1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

[Official] Censorship from governmental actors thread

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Os Trigonum, May 28, 2021.

?

Who does it better?

  1. Sweet Lou 42

    40.0%
  2. tinman

    60.0%
  1. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    73,019
    Likes Received:
    111,237
    this example just popped up on my Facebook feed with a "factcheck" warning. Presumably she might want Facebook (a tech company) to "really jump in" and "stop the spread of disinformation" by going beyond a mere warning and remove this content from the Facebook platform entirely.

    289277211_5917042691645372_6242819529908256261_n.jpg

    on edit, here's the factcheck warning

    Screen Shot 2022-06-21 at 9.05.41 AM.png
     
    #181 Os Trigonum, Jun 21, 2022
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2022
  2. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Messages:
    37,717
    Likes Received:
    18,919
    That's a multitude of steps that each require an assumption. One is that she "wants" facebook to police posts like this, which are misleading but not factually false. Is this the type of information she is trying to ban? Is she even trying to ban anything or just asking the tech companies to do a better job of addressing misinformation around climate change and other green initiatives? There's a big assumption of what she means by "really jump in". It's a huge leap to take that statement and say, ok that means she wants posts like to one you shared remove. It's a stretch.

    Secondly, would FB even listen to her? She has no ability to influence Facebook. No law making ability, nor any ability to institute a rule detrimental to FB. This is merely the opinion of one of many people in an administration who is speaking outside their job function. Misinformation makes her job tougher, and so she tries to address it. So where's the threat from her? I don't see it.


    As for the post itself and whether it should have a warning on it. Well, I don't know. It's half-true and half misleading. You can say it's true because a big chunk of electric vehicles get their energy from electricity generated by coal. But they also get their energy from nuclear and wind. And regardless, an EV is still going to be far more green than a gasoline powered engine due to the efficiency of the energy extracted from coal all the way to the speed of the car compared with using gasoline. I probably wouldn't have flagged this one but FB does as they want.
     
  3. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    73,019
    Likes Received:
    111,237
    everything you say here is correct, but the main complaint I have is with the call for censorship of "disinformation" itself. Doesn't matter if shitte like this is half true or mostly false or partly misleading or mostly misleading.

    and from the two articles cited, I think it likely this is exactly the kind of content she wants "big tech" to censor

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/climat...-house-11655156191?mod=hp_opin_pos_4#cxrecs_s

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2022/06/dems-want-to-ban-telling-the-truth.php
     
  4. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    73,019
    Likes Received:
    111,237
    https://reason.com/2022/06/22/brickbat-you-hockey-puck/

    Brickbat: You Hockey Puck
    CHARLES OLIVER | 6.22.2022 4:00 AM

    The Japanese legislature has increased the penalty for insulting someone online. Those found guilty of violating the law face up to one year in prison or a fine of up to 300,000 yen ($2,200). Previously, those found guilty of insulting someone online faced up to 30 days in prison or a fine of up to 10,000 yen ($75). The change comes two years after the suicide of professional wrestler Hana Kimura, who was the subject of abuse online after she got into a conflict with another contestant on a reality show.




     
  5. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    73,019
    Likes Received:
    111,237
    S.C. Bill Would Apparently Outlaw News Sites' Writing About Legal Abortion Clinics in Neighboring States

    https://reason.com/volokh/2022/06/3...legal-abortion-clinics-in-neighboring-states/

    excerpt:

    Say a news site writes a story, "North Carolina Abortion Clinic Near S.C. Border Targeted for Protests," and identifies the clinic. (Assume the clinic is legal in North Carolina.) It seems to me the elements of the crime would be met:

    1. The story provides "information … regarding … the means to obtain an abortion," or "information on how to obtain an abortion," because it provides information about a clinic that could conveniently perform abortions for South Carolina women.
    2. The author surely must know that some readers will use that information to figure out where to get an abortion, or at least are reasonably likely to so use it: It might be only one in a thousand readers, with the remaining readers reading the story simply for the information it provides against the protest, but that could still be tens or hundreds of women. And indeed the story might, in the normal course of things, mention things about the abortion providers that paints them in an especially good light ("Harvard Medical School-trained Dr. Jane Schmane, who practices at the clinic, said …."), which would end up drawing patients to that particular clinic.
    3. The author's employer is hosting or maintaining an internet website containing the story.
    4. The story may well be seen as being provided "to a pregnant woman" or "purposefully directed to a pregnant woman," because pregnant women will surely read it, and of course the author wants pregnant women (alongside other women) to read it. To be sure, it doesn't seem to be directed to an identified pregnant woman, the way an e-mail to a particular person might be—but subsection (2) obviously contemplates sites published to the world at large, since an "internet website" would basically never be purposefully directed to a particular identified reader.
    5. The news site may well be headquartered in South Carolina, or have a branch or office in South Carolina, and would thus be subject to the jurisdiction of South Carolina.
    6. The law appears not to be limited to information about abortions that would be (illegally) performed in South Carolina. Perhaps one could argue that the law as a whole doesn't ban abortions performed out of state, and thus the aiding-and-abetting provision applies only to aiding and abetting in-state abortions. But the text of this section seems to cover in-state communication of information about abortions generally, and not just about in-state abortions. (Moreover, the law would clearly cover stories written about companies that are mailing abortion pills into South Carolina, if the law mentions the company's name or gives enough information based on which a quick Google search can identify the company.)
    That seems pretty clearly unconstitutional to me, since it doesn't fit within the narrow Brandenburg v. Ohio First Amendment exception for purposeful incitement of imminent, likely unlawful conduct, both because (1) the conduct that the speech might facilitate would be lawful, since it would be an abortion lawfully performed in North Carolina, and because (2) the bill isn't limited to publications written with the specific purpose of promoting abortions. But such speech seems like it would be covered by the bill.

    I should note that a law likely could ban providing specific information to a particular woman about where she could get an illegal in-state abortion. That would likely fit within the "speech integral to criminal conduct" exception, by analogy to solicitation of a specific crime (see U.S. v. Williams). Just as telling a friend where she can illegally buy drugs is aiding and abetting illegal drug sales, so telling a friend where she can illegally get an abortion would be punishable aiding and abetting. But this bill appears to me to go considerably beyond that.
    more at the link
     
    FranchiseBlade likes this.
  6. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    73,019
    Likes Received:
    111,237
    FranchiseBlade likes this.
  7. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    73,019
    Likes Received:
    111,237
    When 'Pro-Life' Becomes 'Pro-Censorship'
    Antiabortion activists are the new Anthony Comstocks.

    https://reason.com/2022/07/11/when-pro-life-becomes-pro-censorship/

    excerpt:

    The National Right to Life Committee (NLRC) has drafted model legislation to provide what it calls "an effective enforcement regime" to stamp out abortion. A centerpiece of the proposal would make it a felony to "aid and abet" abortions by "giving instructions over the telephone, the internet, or any other medium of communication regarding self-administered abortions or means to obtain an illegal abortion" or "hosting or maintaining a website, or providing internet service, that encourages or facilitates efforts to obtain an illegal abortion." The law would provide for civil enforcement as well.

    These legal tactics and messianic zeal bring to mind Anthony Comstock, the most prominent anti-vice crusader of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Comstock started in 1872 as a vigilante, making "citizen's arrests" of smut peddlers on the streets of New York. But he quickly became, in the words of H.L. Mencken, "the Copernicus of a quite new art and science," one "who first capitalized moral endeavor like baseball or the soap business, and made himself the first of its kept professors."

    Comstock had his own model law, which he persuaded Congress to adopt in 1873. It said that no "obscene, lewd, or lascivious book, pamphlet, picture, paper, print, or other publication of an indecent character, or any article or thing designed or intended for the prevention of conception or procuring of an abortion, nor any article or thing intended or adapted for any indecent or immoral use or nature…shall be carried in the mail." This was popularly known as the "Comstock law," and Congress designated him a special agent of the Post Office, vested with the power to enforce the law personally.

    Comstock also headed the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. From these twin positions, he terrorized writers, publishers, free thinkers, birth control advocates, physicians, and artists, jailing thousands and driving at least 15 to suicide. Near the end of his 40-year career, Comstock claimed to have convicted enough people "to fill a passenger train of sixty-one coaches, sixty coaches containing sixty passengers each and the sixty-first almost full." Comstock's law targeted obscenity, but in his mind, anything that related to sex was obscene. This covered information on contraception or abortion, including that found in popular home health guides, such as Edward Bliss Foote's book Medical Common Sense.
    more at the link
     
  8. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    73,019
    Likes Received:
    111,237
  9. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Messages:
    37,717
    Likes Received:
    18,919
  10. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    73,019
    Likes Received:
    111,237
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitte...itrust-11660732095?mod=hp_opin_pos_3#cxrecs_s

    Twitter Becomes a Tool of Government Censorship
    Alex Berenson was kicked off at the White House’s urging. That’s a violation of the First Amendment.
    By Vivek Ramaswamy and Jed Rubenfeld
    Aug. 17, 2022 1:47 pm ET

    Alex Berenson is back on Twitter after being banned for nearly a year over Covid-19 “misinformation.” Last week the former New York Times reporter settled his lawsuit against the social-media company, which admitted error and restored his account. “The First Amendment does not apply to private companies like Twitter,” Mr. Berenson wrotelast week on Substack. But because the Biden administration brought pressure to bear on Twitter, he believes he has a case that his constitutional rights were violated. He’s right.

    In January 2021 we argued on these pages that tech companies should be treated as state actors under existing legal doctrines when they censor constitutionally protected speech in response to governmental threats and inducements. The Biden administration appears to have taken our warning calls as a how-to guide for effectuating political censorship through the private sector. And it’s worse than we feared.

    Facts that Mr. Berenson unearthed through the discovery process confirm that the administration has been secretly asking social-media companies to shut down the accounts of specific prominent critics of administration policy.

    On July 16, 2021, a reporter asked President Biden: “On Covid misinformation, what’s your message to platforms like Facebook.” Mr. Biden replied: “They’re killing people.” (The president later said he meant users were killing people.) Later that day, Twitter locked Mr. Berenson’s account, and on Aug. 28 it banned him permanently.

    Last Friday Mr. Berenson published conversations from an internal Twitter Slack channel. Referring to an April 2021 meeting with White House officials, one Twitter employee noted that the meeting overall was “pretty good,” but added that the White House “had one really tough question about why Alex Berenson hasn’t been kicked off from the platform.”

    Another employee asked: “Any high level takeaways from the meeting? Anything we should keep an eye out for?”

    The first employee responded: “Yes, they really wanted to know about Alex Berenson.” The employee wrote that Andy Slavitt, then a senior White House Covid adviser, “suggested they had seen data viz that had showed he was the epicenter of disinfo that radiated outwards to the persuadable public.” (“Viz” probably stands for “visualization” and “disinfo” for “disinformation.”)

    Mr. Berenson wasn’t the only target. At a July 15, 2021, White House press briefing with Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, press secretary Jen Psaki said: “We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation. . . . There’s about 12 people who are producing 65% of antivaccine misinformation on social media platforms.” This was a reference to the so-called “Disinformation Dozen,” 12 named individuals identified in a report by the U.K.-based Center for Countering Digital Hate—a report that Facebook disputed even as it said it had taken action against its targets. Ms. Psaki went on to say of the 12 that “all of them remain active on Facebook, despite some even being banned on other platforms, including . . . ones that Facebook owns.” That might have been a reference to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a longtime critic of vaccination, who had been deplatformed by Facebook-owned Instagram.

    At the same briefing, Dr. Murthy called on social-media companies to purge more Covid posts: “We’re asking them to consistently take action against misinformation superspreaders on their platforms.” At a briefing the next day, again possibly referring to Mr. Kennedy, Ms. Psaki said that if you post misinformation, “you shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others.”

    Recent Freedom of Information Act disclosures show that a week later, on July 23, 2021, Nick Clegg—a former U.K. deputy prime minister and now Facebook parent Meta’s president for global affairs—emailed Dr. Murthy to thank him for meeting with Facebook and to report on “the steps we took just this past week” to “further address the ‘disinfo dozen’: we removed 17 additional Pages, Groups, and Instagram accounts tied to the ‘disinfo dozen’ . . . resulting in every member . . . having had at least one such entity removed.” He added that Facebook was “continuing to make 4 other Pages and Profiles, which have not yet met their removal thresholds, more difficult to find on our platform.”

    This goes even beyond what was happening when we wrote the week before Mr. Biden’s inauguration. At that time, lawmakers had repeatedly threatened tech companies with catastrophic consequences if they didn’t more aggressively censor speech the government disfavors. Congress had immunized these companies from liability if they remove “objectionable” but “constitutionally protected” content, to quote Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.

    In response to these and other inducements and threats, social-media companies were already suppressing speech about Covid that was well within the bounds of legitimate debate and sometimes proved accurate. Facebook had banned anyone from saying that Covid might have originated in a lab in Wuhan, China, or that the Covid vaccines didn’t prevent infection.

    When the government exploits these legislative inducements to target specific critics for censorship, it has crossed a constitutional Rubicon. Targeting, punishing and silencing dissenters is the paradigmatic First Amendment violation. The Biden administration is using Big Tech as its private censorship arm, and that violates what the Supreme Court, in Norwood v. Harrison (1973), called an “axiomatic” principle: The government “may not induce, encourage or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish.”

    The administration’s behind-the-scenes use of social-media companies to evade the First Amendment seems to be continuing unabated. In April this year Ms. Psaki, who was still the White House press secretary, said: “We engage regularly with all social media platforms about steps that can be taken . . . and I’m sure that will continue. But there are also reforms we think Congress could take and we would support taking, including reforming Section 230 [and] enacting antitrust reforms.” The unexplained pivot to “antitrust reform” here is telling: Censor the “problematic” posts and people we identify, Ms. Psaki implies, or we may break you up under the antitrust laws.

    This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. If in November 2020 President Trump and Republican lawmakers had used threats and private communications with tech companies to remove what they considered “misinformation” about election results, Democrats would have instantly and rightly identified a threat to democracy.

    Democracy depends on free and open debate. If government officials continue to deputize private companies to stifle dissenters, it’s high time for federal courts to deliver them a reminder: If it’s state action in disguise, the Constitution applies.

    Mr. Ramaswamy is executive chairman of Strive Asset Management and author of “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam” and “Nation of Victims: Identity Politics, the Death of Merit, and the Path Back to Excellence,” forthcoming in September. Mr. Rubenfeld is a professor at Yale Law School and a First Amendment lawyer. His clients include Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
     
    Invisible Fan likes this.
  11. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    73,019
    Likes Received:
    111,237
  12. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    73,019
    Likes Received:
    111,237
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-th...covid-instagram-11662761613?mod=hp_opin_pos_1

    How the Feds Coordinate With Facebook on Censorship
    Newly released emails show tech sites working with public officials, often solicitously.
    By The Editorial Board
    Updated Sept. 9, 2022 7:05 pm ET

    One nagging question in the social-media age is how online platforms like Facebook and Twitter choose to “moderate” speech—and why, and whether the government is leaning on them to step it up. Hundreds of pages of emails between federal officials and the big social sites were recently dropped in court, and they make for instructive, if not definitive, reading.

    The civil case was brought by the Attorneys General of Missouri and Louisiana, who allege that misinformation crackdowns by the tech giants are legally “government action,” since they involve “open collusion” with public officials. In a court filing last week, the AGs posted some of what they have already obtained, which they call “a tantalizing snapshot into a massive, sprawling federal ‘Censorship Enterprise.’”

    Well, maybe. Many of the email chains read like good-faith interactions between public officials and internet companies worried about clearly false information. What raises eyebrows in some communications, though, is an oozing solicitousness toward top White House advisers. This week the judge granted additional discovery, meaning more emails soon.

    ***
    The trouble with seeing all of the correspondence, some of which dates to the Trump Administration, as inherently illegitimate is that much of it seems to involve actual misinformation. The White House flags the Instagram user anthonyfauciofficial, apparently someone posing as Dr. Anthony Fauci, and asks: “Any way we can get this pulled down? It is not actually one of ours.” The answer from Facebook (most of the names are redacted): “Yep, on it!”

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells Twitter about false claims circulating that some Covid diagnostics were “revoked by the FDA.” Twitter calls the warning “super helpful.” The CDC also flags tweets saying that Covid vaccines contain microchips or that unvaccinated people are at risk “just by being near to vaccinated people.” The Twitter contact responds that “some of these have been previously reviewed and actioned,” and “I will now ask the team to review the others.”

    In some messages, a tech giant is doing the asking, especially as new Covid theories keep popping up. Facebook queries the CDC to see if it can “debunk” claims that vaccines in children might cause hepatitis or ALS or possibly “magnetism,” or that they can “alter blood color.”

    In replying, the CDC looks careful. Is it a myth that Covid vaccines are ineffective in kids? “CDC can’t speak to this until the pharmaceutical companies have reported data.” Is heart inflammation a risk? “True, there have been increased reports of myocarditis.” The same goes for “Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) in people who have received the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine, but not the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.”

    A Twitter worker tells the CDC: “My team has asked for examples of problematic content so we can examine trends.” Particularly helpful would be “if you have any examples of fraud—such as fraudulent covid cures, fraudulent vaccines cards, etc.” There’s evidence here that the big social sites were worried about a Gresham’s law of information, with bad Covid information driving out the good, so they welcomed help in correcting the record.

    ***
    More worrying are a few tense emails involving high political appointees who had the White House imprimatur. On July 16, 2021, a reporter asked President Biden about Covid misinformation and his message to sites like Facebook. “They’re killing people,” he said. “Look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they’re killing people.”

    That day, a person the AGs describe as “a very senior executive at Meta” sent an email to Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. “I know our teams met today to better understand the scope of what the White House expects from us on misinformation going forward,” the executive says. Oh, is that why it’s called the bully pulpit? In a text message soon after, the exec added: “It’s not great to be accused of killing people—but as I said by email I’m keen to find a way to deescalate and work together collaboratively.”

    A week later, the AGs say, “that senior Meta executive” sent a follow-up email. “I wanted to make sure you saw the steps we took just this past week to adjust policies on what we are removing with respect to misinformation,” it says. “We hear your call for us to do more and, as I said on the call, we’re committed to working toward our shared goal of helping America get on top of this pandemic . . . . You have identified 4 specific recommendations for improvement and we want to make sure to keep you informed of our work on each.”

    Fascinating. After Mr. Biden publicly accused social sites of killing people, what else did the White House say privately? On Tuesday federal Judge Terry Doughty gave the government 21 days to turn over correspondence that the tech giants might have had with Dr. Fauci, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and several public-affairs staff at the Department of Health and Human Services.

    We already know that Twitter worked with the government to censor Covid commentator Alex Berenson. Bring on more Facebook emails.

    Appeared in the September 10, 2022, print edition as 'How the Feds Coordinate With Facebook'.




     
  13. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Messages:
    38,028
    Likes Received:
    15,504
    That last part — Twitter “worked with government officials” to censor someone appears weasel-wordy to me. Does it mean the Biden admin directed Twitter to censor him, does it mean they jointly decided he needed to be censored, or does it mean that conversations with Biden COVID response officials somehow influenced their decision to censor him? It looks like it’s the latter — should Twitter refrain from having such discussions in the middle of a pandemic and critical vaccine rollout (we’re talking early 2021).

    Anyway, this article also probably goes in this thread:

    A Prominent Vaccine Skeptic Returns to Twitter
    A year after he was banned, Alex Berenson sued his way back. Are more lawsuits coming?

    https://www.theatlantic.com/technol...tter-ban-lawsuit-covid-misinformation/671219/


     
  14. Amiga

    Amiga 10 years ago...
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    22,138
    Likes Received:
    18,900
    You can remove "directed" as a possibility. The government doesn't have the power to direct social media to censor.

    From the WSJ article, this seems to be how we want the government and social media (or simply private parties) to work together. A construction dialog between parties of the government and powerful society communication tools is healthy, especially when they have a common shared goal (and they often do). Mistakes can and will be made, but this is what a functional public and private relationship look like. What you don't want to see is coercion by the government (see Florida as an example) or the government "leaning" on social media to censor for self-interest or political gains and not for the public interest. This clearly was aimed toward the public interest.
     
    rocketsjudoka and durvasa like this.
  15. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    54,700
    Likes Received:
    42,810
    There is a very fine line here. Government pressure regarding regulatory threats on private companies I think cross the line, for example if say the State of Texas told clutch they need to ban rocketsjudoka because he mocked the Texans or else they will fine Clutchfans” would be crossing the line. If Abbott just said “ that rocketsjudoka was spreading misinformation about the Texans in Clutchfans” that wouldn’t be censorship and just speech on the governor’s part.
     
  16. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Messages:
    37,717
    Likes Received:
    18,919
    It would almost be like DeSantis pressuring Disney not to say anything about his anti-gay bill or face retribution.
     
    FranchiseBlade likes this.
  17. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    73,019
    Likes Received:
    111,237
    The ACLU Says California's Ban on COVID-19 'Misinformation' From Doctors Is Gratuitous and Unconstitutional
    Two chapters of the organization say the law violates the First Amendment.

    https://reason.com/2022/11/15/the-a...m-doctors-is-gratuitous-and-unconstitutional/

    excerpt:

    The LJC's motion for a preliminary injunction notes the difficulty that physicians will have in figuring out what A.B. 2098 requires. The law defines "misinformation" as "false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus contrary to the standard of care." As written, the LJC notes, "the definition is senseless, as it says that the covered information is contradicted by a consensus that is itself contrary to the standard of care." That puzzling language, the motion says, "suffices to make the statute void for vagueness, for it is incomprehensible."

    Let's assume legislators meant that "misinformation," rather than the "scientific consensus," is "contrary to the standard of care," which is how Gov. Gavin Newsom seems to read the law. Even then, "hopeless ambiguities remain," the LJC says.

    "Is information false because it is 'contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus' and (or?) 'contrary to the standard of care'?" the motion asks. "Or is falsity a separate requirement? How does a court decide 'falsity' in the context of scientific questions that are, and will always remain, matters of hypothesis and study? When is falsity determined: at the time of the statement, or given how the evidence has developed? What is a 'scientific consensus,' and how is a court to determine it? When is 'contemporary': when the statement was made, or at another point? Whose 'standard of care' matters? Does the information have to be both contradicted by consensus and contrary to the standard of care?"

    Consider advice about the benefits of face masks in preventing COVID-19 transmission, a subject on which official guidance evolved during the course of the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initially dismissed the value of general masking, then embraced it as "the most important, powerful public health tool we have." More recently, it has conceded that commonly used cloth masks do little, if anything, to stop coronavirus transmission.

    Imagine a doctor who was advising patients in March 2020, when the CDC was still saying that healthy people who are not caring for COVID-19 patients "do not need to wear masks." Suppose the doctor "disregarded the consensus guidance not to wear masks," the LJC says, "and advised his patients that they needed to wear N95 masks to have the best protection from COVID"—the position that the CDC eventually adopted. "Was that advice false?" the LJC asks. "When? Was it contradicted by a contemporary scientific consensus? Which consensus? When? Was it contrary to a standard of care? Was it all three? If it was all three, but is now none, does it matter? The statute answers none of these questions, all of which are crucial to understanding the law."

    That is a due process problem, since the law does not give doctors fair notice of which conduct it reaches. It is also a free speech problem. "Given the ambiguities in the reach of AB 2098 highlighted by the Plaintiffs," the ACLU brief says, "physicians will be loath to speak their minds and share their opinions with patients about a rapidly evolving disease with many unknowns. At any point, the State could determine that a physician has violated AB 2098 for sharing an unconventional opinion and go after their medical license."
    more at the link
     
  18. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    73,019
    Likes Received:
    111,237
    full article on the California law in the NYT today:

    Is Spreading Medical Misinformation a Doctor’s Free Speech Right?
    Two lawsuits in California have pre-emptively challenged a new law that would punish doctors for misleading patients about Covid-19.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/30/technology/medical-misinformation-covid-free-speech.html
     
  19. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    54,700
    Likes Received:
    42,810
    From what I’m seeing it does appear that this law could be ver problematic but also might not be needed. With my profession a licensing board can already address if I’m dispensing advice to clients that are unsupported factually and harmful and I’m pretty sure medical birds can do the same.

    Given that there is debate too though on what medical advice works and that there are differences among how people respond to treatments there should be latitude in what advice doctors dispense. Also if we consider the political angle of this such a law in a state that is vehemently anti-abortion could use such laws to stifle doctors from counseling women facing life threatening complications in pregnancy. This is one I would agree appears to be an overstep on the part of the government
     
  20. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    73,019
    Likes Received:
    111,237

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now