Senate bill would create exception to Section 230 to limit health misinformation

Every week after Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy declared health misinformation an “urgent threat” to the US public, Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico have launched new laws that would modify Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act to strip legal responsibility protections from know-how corporations if their platforms assist unfold misinformation throughout a health disaster.If handed, the Health Misinformation Act of 2021 would create an exception to Section 230 that would see social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter “treated as the publisher or speaker of health misinformation” when their platforms algorithmically amplify deceptive health content material. What falls underneath the definition of health-related misinformation would be determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The exception would solely apply throughout a public health disaster, which the HMS Secretary would have to declare beforehand.In establishing a rationale for the change, the bill cites a joint report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate and Anti-Vax Watch that discovered that as a lot 73 % of vaccine misinformation on Facebook may be linked to a bunch of 12 people often called the “disinformation dozen.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki not too long ago referenced that very same report, saying that a lot of these people are nonetheless energetic on the social community.”For far too long, online platforms have not done enough to protect the health of Americans. These are some of the biggest, richest companies in the world and they must do more to prevent the spread of deadly vaccine misinformation,” Senator Klobuchar stated in an announcement. “The coronavirus pandemic has shown us how lethal misinformation can be and it is our responsibility to take action.”The bill’s introduction additionally follows a latest assertion made by President Joe Biden. He stated platforms like Facebook had been “killing people” by not doing extra to cease vaccine- and health-related misinformation. “We will not be distracted by accusations which aren’t supported by facts,” a spokesperson for Facebook instructed Engadget after Biden made his feedback. “The facts show that Facebook is helping save lives. Period.” The president later walked again his assertion, noting the folks utilizing the platform to unfold their misinformation had been those doing hurt however reiterated his perception that Facebook may do extra to fight what was taking place.”We have long supported common industry standards and section 230 reform,” Kevin Martin, vice-president of public coverage at Facebook stated after the information broke. “We believe clarification on the difficult and urgent questions about health-related misinformation would be helpful and look forward to working with Congress and the industry as we consider options for reform.”Update 10:54PM ET: Added remark from Facebook. 
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