Yesterday morning, I mentioned in both the Owl and Tweets comment section that I had a somewhat challenging conversation with my son who dances on the edges of cult 45, Q-theories, and fuck the police chants. Which in turn gives me whiplash, but that’s a story for another day!
During our challenging conversation, he said, that he absolutely believes the 2020 Presidential Election was rigged! I of course asked how come he thought that and he said he read something on Facebook… 🙄
Anyhoo, I wasn’t surprised by either thing, cause it’s been challenging conversations in my family circle since 2015…well, in fairness it didn’t really become a challenge until December 2015, when we all say that first primary Republican debate with Impeached Twice 45 being crowned the “winner”.
But, my story isn’t new or different than most of our stories here at the Blender, so, moving on from my rambling about myself.
Let’s talk about the Arizona Audit that isn’t a real audit.
On July, 15th, 2021, Arizona held an State Senate hearing with the CyberNotNinja’s to get an idea of what their NotAnActualAudit has found so far. The hashtag #AZAudit was trending on Twitter and I clicked it!
I’m not going to flood the thread with dumbshit I saw, you’re welcome, but here are some examples:
Apologies? They have to reinstate him!— Gettr: @ligiaelenagv🇻🇪🇺🇸🌎 (@ligiaelenagv) July 16, 2021
It seems that the two big stories coming out of the election audit hearing is that 74,000 plus ballots were returned with no record of them being sent out, and…
Side bar: I got to the Bobblehead tweet cause BigJohn, I think it was, shared this…
Now, to the second big breaking news, did YouTube, take down the AZ audit???
I found two, plus one more from today that was posted yesterday…
Yeah, YouTube, totally took it down, y’all.
This morning, with my first cup of coffee, I’m now somewhere around my 3rd or 4th cup, I found this AP News article.
The firm’s CEO Doug Logan used the baseless claim to urge legislators to subpoena more records and canvass voters at home, grasping for evidence of fraud even as a hand count of a statistical sample of ballots and two post-election audits showed no proof of wrongdoing in Maricopa County’s election.
CLAIM: Arizona’s largest county in the 2020 election received and counted 74,000 mail-in ballots that had no record of ever being sent out to voters.
False. The claim mischaracterizes reports that are intended to help political parties track early voters for their get-out-the-vote efforts, not tally mail-in ballots through Election Day. The reports don’t represent all mail-in ballots sent out and received, so the numbers aren’t expected to match up, according to Maricopa County officials and outside experts.AP News. 07/17/2021
Maricopa County Officials tweeted the following thread, I’m not going to share all of them…
CLAIM: Maricopa County relaxed signature verification requirements.— Maricopa County (@maricopacounty) July 16, 2021
FACTS: This is simply not true. Maricopa County follows rigorous state signature verification guidelines. Staff receives training prior to elections to ensure compliance.
None of the above changed the hearts and minds of Cult 45’s or Impeached Twice 45, I know, total shocker there.
Wendy is a AZ State Senator and is calling for a new election….
Oops, my bad, I forgot to include this statement from Maricopa County Supervisor Chairman Jack Sellers…
It’s clear the people hired by Arizona Senate leadership to supposedly bring integrity to our elections are instead just bringing incompetence.
At today’s briefing, the Senate’s uncertified contractors asked a lot of open-ended questions, portraying as suspicious what is actually normal and well known to people who work in elections. In some cases, they dropped bombshell numbers that are simply not accurate.
What we heard today represents an alternate reality that has veered out of control since the November General Election. Senate leadership should be ashamed they broadcast the half-baked theories of the “Deep Rig” crowd to the world today.
To Senate leaders I say, stop accusing us of not cooperating when we have given you everything qualified auditors would need to do this job.Sellers. 07/15/2021.
Finish your audit, release the report, and be prepared to defend it in Court.
And so it goes, the vicious cycle we are on, misinformation spreads faster than good news…
Speaking of misinformation…
Q: And then speaking of misinformation and the announcement from yesterday: For how long has the administration been spying on people’s Facebook profiles looking for vaccine misinformation?
The full exchange:
MS. PSAKI: Well, that was quite a loaded and inaccurate question, which I would refute.
Q Inaccurate how?
MS. PSAKI: Well, Peter, first of all, as you know, we’re in — we’re in a regular touch with — with a range of media outlets —
Q And we expect that the White House —
MS. PSAKI: — as —
Q — is watching Fox —
MS. PSAKI: Let me finish —
Q — but I don’t think —
MS. PSAKI: — as we are —
Q — people posting on Facebook expect that —
MS. PSAKI: — as we are in regular touch with social media platforms. This is publicly open information — people sharing information online — just as you are all reporting information on your news stations.
Q But — okay, so these 12 people who you have on a list — 12 individuals — do they know that somebody at the Surgeon General’s office is going through their profile?
MS. PSAKI: I’m happy to get you the citation of where that comes from. There’s no secret list. I will tell you that these are people who are sharing information on public platforms — on Facebook — information that is traveling, is inaccurate.
Our biggest concern here — and I, frankly, think it should be your biggest concern — is the number of people who are dying around the country because they’re getting misinformation that is leading them to not take a vaccine —
Q But —
MS. PSAKI: Young people, old people, kids, children — this is all being — a lot of them are being impacted by misinformation.
Q The big concern though, I think, for a lot of people on Facebook is that now this is Big Brother watching you.
MS. PSAKI: They’re more concerned about that than people dying across the country because of a pandemic where misinformation is traveling on social media platforms? That feels unlikely to me. If you have the data to back that up, I’m happy to discuss it.White House.gov. 07/16/2021.
President Biden was asked if he had a message for Facebook and the misinformation spreading on it’s site.
First, public viewing of public platforms is not spying.
Second, this will probably shock some people, but I don’t agree with the White House having any saying in what Facebook does or doesn’t do on their website. I get the in favor of arguments, because President Biden isn’t wrong, misinformation is the reason people are continuing to die, the party or platform sharing the misinformation is irrelevant to the damage done.
Freedom comes at a cost, we can’t be okay with the government trying to dictate how a private business runs itself, just cause we might agree with the government’s message this time.
I say that, as a person trying to figure out how to get the majority of my family vaccinated and a person who has to combat the “vaccine” misinformation.
It truly is something that we have to do, as private citizens of this great Republic. It’s our job to dictate how private businesses run, it’s our job to combat the misinformation it is not up to the government. The government has to stay in their lane.
None of that means the government has to stop publishing correct information or what they believe to be correct information at the time they publish it.
It just means the White House shouldn’t try and tell Facebook or any social media platform what they can and cannot allow on their website.
1A works the same for both parties. I’m just sayin’.
It’s okay to @ me.
Now, having said all that, where on earth did this claim of spying come from?
On July, 15, 2021, the Surgeon General said this in a White House press briefing:
Today, I issued a Surgeon General’s Advisory on the dangers of health misinformation. Surgeon General Advisories are reserved for urgent public health threats. And while those threats have often been related to what we eat, drink, and smoke, today we live in a world where misinformation poses an imminent and insidious threat to our nation’s health.
Health misinformation is false, inaccurate, or misleading information about health, according to the best evidence at the time. And while it often appears innocuous on social media apps and retail sites or search engines, the truth is that misinformation takes away our freedom to make informed decisions about our health and the health of our loved ones.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, health misinformation has led people to resist wearing masks in high-risk settings. It’s led them to turn down proven treatments and to choose not to get vaccinated. This has led to avoidable illnesses and death. Simply put, health [mis]information has cost us lives.
Now, health misinformation didn’t start with COVID-19. What’s different now though is the speed and scale at which health misinformation is spreading. Modern technology companies have enabled misinformation to poison our information environment with little accountability to their users. They’ve allowed people who intentionally spread misinformation — what we call “disinformation” — to have extraordinary reach.
They’ve designed product features, such as “Like” buttons, that reward us for sharing emotionally-charged content, not accurate content. And their algorithms tend to give us more of what we click on, pulling us deeper and deeper into a well of misinformation.
Now, we need an all-of-society approach to fight misinformation. And that’s why this advisory that I issued today has recommendations for everyone.
First, we include recommendations for individuals and families. We ask people to raise the bar for sharing health information by checking sources before they share, to ensure that information is backed by credible, scientific sources. As we say in the advisory, “If you’re not sure, don’t share.”
Second, we’re asking health organizations to proactively address misinformation with their patients. Today, the American Academy of Pediatrics is announcing an educational campaign to help parents navigate online health information. I’m encouraged to see this commitment. And, again, this is just the beginning.
Third, we’re asking educational institutions to help improve health information literacy.
We’re asking researchers and foundations as well to help us learn more about how health [mis]information spreads and how to stop it.
Today, the Rockefeller Foundation is announcing a $13.5 million commitment to counter health misinformation. The Digital Public Library of America is announcing that they will convene a set of librarians, scholars, journalists, and civic leaders to confront health misinformation together.
Fourth, we’re saying we expect more from our technology companies. We’re asking them to operate with greater transparency and accountability. We’re asking them to monitor misinformation more closely. We’re asking them to consistently take action against misinformation super-spreaders on their platforms.
Fifth, we’re also asking news organizations to proactively address the public’s questions without inadvertently giving a platform to health misinformation that can harm their audiences.
And sixth, we know that government can play an important role too by investing in research, by bringing individuals and organizations together to address misinformation, and by supporting groups that are working on this issue.
On a personal note, it’s painful for me to know that nearly every death we are seeing now from COVID-19 could have been prevented. I say that as someone who has lost 10 family members to COVID and who wishes each and every day that they had had the opportunity to get vaccinated.
I say that also as a concerned father of two young children who aren’t yet eligible for the vaccine, but I know that our kids are depending on all of us to get vaccinated to shield them from this virus.
Every week, I talk to doctors and nurses across our country who are burning out as they care for more and more patients with COVID-19 who never got vaccinated — all too often because they were misled by misinformation.
We must confront misinformation as a nation. Every one of us has the power and the responsibility to make a difference in this fight. Lives are depending on it. You can read the full advisory at SurgeonGeneral.gov/HealthMisinformation. [Social media advice is on page 12 of the PDF linked at the linked website].
And I hope that you will see it as I do — as a starting point from which we can build a healthier information environment, safeguard our nation against future threats, and ultimately, empower people to lead healthier lives.White House.gov. 07/15/2021.
There is also this NPR.org., story that was published on July, 14th, 2021, a day before the Surgeon General’s advisory was posted.
Researchers have found just 12 people are responsible for the bulk of the misleading claims and outright lies about COVID-19 vaccines that proliferate on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
“The ‘Disinformation Dozen’ produce 65% of the shares of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms,” said Imran Ahmed, chief executive officer of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which identified [40 page PDF] the accounts.
Both members of Congress and state attorneys general have urged Facebook and Twitter to ban the “Disinformation Dozen.”
“Getting Americans vaccinated is critical to putting this pandemic behind us. Vaccine disinformation spread online has deadly consequences, which is why I have called on social media platforms to take action against the accounts propagating the majority of these lies,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., told NPR.
After NPR’s reporting, Facebook said it had taken additional action against some of the figures identified by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, several of which operate multiple accounts on the social network’s apps. The company said on Thursday it had found new posts violating its rules.
Facebook has now removed 16 accounts from Facebook or Instagram and placed restrictions on 22 others, such as preventing them from being recommended to other users, reducing the reach of their posts and blocking them from promoting themselves through paid ads.
“We reacted early and aggressively to the COVID-19 pandemic by working with health experts to update our misinformation policy to target harmful claims about COVID-19 and vaccines, including taking action against some of the accounts in the CCDH report,” spokesperson Kevin McAlister said in a statement. “In total, we’ve removed more than 16 million pieces of content which violate our policies and we continue to work with health experts to regularly update these policies as new facts and trends emerge.”
However, Facebook also disputed the methodology of the center’s report, saying it was not clear what criteria the group used to choose the set of social media posts at which it looked.
Twitter said it permanently suspended two of the “Disinformation Dozen” accounts for repeatedly breaking its rules, required other accounts to delete some tweets and applied labels that link to credible information about vaccines and don’t allow the tweets to be shared or replied to. Overall, it’s removed more than 22,400 tweets for violating its COVID-19 policies.
However, spokesperson Elizabeth Busby said Twitter distinguishes between “harmful vaccine misinformation that contradicts credible public health information, which is prohibited under our policy, and negative vaccine sentiment that is a matter of opinion.”NPR.org. 07/14/2021.
And so the “Disinformation Dozen” are still easy to find on social media.
And on that note, we conclude Saturday’s Coffee Talk With Tiff!
This is an Open Thread.