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New Study Claims, Media Outlets Amplify U.S. President Donald Trump’s Misinformation More Than 400 Times in Span of Three Weeks

According to The Washington Post, Trump has already made more than 10,000 false or misleading claims.

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palestinian militants, israel
President Donald Trump says the United States supports Israel 100% as it defends its citizens from Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza. VOA

Major media outlets fail to debunk US President Donald Trump’s false or misleading statements in their tweets 65 per cent of the time, amplifying his misinformation an average of 19 times per day, a new study has stressed.

According to the study by Washington-based non-profit Media Matters published on Friday, it means the media outlets amplified Trump’s misinformation more than 400 times over the three-week period.

Nearly 30 per cent of the tweets by major media outlets’ Twitter accounts about Trump remarks referenced a false or misleading statement.social media

When journalists apply their traditional method of crafting headlines, tweets and other social media posts to Trump, they end up passively spreading misinformation by uncritically repeating his falsehoods, the study added. Pixabay

Nearly two-thirds of the time, the outlets did not dispute that misinformation.

“The extent to which outlets’ Twitter feeds passively spread Trump’s misinformation depended on the platform in which Trump made his comments,” the findings showed.

To reach this conclusion, Media Matters reviewed the more than 2,000 tweets that 32 Twitter feeds controlled by major news outlets sent about Trump’s comments from January 26.

Over 90 per cent of false or misleading Trump claims went undisputed when he was speaking at a press gaggle or pool spray.

Twitter
Nearly 30 per cent of the tweets by major media outlets’ Twitter accounts about Trump remarks referenced a false or misleading statement. Pixaabay

“Nearly 49 per cent of false or misleading Trump claims went undisputed when outlets were responding to comments he made during formal speeches,” the study noted.

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When journalists apply their traditional method of crafting headlines, tweets and other social media posts to Trump, they end up passively spreading misinformation by uncritically repeating his falsehoods, the study added.

According to The Washington Post, Trump has already made more than 10,000 false or misleading claims. (IANS)

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Vaccine Doubts Spread Across Social Media Like Disease, Should be Taken Down: Vaccine Chief

"We have to think about it as a disease. This is a disease," Berkley said. "This spreads at the speed of light, literally"

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FILE - A vial of the measles, mumps, and rubella virus (MMR) vaccine is pictured at the International Community Health Services clinic in Seattle, Washington, U.S. VOA

Doubts about vaccines have spread across social media like a disease and false information that “kills people” should be taken down by the companies running digital platforms, the head of global vaccine alliance Gavi said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a U.S.-sponsored event on the sidelines of the World Health Organization’s annual assembly in Geneva, Gavi CEO Seth Berkley said there was a strong scientific consensus about the safety of vaccines.

But social media algorithms favored sensational content over scientific facts, rapidly convincing people who had never seen family members die from preventable illness.

“We have to think about it as a disease. This is a disease,” Berkley said. “This spreads at the speed of light, literally.”

vaccine
“A study says @Autism is out of control — a 78% increase in 10 years. Stop giving monstrous combined vaccinations,” Trump tweeted in 2012. Pixabay

WHO says poor vaccination coverage is causing measles outbreaks globally, with numbers spiking in countries that were previously almost free of the disease, including the United States.

Misinformation about vaccines, which the WHO says save two million lives annually, was not a freedom of speech issue and social media firms need to take it offline, Berkley said. “I remind people that this kills people,” he said.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said complacency, misunderstanding and misinformation were causing vaccination rates to decline globally, with tragic results.

“In my country, social media conspiracy groups confuse well-meaning parents so they hesitate to get the recommended vaccinations,” Azar said.

He rejected any criticism of U.S. President Donald Trump, who repeatedly and erroneously tweeted about links between vaccines and autism in the years before he became president.

“A study says @Autism is out of control — a 78% increase in 10 years. Stop giving monstrous combined vaccinations,” Trump tweeted in 2012.

vaccine
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said health authorities needed to “up our game,” adding that she was working with Twitter, Facebook, Google and other tech companies. Pixabay

Azar said Trump was “extremely firm” in support of vaccination.

“If you had been paying attention in the last month, you would know that the President of the United States, President Trump, was very clear and emphatic: get your shots, get your kids vaccinated, vaccines are safe,” Azar said.

ALSO READ: WHO to Strengthen Strategies to Combat Ebola Epidemic in Congo

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said health authorities needed to “up our game,” adding that she was working with Twitter, Facebook, Google and other tech companies.

“You’ve got to get into the trenches … and begin to get engaged much more on a personal and emotional level, because people don’t understand statistics and data. If you do that. (VOA)