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by Elizabeth Nolan Brown
The trouble with anointing Twitter and Facebook as gatekeepers of coronavirus truth. This is not a post about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data on COVID-19 being wrong. It is a post about the possibility that the CDC could be wrong—as any government agency or respected private authority might be—about some aspects of the coronavirus, and about how we address government-sponsored misinformation on social media.
In the past few years, a lot of Americans have decided that it’s the responsibility of popular tech platforms and apps to police the truth for their users. In a fog of notions about Russia and right-wing trolls, many left-leaning lawmakers, pundits, and politically active social media users demanded that Facebook, Twitter, and their ilk “fact-check” certain types of information, prioritize content from selected media and government sources, and downplay or entirely suppress content that counters experts’ claims.