that we have to limit the spread of misinformation” when asked about podcaster Joe Rogan, whom some on the left have attacked for supposedly spreading misinformation about COVID-19.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 25, 2022
Thursday’s demand called for data about social networks, search engines, crowdsourced platforms, e-commerce platforms and messaging systems, according to the Times, which said it had seen the notice.
Companies were told to submit “exactly how many users saw or may have been exposed to instances of COVID-19 misinformation.”
The Biden White House also wants to aggregate data on demographic groups that could be said to have been disproportionately impacted by what it describes as “misinformation.”
The collaboration between government and big tech to suppress the covid policy debate is a de facto Ministry of Truth.
Yesterday’s “misinformation” is today’s fact… Did lockdowns kill? How did the plexiglass, cloth masks, & 6 ft distancing work out? https://t.co/ecOhvKn5SN
— Jay Bhattacharya (@DrJBhattacharya) March 3, 2022
Big Tech has been ordered to name names of top misinformation sources, the Times reported.
“Technology companies now have the opportunity to be open and transparent with the American people about the misinformation on their platforms,” Murthy said in an emailed statement. “This is about protecting the nation’s health.”
The surgeon general also wants health care providers and Americans at large to explain how people and communities have been harmed by misinformation.
“We’re asking anyone with relevant insights — from original research and data sets to personal stories that speak to the role of misinformation in public health — to share them with us,” he said.
Last year, Murthy called COVID-19 misinformation “an urgent threat to public health.”
As noted by The Hill, the Biden administration has made war on whatever it calls health misinformation a part of its pandemic policy.
The White House’s COVID plan says it “will continue its work to equip Americans with the tools to identify misinformation and to invest in longer-term efforts to build resilience against health misinformation.”
In January, conservative columnist David Harsanyi said the misinformation battle is not one the Biden administration should be waging.
“Alleged ‘misinformation’ is often perfectly reasonable inquiry or theorizing,” he wrote. “Even if it isn’t, the state is not the final adjudicator of the veracity of speech. And anyway, we’re free to discuss every harebrained idea we desire.
“Health officials and the media have done more to corrode trust in science and government during the COVID era than any conspiracy theorist on social media. Americans aren’t sure where to turn, so they often turn to unreliable sources.
“As with the media, however, the best way for Murthy to fight the spread of undependable information is to rebuild the credibility of his own institution.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.