FDA’s ‘Rumor Control’ Hub Encourages Public to ‘Snitch’ on ‘Misinformation Spreaders’

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by Brenda Baletti, Ph.D., Childrens Health Defense:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration launched an updated “Rumor Control” hub aimed at enlisting the public to help stop the spread of “misinformation,” which the agency defined as “false, inaccurate, or misleading … spreading intentionally and unintentionally.”

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched an updated “Rumor Control” hub aimed at enlisting the public to help stop the spread of “misinformation.”

The updated webpage, first launched in August 2022, includes a new video that defines misinformation as information that is “false, inaccurate, or misleading … spreading intentionally and unintentionally.”

The agency said its Rumor Control hub provides the public with tools to identify and report on “misinformation.”

“Some individuals and organizations promote opinions online disguised as fact,” the FDA site says, adding that misinformation spreads “six times faster than facts.”

The video warns that people may be misled by headlines or out-of-context statements, particularly when they are shared by a trusted person.

But, according to the video, people can determine whether something is actually true by getting the information from three types of “authoritative” sources that can be trusted to provide real facts: medical journals, a nonprofit “fact checker” or a government website.

“The FDA is concerned ‘health misinformation’ is negatively impacting the public’s health,” the agency said. The FDA tweeted the video to promote the hub.

The Rumor Control site includes links for reporting misinformation on all major social media sites. By following the links, users can find instructions to mark posts as “false news,” “false information” or “inappropriate content,” depending on the website.

“Bernie’s Tweets” on Twitter called the website the FDA’s “‘snitch’ page.”

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