US health agencies demand misinformation data on COVID issues

US health agencies demand misinformation data on COVID issues

WASHINGTON, March 3 (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the Surgeon General will request data on misinformation about COVID-19 online, as they seek to understand the role it has played during the pandemic and its impact on the health decisions people make.

The agencies will issue a Request for Information (RFI) on Thursday to gather public comment and data within 60 days from interested parties such as academic institutions, advocacy groups, government agencies and community organizations.

“This RFI seeks to understand the impact of misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and the unique role that social media technologies and platforms play in disseminating critical health information during a health emergency,” they said. said the agencies.

RFI will seek details on the prevalence of COVID misinformation on tech platforms, their policies against such content, and sources spreading lies online.

It will also seek data on how this content affects trust in the healthcare system, healthcare worker morale, and implications for future public health emergencies.

Reuters reported in February that the White House had softened its fight against vaccine misinformation after Biden last year accused Facebook of “killing people” by spreading lies about vaccines.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Joanna Casas in Spanish)

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