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“Official disinformation concerning all matters of governance is bad for democratic norms and human rights such as freedom of information and the right to truth”-@davidakaye…
"Government disinformation about public health is itself a public health risk"–@davidkaye
If spreading Trump's disinformation damages public health, as it as with #coronavirus, government officials + media face a challenge: how to prevent harm by containing the lies of a POTUS.
To put it another way, Trump’s lies are disinformation viruses.
News organizations are a host.
Partisans, the public, & bad actors spread them, too.
Publishers, platforms & the public should put disinformation viruses in "epistemic quarantine."

@DKThomp We can't vaccinate someone against a disinformation virus.
Perversely, putting sunlight on one may not "disinfect" it but instead infect a far greater population through public attention.

You have to deny them the "oyxgen of amplification."

@DKThomp @wphillips49 Injecting facts into a pandemic is always hard, but "because of the Trump administration’s history (or policy) of lying, anything its officials say may lack credibility among many Americans, even where that information is demonstrably true."-@davidkaye

We're in novel territory.
Newsrooms still haven't adjusted to the reality that folks "flooding the zone" with disinformation is a FEATURE, not a bug, of this administration.
Bannon: "The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.”…
IF your democracy is in an epistemic crisis
AND viral disinformation poses an going public health risk…
THEN newsrooms need to change their practices.

While it's publishing amazing journalism, the @NYTimes is failing to put lies in epistemic quarantine:
@nytimes Editors need to change how they're reporting on Trump, or he'll keep hacking the standards & practices developed in the professionalization of "objective journalism" (we report what POTUS says/you decide) to infect the public with disinformation viruses.
I've been banging this drum for *years*, paired with the importance of maintaining the information integrity of official US government websites & social media.

Sorry about the broken record.

The crisis posed by the #coronavirus has crystallized the need.
A @MeetThePress special on disinformation grappled with these issues, but ultimately fell far short of what was required to inform the public & warn us of the public health threats:…

And here we are.
@MeetThePress A @POTUS who spreads disinformation viruses during a pandemic is a wicked problem.
@jayrosen_nyu listed approaches newsrooms could take:…
Outlets should try these &
share what they learn:

#1 today? Stop putting lies in headlines!
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